Is Content Marketing a Viable Lead Generation Tactic? Yes, but…

We saw a question recently in an online group to the effect of: “Is content marketing a viable lead generation tactic?” Great question, but not one that can be easily answered. The short answer is a resounding YES! But…

 

Content marketing is definitely a very viable lead generation tactic and one that has been used by companies for decades (even before digital marketing made this a trendy tactic/term).

The “But” of Content Marketing as an Effective Lead-Gen Tactic

The but, though, is because content marketing doesn’t directly generate leads in most situations. Instead, it serves as a foundational element of establishing a company or individual as a trusted expert. Doing this increases the odds that, when a person is in a position to make a purchasing decision for a product or service you offer, you’re top of mind. Not only top of mind, but if you’ve established a reputation as being knowledgeable and trustworthy, you’re also more likely to be selected as the provider of choice.

We use content marketing extensively for our own business – Strategic Communications, LLC, a content marketing/consulting firm established in 2008. We also work with a number of clients – individuals and organizations – to create content for various channels (websites, social media, blog posts, white papers, case studies, ebooks, contributed articles, ebooks, etc.).

To be effective, content marketing must also be:

  • Targeted to address a specific audience’s needs, interests and pain points
  • Relevant and well-written
  • Easy to consume (e.g. short paragraphs, bulleted lists, headings and sub-heads, grammatically correct, etc.)
  • Informational, not overly promotional

Do this consistently and you’ll eventually find that you’re generated leads on a regular basis. Eventually. Because…

It Takes Time to Build Presence

Content marketing isn’t as immediate as, for example, direct mail marketing. The idea isn’t that you write a post and ask for a sale. Content marketing is more of a long-term strategy that is supportive of other marketing efforts—not through blatant promotion, calls-to-action or sales copy—but through thought leadership. It can work for individuals, companies and products. For instance, some of the early examples of content marketing that are often pointed to include John Deere, Michelin and Jell-O.

Here’s how it works.

 

Content Marketing for a Consumer Brand

A woman interested in make-up ideas and trends comes across a blog on a make-up product’s website that she really likes. The information is practical and relevant and helps her make good decisions and choices about make-up selection and application. The next time she needs a new product, chances are that this company will be top-of-mind when she’s making a decision.

Content Marketing for a Business-to-Business Brand

A small business owner needs help with marketing. The business owner comes across a blog from a marketing agency that addresses various marketing issues that are important to them in easy-to-understand ways, providing tips and step-by-step ideas on how to implement various strategies and tactics themselves. Eventually, though, the business owner no longer has time to do-it-themself. They need to hire some help. The agency with the blog posts they’ve been reading will, as in the consumer example, be top-of-mind and the business owner will already be strongly and favorably disposed to them.

That’s how it works. There’s really nothing magical about it. Can content marketing be an effective lead generation tool?

Yes, but…

Want to learn more about how you might use content to establish yourself, or your company, as a thought leader and trusted provider of whatever product or service you have to offer? Let us know how we can help.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Recommended Reading

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR: Tips and Best Practices for Gaining Media Exposure

Tags: , , , , , , , ,