This is almost certainly not the first article you’ve read about content marketing. The Internet is littered with them; good marketers trying to help small business owners get more out of their marketing efforts through content generation.
But it’s not that easy.
You can’t just write a blog post and flip a switch to start generating dozens of new leads. There’s a lot more going on behind the curtain. You have to connect with your audience in targeted ways.
So rather than repeat the same tired (and somewhat useless) tips about quality content and writing for your readers first, let’s look at real, specific ways that the content on your website can be used to connect with your target audience on the things they care about most.
Build Content Around Singular Actionable Items
Keep your content concise and to the point. This doesn’t necessarily mean short, but it does mean you should avoid meandering, unfocused pieces that don’t necessarily provide value to the reader.
For every piece of content you write – whether it is a blog post, the script for a YouTube video, or an eBook – imagine the one problem your audience has that you can resolve. Develop content focused on solving that problem.
Complete guides to broad topics can be extremely valuable and will still generate downloads, but they take much longer, slowing down your marketing campaign, and they will attract more general leads – possibly including people you may not be interested in doing business with.
By building content around a single actionable concern, you can get stronger, more targeted leads through your efforts.
Clearly Define the Role of Each Piece of Content
A strong piece of content is not only well written, but well situated in your marketing funnel. When writing an eBook, or preparing a case study, what is the specific role of that piece? Where will it live on your website, who will read it, when will you email it to prospects?
More importantly, at what stage in the buying process will a prospective lead be interested in this content?
Imagine your ideal customer is on a 1,000 mile road trip from their home (not knowing anything about you or what your products do) to yours (becoming a customer). At what milepost will this piece of content live? Is it a Milepost 5 acknowledgement of the problem they face, or is it a Milestone 800 introduction to your services and pricing?
Know exactly where your content will live and it will perform much better when developed.
Pair Lead Magnets with Strong Published Content
It’s tempting to link to the same eBook over and over again on every page of your site. After all, you didn’t have anything on your site before, so that one book is better than nothing, right?
While this is true, it won’t result in the strongest results for your marketing efforts. The more targeted and specific each downloadable marketing offer you create is, the better it will perform.
So think of the different problems people visiting your site might have and how you can address them in different formats and with different subjects. Create content that covers these concerns and marketing offers that relate to them. For some businesses this might mean 3-5 different eBooks all working to provide value very early in the buyer’s journey. For others, it might mean only 1-2 offers. For others still, it might mean 30+ different offers.
There is no cookie cutter formula for this. It’s entirely dependent on your business and the problems faced by your audience. If you are stuck while trying to figure this out, get help from a good internet marketing specialist who understands this.
Invest Heavily in Your Headline
The single most important slice of real estate on any page of your website is the headline. It captures attention, defines the page’s purpose, and spells out the value proposition of what you’ve written.
So spend as much time on this as possible. You only have 10-20 seconds to capture and hold the attention of the average web user – your headline is the lynchpin to making this happen.
This does not, however, mean you should get overly creative and try to pen the world’s snarkiest headlines. On the contrary, simply, straightforward and to the point often get the job done best. I always look for the following when evaluating a headline:
- Does it clearly spell out what the visitor will get?
- Is it phrased in terms of benefits?
- Is it short enough to be scanned in less than 4 seconds?
- Does it make immediate sense without any jokes, metaphors, or rereads?
In some industries, additional rules may apply. Concrete numbers that make the headline more definite might be important if discussing a piece of technology or medical supplement. The goal is to be direct and ensure someone knows exactly what they are getting from your site.
Write to a Specific Individual
At first, persona marketing can seem counterintuitive.
Talk only to one person instead of broadening your message to as wide an audience as possible? Why would you want to do that?
But there’s a subtle magic in this kind of targeting. By identifying not only the demographics, but the actual needs and desires of your ideal customer, you can create much more specific content that speaks to real problems instead of general observations.
It doesn’t matter if the exact wording of your content strikes a chord with every reader. It will strike a resounding chord with the small handful of perfect targets you’ve been trying to track down, and others will respond to that personal-touch.
By following these five tips, you can produce better targeted, more specific content that speaks to the needs of your target audience in the most effective way possible. By doing this, you will generate more leads with the same efforts, and see much greater results from your content marketing actions.
Learn more about how to optimize the existing pages on your site to convert and create new leads at much higher rates with our newest eBook – the Landing Page Conversion Optimization Checklist: