The reason why most small and medium-sized businesses do not get great results from their advertising and marketing is that in their marketing efforts they copy large companies such as Apple, Google, Ford, General Motors, McDonald’s and others. Big corporations can afford to show their ads multiple times and build brand awareness because they have huge marketing budgets. They also may have a number of different agendas for running advertising campaigns. For example, a large company may be running ads or publishing content not to make sales but to please its stockholders or to win advertising awards and get free publicity.
If you create marketing and advertising for a business that doesn’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on ads, your goals are probably very simple: you want more leads, more sales, and more customers coming through the door of your brick-and-mortar location or visiting your website. Because of this, you need a different approach to your marketing and advertising.
If you want results from your marketing, you need to be able to measure these results. The only way to measure results is to have offers in your marketing pieces. With offers, you will know for sure where the leads are coming from and which lead responded to which offer.
Two main types of offers are an offer to buy something and a free offer. Typically, in order to buy people need to have trust and believe that the product or service they are about to buy is right for them. Building trust takes time, which is why direct sale offers on the Internet typically have very low conversion rates. When a visitor comes to a website, sees an offer to buy, doesn’t buy and leave, the website is losing money because getting traffic is not free. Some ways of getting traffic, such as search engine optimization, may seem free, but in reality, they are not because optimizing websites for search engines and doing link-building is a lot of work.
This is why instead of sales offers it makes sense to have free offers. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads quickly because leaving an email in exchange for a book, a white paper or some other piece of content doesn’t carry any risks such as talking to a pushy salesperson or disclosing sensitive private information during a free consultation. This article will introduce you to five ways to generate leads from your content marketing.
- Write a book/whitepaper/how-to guide
Writing is one of very powerful ways to have your prospects discover you and your business. It is also one of the best ways because it brings the best clients.
Typically, there are several types of customers in every business. There are those who do not want to learn more about their problem or learn more at all. They just want a solution. They want a magic pill that will solve their problems without them having to do much. The problem with this type of customer is that many of such customers live their lives in the mode of constantly searching for new magic pills, jumping from one shiny object to another.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is a customer who is determined to find more about his or her problem. Such a customer starts the buying process looking for information and doing research. This type of customer is usually worth more to a business in the long-term because he or she is not likely to be seduced by a new shiny object. Even if such a shiny object appears on the market, this customer will want to do some research.
The best way to attract these customers is to write books, articles and white papers. By providing valuable information, these written materials will turn you into an expert. People will be reading your books and then seeking you out. If you were to look for them and put the same information in front of them, this would not have the same impact that occurs when they discover you on their own.
- Record videos
Different people prefer to consume content in different ways, which is why you can use the same information to write books or white papers and shoot videos. Videos can be very powerful because they allow you to communicate with your prospects not only verbally, but also non-verbally. Psychologists have established long ago that only a small part of human communication is verbal. Most of the communication happens on the non-verbal level and video allows you to communicate on this deeper level. With video, you can enhance your message by how you look, how confidently you talk, and by what is happening in the background. For example, if own a retail store, you can shoot a video of you with a lot of customers shopping in your store in the background. This will have the same effect as does driving by a restaurant with a parking lot full of cars. You immediately start assuming that the restaurant is really good because it is popular because you are seeing all the cars on the lot. This is something that printed media can’t help you accomplish as effectively as video can.
- Host webinars
The most effective way to deliver content is to communicate it in person. This is why to this day most of the children go to regular schools. Scientific research shows that online education simply can’t replace live interactions between teachers and students. When you interact with someone live, you can see their body language and face expression as you are delivering content. You can go slower or go faster depending on the audience. You can stop and answer questions if your audience gets confused. You can’t do all of these things with pre-recorded materials, yet you can accomplish them with live webinars, which is why webinars can be a very effective mechanism of content delivery. In addition to that, webinars can also be a very effective sales tool because you can link expiring offers to them. This is not something you can do with a book or a YouTube video.
- Build follow-up funnels
No matter how good your content, people today are very busy. Also, it is very likely that when looking for content online, a person would have several tabs open in his or her browser. For these reasons, you want to capture the contact information of your content consumers as quickly as possible and then follow up with them via email, phone, ringless voicemail and other methods. In a follow-up funnel you can tell more about your company, you can introduce prospects to your products and services, share useful information and tips about what you offer. If you have a lot of experience in your industry, you most likely have no problems separating quality from the absence of such. This is not the case with most people. Most people do not know how to choose quality in an industry that they are not familiar with. This is especially true when it comes to services because the quality of service is always subjective and what is great service for one person can be terrible service for someone else. This includes everything from dentistry to choosing a new cellphone to going to a restaurant. You funnel is a place where you can not only talk about your products and services but also educate your prospects about choosing what’s right for them and being able to identify low quality.
- Offer experiences and live events
When you are delivering any kind of information to a person via the Internet or printed media such as books, you are dealing with one person at a time. It may feel that you are sending one email and thousands of people read it simultaneously if you have a big list, yet in reality, it’s one subscriber reading one email at a time, even if this is happening at the very same time. No matter what you are selling, when a person is separated from you by a screen, the degree of trust is lower. Also, the person may be thinking that he or she is alone with the problems. When people come to an event and see a lot of people around them interested in the same subject, having the same needs, wants and desires, they have a very different experience. When they see someone speaking from the stage, the experience is very different from watching a video. These are the reasons why live events can be a very effective way to deliver content and create a bond with your prospects and customers.