Depending on your business, content could be almost anything: a simple checklist, a series of articles, video, whitepapers, reports, your company blog, podcasts, webinars… It’s anything created for the purpose of providing valuable information to your client. It’s pull marketing, not push marketing. Prospects are drawn to you, rather than you pushing your firm brochures and sales meetings at them.
One of the best features of content marketing is how it helps you leverage your marketing and sales efforts. Instead of making sales calls and meeting with prospects one-on-one, your content reaches tens, hundreds or thousands of people. Content works for you, 24x7x365.
Here’s a good example of the effectiveness of content marketing:
When Lori was the marketing director for a professional services firm – engineering/architecture – she created a content marketing campaign around a new highway interchange design that created 12 leads for new projects, the #1 search result on Google, interviews with major newspapers and resulted in $300,000 in new business.
Most remarkably, her firm never designed the interchange that we became well known for through the campaign. It started when one of the firm’s engineers told Lori about a new type of interchange design that would greatly improve safety, called a “diverging diamond interchange.” At the time, it didn’t exist in the US, only in Europe, but one was being planned in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lori wrote a 1200-word educational piece about the diverging diamond interchange in the style of a magazine article, and quoted her firm’s traffic engineer in it. She posted the article on the firm’s website, promoted it using social media and within a couple of weeks, her company had the #1 search result on Google for “diverging diamond interchange.” Being the #1 result when people typed “Diverging Diamond Interchange” into Google led to prospective clients from South Africa, Uruguay, and U.S. states Utah, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee calling her firm to inquire about our traffic engineering services – the first time the firm had ever received inbound inquiries.
A few of these leads turned into other types of projects, resulting in $300,000 in fees. After the article had been on the firm’s website for three weeks, they received a call from a Kansas City Star newspaper reporter, who interviewed and quoted her firm’s lead traffic engineer. Other newspapers also conducted interviews and wrote articles on the diverging diamond interchange.
Because Lori’s firm wrote the most informative article on the interchange design, they were widely viewed as the experts on that topic.
Here are three steps to start attracting leads with content:
- 1: First, think about your business from your client’s perspective. What are the top 20-30 questions that prospects and clients ask?
- 2: Write those questions down. Be sure to use the exact words and phrases that prospects and client use – it’s key.
- 3: Next, write answers to those questions. You can publish the questions and answers as blog posts on your company website, record them as separate short videos or write a series of articles.
Why is this so effective? Put yourself in the mind of your prospect: most often he or she is using a search engine like Google to search for the answer to a specific question. By creating content that includes your prospect’s exact questions and provides solid answers, you’ll be at the top of the search results.
By consistently sharing valuable information, your web visitors and prospects come to know you, like you and trust you. And then they buy from you. Content Marketing is worth considering for many businesses.