For the past few years, the buzzword in online lead generation was content marketing. Marketers have blogged about, wrote articles about, developed whitepapers on, and created videos on how to use optimized content to create an inbound marketing engine. Now, some say content marketing has grown tiresome and it's time for something new. Is content marketing still the go-to tool or has it run its course and is ready to go to pasture?
Is There an Information Overload?
The main objection to content marketing is that there is now a content overload. It has reached the point that the readers can no longer even consume what's being produced, and with so much content, it's remains difficult to stand out. Another objection has to do with how businesses in niche markets can get a return on investments. For example, marketing to businesses within a small subset of an industry means that there are so few businesses to target with content that it may not be worth the while. If your target market consists of, say, fewer than 100 companies, you may derive very little gain by putting out quality content.
The argument for content marketing points to the power of the Google search. Businesses still use search engines to find businesses to work with, and few scroll past the top few search results. Content marketing provides a powerful arsenal of tools to reach high Google rankings, including articles, whitepapers, videos, and webcasts. Additionally, data enrichment can assure your content places well online.
So how do you cut through the clutter? Smart content marketers are utilizing marketing data management in order to assure content is distributed effectively. Having a better understanding of the context of marketing efforts and their impact on the buyer lifecycle, plus a 360⁰ customer view required to make the most of marketing automation, can help get around these issues by delivering the content where, when, and how it needs to be to reach those target audiences.
How to Produce Great Content for Online Lead Generation
What does a good content marketing plan look like? What are your options for reaching other businesses successfully, and turning the coveted leads into valuable buy-ins?
• Articles are always popular with business owners, managers, and marketers. Business journals often rank high on search engines, primarily because they provide a chunk of robust information that is timely and actionable.
• Listicles are a useful list of items (just like this, in fact) that are supplemented with content to offer a hearty set of valuable content that is quick and easy to scan for the information the reader needs.
• Blogs tend to be less formal than articles, and are a great way to connect with readers. In fact, great industry blogs are an excellent way to establish your company as the go-to for resources and information. The frequency of blog updates also establishes you as a source of fresh content, which is always welcome.
• Whitepapers delve deeply into a subject of interest, and is an excellent tool for producing quality leads, because those who find and read your whitepapers tend to be exactly your target audience.
• Videos are an excellent way to explain concepts or products that are difficult to explore with text alone. For example, manufacturers and CAD professionals can identify with processes better when they can see those processes in action.
• Infographics are fast and easy for the reader to grasp. Instead of trying to lure a busy professional into a long, in-depth article, the infographic gives them all the information they need without much work on their part at all.
• There are other tools, too, like newsletters and audio files (like podcasts), and presentations that you can publish in separate digestible parts.
Once you have a content distribution plan in place, choose the best types of quality content to bring in those targeted audiences and generate quality leads. It is essential to master marketing data management in order to distribute content more effectively. You can employ data marketing automation to assure you are reaching the right audiences with your content. The bottom line: use what works for your business. No marketing technique ever really dies. It just gets recycled into a new way to reach the audience.
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