We’d all love to have a constant drip feed of leads that we can rely on to generate new business. But people don’t just wake up one day and decide to contact you, which means you need to put specific mechanisms in place to create that drip feed of leads.
So what does that look like in practice?
There are several different tactics you could try, most of which I’ve tested in the decade I spent working as a B2B marketer prior to specialising as a copywriter. In my experience, the most effective tactic was content.
Read more about content and sales…
- Mapping content requirements to the sales cycle
- Where does thought leadership fit into the sales cycle?
- What do IT and tech businesses really think about marketing?
Do you have a blog?
While content is a really effective strategy for lead generation, it’s specifically blogging that has the widest scope to help you achieve great things.
Blogging is an effective form of content because it’s such a flexible form of content. Where white papers and case studies tend to follow a specific structure, blogs can be anything you need them to be – long-form or short-form, corporate or personal, educational or promotional, written by your company or a guest author…
And because they can be anything you need them to be, blogs can be used throughout the sales cycle to help you convert your prospects.
Here’s some ideas…
Blog content for leads
Blogging is best known as a tool for lead generation because you can pack them full of lovely keywords and give yourself a natural SEO boost online. If you want to know more about SEO for blogging, check out this dedicated post: 5 blog SEO basics
Blog content for marketing-qualified leads
Once you’ve hooked those initial leads in, you can convert them with blogs that focus on educating your audience.
At this point, your lead might not even recognise they have a particular problem, or don’t know a specific opportunity exists. Through your content, you can help them to identify the need and then educate them on how they can overcome/exploit it.
In creating useful content that is going to help someone look good within their job, or help the business to thrive, you’re demonstrating that you are someone they can trust, so you really will be that ‘trusted adviser’.
Need some ideas?
Then check out this dedicated post: A blogging cheat sheet
Blog content for sales-qualified leads
At this stage of the funnel, things are looking good for the win. But, as the saying goes, ‘it’s not over until it’s over’ – any last-minute wobble could cause the deal to completely fall through.
Using blog content, you can reassure your prospects that everything’s going to be ok, by showing them what life is going to be like post-sale. When they can visualise life as your client, any fears are laid to rest and last-minute wobbles overcome.
A great way to do this is to create a section on your website of frequently asked questions – and not questions you wish you’d been asked, but ones that really have been asked.
Go back through past emails and meeting notes or come together as a team and make a list of all the questions you’ve been asked during the sales process. For example, when I performed this exercise within my own business, my questions included:
- Can you send me some samples?
- Can we talk about working with you on a retainer-esque basis?
- What’s your availability?
- What happens with a briefing?
- Where do you get your shoes from?
I then used my blogs to create dedicated content to answer these questions. Visit my FAQs…
In creating a ‘proper’ FAQ section on your website, you now have valuable content that you can share with your leads to help give them the confidence to sign.
Blog content for clients
Even when you’ve got the win, the work doesn’t stop. If your customers don’t have a good experience, they’re not going to renew – and actually, converting your clients into advocates will help you to sell into their networks because they’ll do the hard work for you.
Creating content for your clients is all about helping them to get the most value out of your platform/product/service. You probably already have a help centre available to users, but enhancing it with rich blogging content is a great way to keep your customers happy and using all the functionality you have to offer.
Not all users are technology-savvy. Therefore, when you’re creating blogging content for your help centre, be sure to make it clear – perhaps adding screenshots, video tutorials or Live Chat functionality to help them do what they need to do.
And the bonus…
All this lovely help centre content can be repurposed to support your blog content for your leads.
For example, if your lead content piece is all about how to boost productivity in the modern workplace, and your product has certain features that support better collaboration and communication for remote workers, you can include content from your help centre to strengthen the piece.
Want to learn more?
Then get a copy of my new book: The Little Book of…Content Strategy.
It’s free and is packed with lots of tips and ideas for how to map your content onto your sales funnel to boost conversions and smooth the process.