Thinking about how content can support your lead gen?
Different types of content lend themselves to different stages of the customer journey. Each type of content has a purpose, and therefore a defined structure and narrative, which requires specific messaging. For lead generation (lead gen) we’re starting at the top of the funnel, which means you need to focus on content like social media, email marketing, and events.
That doesn’t mean if you fire out a few updates on LinkedIn, blast out some emails, or rock up to a conference with a rollup banner, you magically fill your spreadsheet with leads.
My youngest used to love The Cat in the Hat. He’d demand the book was read every night before bed and insist on watching the film every day. But for me there is one line that sticks out more than any other:
“Look at me! Look at me now!”
Why? Because the cat is demanding attention, rather than commanding it.
You can shout as loud as you want with a funny GIF, poll, or photo of your team at an awards dinner. Sure, it might cause your audience to turn their head for a second (maybe even get a ‘like’ if you’re lucky), but you haven’t given your audience a reason to remember you.
Attention is one thing. But you want to earn the right to speak with them, because you’ve made your audience want to engage with you. Establish a schedule of regular, interesting, and engaging top of the funnel content, and you clearly position and differentiate yourself, which encourages a tribe to follow you, and ultimately creates a drip feed of leads into your sales funnel.
The best place to start your content creation is…
Further down the funnel. At the ‘marketing qualified stage’ (MQL), you should be busy creating blogs, articles, case studies, white papers, guides, and reports to convert your leads. These are all valuable sources of content because they contain the skills, knowledge, and experience of your subject matter experts. On every page is your company’s IP, which is what your audience wants to read because it’s of value to them.
Therefore, use social media and email marketing as channels to drive traffic towards your MQL content – a bit like a stealth conversion.
Download the Dinky Docs
The following 1-pagers are designed to help you get started with email marketing (because there’s nothing worse than staring with a blank sheet of paper!).
Watch any TED Talk and the presenter jumps straight into the story rather than waste precious time introducing themselves and what they’re going to talk about (remember, your audience doesn’t care about you, only themselves). No. The presenter is straight into the action because that’s what the audience is there to hear.
Book recommendation: “TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks”, by Akash Karia. Buy now on Amazon
Your social and email content is the same. Jump in with the valuable stuff your audience wants to hear, because it’s through the MQL content that you show the value you have to offer.
Think about it, would you have got this far into my article if I’d started it with something like:
“Hello! I’m Alice Hollis, a freelance executive ghostwriter and B2B tech copywriter who helps organisations to distil their expertise into compelling content that converts customers. Before establishing my own business in 2014, I worked as a B2B tech marketer for a decade both in-house as a marketing manager, and agency-side as a marketing consultant.”
Do you really care about me? No. You’re here because you want to find out about how to create content to support your lead generation, which is why I jumped straight into the action and immediately gave you something of value.
However, we need to treat events differently…
How to create content around your events to generate more leads
Events come in all shapes and sizes: conferences, roundtable discussions, breakfast seminars, lunch n learns, webinars, dinner & drinks…
Like content, each type of event serves a specific purpose, but the outcome is always the same: learning. And it’s this learning that is going to help you reach a much larger audience.
Events are great for getting face time with your audience, but because they happen at a specific point in time, once the moment has passed you miss the opportunity to engage with anyone who wasn’t present.
Or do you?
Repurpose the learning from your event into long-form copy, like a white paper, and suddenly you have a valuable asset to take to market and engage your target audience (brownie points if you repurpose it several times to target specific sectors!). And again, because this would fall under MQL content, you can use your social and email marketing to capture new leads and drive them towards the conversion.
Repurpose your event into a white paper to extend the life of your campaign, which long-term will deliver a far greater return.
|Download the Dinky Doc
This 1-pager contains my process for repurposing an event into a white paper. Download your copy…
BONUS! 10 content creation ideas for LinkedIn
When it comes to social media you need to choose the channel(s) that are right for your business, because they help you engage with your specific target audience. For me, that’s LinkedIn. If you’re looking for advice on how to create content for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or any of the thousands other social platforms, take a look at the Being Freelance Directory, which includes some incredible talent who willingly share their expertise through their own content.
The following recommendations are based on my own experience of experimenting on LinkedIn to find the sorts of content that best engages my audience:
🧁Sharing posts and content from people in my network – don’t forget to tag them!
🧁Posing a question or asking for help.
🧁Answering a question. Think about what your customers ask you most often and write the answer in a post.
🧁Shout outs to people who have helped me or share useful content I feel my network will benefit from.
🧁Book recommendations, because there are sooo many awful business books out there!
🧁Personal stories that give a little insight into who I am (because if my weird is your weird, our relationship is likely to get off to a great start).
🧁Something unexpected – rather than why you should work with me, reasons you shouldn’t work with me.
🧁Showcasing industry best practice. For me that’s sharing examples of wonderful copy out in the wild, but for you that could be highlighting a project – the important bit is that it isn’t yours.
🧁Videos. Keep it short and sweet (under 1-min).
🧁’Behind the scenes’ photos that let the audience take a sneaky peak into my world.
Still have a question?
I’ve been a professional copywriter since 2014, and before that I spent nearly a decade working as a B2B tech marketer – so I’ve been involved in my fair share of lead gen campaigns.
I’m genuinely an open book so you are more than welcome to ask me anything. All you need to do is…