Let’s say you followed my recent advice on how to create, and execute, an editorial calendar for marketing content. Here’s how to use that content for lead generation.
If all went well, your subject matter experts have created (or are creating) posts describing:
- Common problems your customers or prospects should know about;
- Industry trends that could affect their sales or profits, and
- Innovative things done by really smart customers their peers should copy.
Now, how do you use this content to generate leads? By mapping the topics they came up with to the needs of your most desirable prospects. Those are the pieces of content that, when read, signal to you which readers are a better, rather than a worse, fit for what you’re selling.
So how do you track who read what?
If you’re promoting this current to current customers or prospects, through an email newsletter, use an email distribution tool or marketing automation platform to track who read what and score them accordingly for lead generation purposes. You can then offer them follow-up content to further gauge their interest and how close they are to buying, forwarding their names to sales staff when you judge they’re ready for a call.
To capture contact information from anonymous readers (who find you through a Web search or social media) offer them something of value to capture at least their email address, such as an ebook, a “how to buy” guide or a subscription to your email newsletter.
Here are some examples of how content from your editor calendar can be used for lead generation.
- A software vendor needs resellers to boost sales of the software it developed to enhances the performance of a popular database. Because they were asked to share common customer problems, tech support offers tips on how to configure the database to boost performance. Resellers specializing in that database read the post, find it useful and provide their contact information in return for a subscription to the vendor’s newsletter. (Check out my two-minute video on using custom content to also troubleshoot channel issues.)
- A local network installation consultant is looking for new clients in the health care space. Because they were asked what smart customers are doing, someone in marketing describes how one customer took advantage of a little-known provision in Obamacare that provides tax breaks for implementing electronic health care records. The resulting post explains what those breaks are and how to get them. This attracts prospects who would consider such an upgrade if those tax breaks could help pay for it.
- A global service provider needs to identify new prospects for its ERP implementation services. Because its consultants were asked about problems customers are facing, they identified five areas where shortcomings with ERP software increase the time and effort required to go live. The resulting “five things to consider” post links to a gated white paper with details on each of the five issues. Tracking which readers register for which of the five white papers give sales a detailed idea of what to discuss in the follow-up call.
An edit calendar requires too much effort not to put it to work generating leads. Subscribe here for more tips on content marketing and lead generation for IT providers, or contact me to discuss an immediate need.
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