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Content marketing has become very popular in recent years as a strategy to establish awareness and interest for a business or brand.

Blogging. Social media marketing. Webinars. White papers. eBooks. They are all different tactics and formats for business to leverage content marketing.

But are businesses generating content marketing leads?

The most important aspect of marketing for any business is to generate leads. If your content marketing measures have not generated sufficient volumes of business leads, then your campaigns should be revised.

For most business owners, generating content marketing leads should be the basis for deciding on such as campaign. Investment in, should create business value and result in profit out.

So how do you secure content marketing leads? And how do you do so before even typing a word?

It’s imperative that you first get the foundations for your content marketing campaign right…

Establish Your Capture Resources

In order to realise content marketing leads, you have to first understand how you will capture information.

This is usually done via forms.

Your forms can be visible on landing pages, splash pages, scrolling boxes, pop-ups, in emails. No matter where you decide to use forms to capture content marketing leads, they must acquire the data you will need to convert users into paying customers.

For instance, if your business is based solely online selling phone accessories, you will rarely need to capture a phone number. The most useful information would be an email address, so that you can build your database and market your products and promotions going forwards.

Establish Your Conversion Resources

Content marketing leads that are generated should always be followed up with otherwise what’s the point taking time and spending money in the first place?

Don’t let content marketing leads via your web forms gather dust in your databases. Use email marketing to deliver timely, relevant information to move leads through your sales funnel.

Depending on your business, you might also like to follow up with phone conversations, send product samples to addresses that were captured, or meet in person to provide initial consultancy sessions.

Now that your campaign foundations are set, you can start to generate content marketing leads, even before writing your next article.

First Understand Your Customers Problems

You need to understand who your target audience is, what problems they face and plan to write about these topics. It sounds simple, but businesses tend to write about either:

  1. Themselves, or
  2. Something random.

You should research keywords around each problem you identified using Google Adwords Keyword Planner and optimise your posts for search. Typically, your biggest source of website traffic will be organic traffic coming from search engines, so missing this step will be crucial for the long-term value of your website content.

Leverage Existing Content

Without a doubt, someone would have already written an article about the problems your customers face or the topics you have brainstormed. Imagine all the possible interactions that article might have already had online, including:

  • Comments
  • Links
  • Shares

This is valuable information that you’re able to leverage for your own campaigns. If you can find and organise all those people who have already engaged with a similar article then essentially you are building a list of potential leads.

Those people have already indicated that they are interested in the topic or solution to the problem, so starting from afresh and ignoring these interactions online would be a missed opportunity.

How do you find and organise users who have commented, shared or link to a similar article in the past?

  1. Open Site Explorer is a tool that will show you all the linkers to an existing article.
  2. Advanced Twitter searches will highlight those that shared the article on Twitter. Simply put the article title between “” for exact phrase match and the results will populate.
  3. If the article has many comments, then HTML Extraction tools can be used to discover all the on-page links. By going through the list, you will see which links relate to each comment.

Turn Data Into Value

Once you have a database of potential content marketing leads, which should be done prior to even writing a word on your next article, prepare your engagement plan. You need to plan how you will interact with these different content marketing leads and the value of each interaction and positive result.

It might be that you reach out on various social media networks or send emails to create awareness for your upcoming article.

Whatever the tactic, ensure that you understand how you can turn content marketing leads into business value successfully. Remember to link to your capture resources and make sure your conversion resources are setup and ready to go.

Are You Generating Content Marketing Leads?

If you’re actively using content to market your business, then think about whether or not you’re maximising the impact on your efforts. If your primary objective is lead generation, then are your content marketing strategies aligned to this goal?

Has your content generated leads before?

Are you regularly learning and implementing new approaches to content marketing lead generation?

Image source: brafton