Content. Content. Content. It’s talked about, written, shared, repurposed and generally deemed as the lynchpin for inbound lead generation. I doubt I’d get much pushback on that statement.
But, could focusing so diligently on creating the perfect content be undermining your lead generation efforts?
No and yes. On the one hand, the content you put out (eBooks, whitepapers, guides, etc.) should be helpful to your prospects. That helps you build a reputation, brand awareness, and frankly, relevant content gets users to trust you. On the other hand, there’s the main goal of lead generation: capturing contact information. And if you don't do that, the reputation and trust stuff just won't happen.
In this article, we'll help you diagnose whether you're spending too much time trying to get your content right and not enough time focused on generating high-quality leads.
Trust Your Knowledge. Don't Research Too Long
Presumably, visitors are on your website to investigate what you have to offer and how your product or service solves their problem. If you know your industry well, you don't need to research for hours in order to advance visitors’ education at this early stage. Look at it this way: you are the expert on your product or service. Chances are, when you simply write what you know—without the bells and whistles—you’re providing the exact information visitors expect and, moreover, are willing to part with their contact information to obtain.
Your whitepapers and eBooks don't need to be dissertations in order for a lead to feel satisfied giving up their information. Make them thorough and well thought-out, but don't spend months writing content, when you could put something together more quickly for your landing pages to start generating leads.
Optimize Your Lead Generation
By stepping back from comprehensive content for the purposes of lead generation, you create an opportunity to not only capture contact information, but to use it to its best advantage. Optimizing your lead generation process is the real key to conversion:
Access - Strike while the iron is hot. Provide visitors with the content they want, and chances to get more. Let’s say they land on your blog. Don’t want to subscribe? Well, then, how about clicking that eBook offer at the end of the post? Either way, visitors are further educated and you get names and email addresses.
Action - Don’t assume visitors will hunt for next steps (research proves otherwise). Prominently place CTAs early and often to encourage click-throughs, and keep forms above the fold for maximum visibility.
Accountability - Here’s the biggie: follow-up with the leads. Crafting a lead generation process that delivers timely messages at regular intervals after a visitor’s initial contact keeps the door open to a sale, and arguably strengthens prospect relationships faster than content that is informative, but not personal.
Make No Mistake
There is a time and place for advanced content further along in the buyer’s journey, when visitor investigation turns to a viable prospect/sales opportunity. But, first things first. Let’s get that all-important contact info by focusing efforts on using content to buoy a well-oiled lead generation process.