Katie Lamberg Sevenseven

Written by Katie Lamberg in Marketing

How to Supercharge Your Content Marketing Plan and Generate Leads

Content Marketing Plan

Check out recent figures on HubSpot, and you’ll discover that 63% of companies rate generating leads and traffic as their number one marketing challenge. Businesses are blogging more than ever, and anyone involved in marketing will understand that content is one powerful way of attracting customers to your site. But how well is that content being used to actively generate leads, solving that number one marketing concern?

Making your marketing budget work harder

Recent figures from WebDAM state that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. With stats like these, it’s hardly surprising that businesses are eager to get their blogs up to date. But if you step away from the basic idea that you must blog for blogging’s sake, you can start to evaluate content marketing as a means to lead generation. To do this, you’ll need to get analytical, and review your sales funnel. With more marketers spending more on content marketing than ever before, it makes sense to ensure that every penny is being invested wisely.

What effective content marketing does

Quite simply, a targeted content marketing plan will help a customer in their decision-making process. It’s well documented that people take time to evaluate their choices before making a purchase. Stats from Gleanster Research reveal that only 50% of qualified leads are ready to buy. From your perspective, that means that there’s still a lot of nurturing to do, before you can think about converting that sale.

A solid content marketing plan will focus using a variety of different types of content to do that. But all this is only possible with a thorough understanding of your customer, and their journey through the sales funnel. From there, you can start to target content pieces to defined buying personas to get the best results.

Where do you start?

In theory, this all sounds great, right? But you may be wondering at this stage how to begin with the analytical side of things. If you use an agency with the right know-how, they’ll be able to look into analytics for you, giving you the data and research you need to start building your content marketing plan. Without having all the fancy CRM tools inhouse, this can be the most effective way of getting the insights you need from the start. For instance, our team here will:

  1. Check out lead scoring – this basically means we’ll find out which pages your leads are visiting on your site, how long they spend there, and whether they interact with your social media channels.
  2. See where people are in the buying process – put simply, are they just getting to know your brand and building their awareness, evaluating you as a buying option, or are they ready to make a purchase.
  3. Design a content map – this will be based around these three points of the buying cycle. From there, you can design content pieces that help them along each stage, giving them the information they need to move along to the next step.

Designing your content plan

Depending on where the lead is in the buying cycle, certain types of content can work especially well. The other thing to consider, is where and how your audience will be engaging with you. Some of this will come down to who your typical customer is, and where they spend their time. For instance, whether that’s travelling from place to place or sat in an office.

Here are just some of the types of content you could integrate into your plan:

  • Blogs – quickly look up those stats on HubSpot, and you’ll find that 53% of marketers name blogging as their number one marketing priority. As a top way of also generating leads, it’s a key part of any content strategy.
  • Whitepapers – as with any type of content, whitepapers are an excellent tool if targeted correctly. Knowing your audience and what information they will find valuable is key, and that all comes back to your analytics. B2B marketers in particular see the value in whitepapers, with 51% of them integrating them into their content marketing plan already.
  • eBooks – also used as a way to inform the reader, eBooks are an effective way of giving your audience added value. Particularly in the earlier stages of the buying cycle, this type of content can set you apart as an expert in your field, and a reliable source of information. Written right and they can be good, evergreen content too.
  • Podcasts – with podcast usage growing 23% between 2015 and 2016, it’s seen as another investment area by marketers. One of its clear benefits, is that it allows people to engage with your brand while they’re on-the-go. This makes it a powerful tool for attracting harder-to-reach audiences.
  • Articles – back in the B2B world, 79% of marketers use articles. You could say it’s a go-to for many marketing bods. But even here, you need to be clued up on what makes a good article and how they can work for you. Check out recommended word lengths to see how Google will rate your content, and make sure you break it up with images. Lots of studies have shown that images dramatically increase the effectiveness of content.
  • Case studies – this is one example of a type of content piece which is perfect for later in the buying cycle. Once people have researched your brand and got to know you, they’ll be more open to sales messages. Case studies can actively demonstrate your experience and capabilities, backing up your claims with facts and figures.

Get more exposure with every piece!

The hard work certainly doesn’t stop at the initial research or the content creation. From there it’s down to you to promote your content through every suitable channel to spread the word.

Social media will form a big part of this next stage, along with emails. Plus, you’ll need to think about structuring your website in the best way to make it easy for people to hop on at the right place. And finally, always keep track of how your content marketing strategy is going. Without those smart insights, you’ll be back to working blind in the dark.

If you would like to discuss how to supercharge your content management and generate leads, get in touch today.

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