Building a Content Marketing Plan that Generates Leads

Even the purist of blogger altruist would probably agree that we create content with hopes of attracting and engaging an audience. In some cases that’s just a community of likeminded people, but in most cases it’s to entice consumers to take action and engage with us–that’s a sales lead.

Producing sales leads with your website or blog requires keyword research, editorial planning, and consistent publication. All things you’ve probably heard in the past, but the secret is hidden in where you should focus your content production efforts.

In my experience, most content strategies over complicate the task with big words and overblown expectations, an approach that will scatter and dilute the potential for growing your web traffic.

I would suggest ratcheting your strategy down to this very simple framework.

Start with the basics

Most searchers are looking for the most basic of information. In fact, they often don’t even know exactly what to search for, averaging two to three additional searches before actually finding what they are looking for.

This newbie search behavior is often the sweet spot for building a consistent flow of sales leads. It’s certainly the largest volume of searches, the most likely to opt-in to your email list, and to download your content–fruitful grounds for lead generation.

By covering the most basic of concepts in your market you will attract the highest volume of prospective customers and build the greatest goodwill. The people doing these kinds of searches and research, assuming you do a good job of educating, are the most likely to become highly profitable and loyal customers.

As you’re flushing out your editorial calendar make sure you’re building this simple, easy to navigate, on-ramp that advances your visitors from the most basic of concepts and pain points right through to your ideal solution.

The journey through your simple and informative content will build trust and confidence in engaging your business, as an informed customer.

Teach them how to work with you

Right behind the propensity for us to talk over the head of most of our website visitors, I think the next biggest missed opportunity is teaching consumer how best to work with our business.

Make sure that you are building a content marketing plan that carefully educates and prepares consumers to work with our businesses in the most effective way. So often we spend a lot of time teaching consumers about what we do, convincing them that we can help them, and then calling them to action–asking them to buy. Yet, we never teach them how to work with us to get the best results.

Often we close a deal with a new client and then we go through the painful and frustrating experience of learning to work together. We’re not sure what they want and they’re not sure how to get what they want from us.

We repeatedly have fits and starts as we learn how to collaborate and continually miss expectations on both sides of the working relationship.

Make sure that in your editorial calendar includes some strong content on how to prepare and continue to work with your business in an effective way. You want to educate you prospective customer on how to prepare requirements and specification, learn to effectively communicate needs and wants, and then how to work with your business on an ongoing basis to achieve the best outcomes from the partnership.

Ask them to contact you

This should be a no brainer, but I see it so often left off of content:

Ask them to contact you!

It doesn’t even have to be a fully qualified sales lead. It just needs to encourage engagement.

Remind them on every piece of content how they can get in touch with you to ask a question, get more information, or ask for a quote. Your phone number and email should always be in quick view on all your web pages.

Don’t make becoming a sales lead too hard 🙂