Tag Archives: content strategy

5 Reasons Your Content is Failing to Generate Leads

14 April 2015 Theresa Mills 14 Comments Content Marketing

Not long ago, I talked to a friend who worked for an SaaS company. He said that everyone in the company was required to write a blog once a week – but they HATED doing it. In fact, it became a bit of a joke around the office about whose turn it was that week to write their blog. LOSER!

As you can imagine, their blogs weren’t very good and they definitely didn’t generate new leads.

If this story sounds familiar, then you’re probably not giving content the time and effort it deserves. The shotgun approach to content production has been proven over and over again not to work.

Here are 5 reasons why your content is failing to generate leads:

YOU DON’T HAVE A CONTENT STRATEGY

Every piece of content should have a reason for being produced: to support higher-level objectives. Without a strategy, content becomes a confusing and random exercise that doesn’t produce any results and leaves management shaking their heads. Content needs to be analyzed and measured just like every other marketing effort, and new strategies need to be developed in place of strategies that aren’t producing any return. You should know when, where, how and why you’re producing every content offer and you should be making sure that your content is getting in the hands of your target audience. Content should always be working for you in a strategic way to generate new leads – but without a strategy, your efforts will fall flat.

YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

What’s the point of producing content for just anyone? You’re in business to make money and your content should support that goal. How are you going to drive new leads to your website if you’re not giving your prospects the kind of content they want? Understand what your audience consumes and where they consume it. Make sure you understand their needs and wants and produce the kind of informative content they’re searching for online.  If you consistently produce content that solves their problems, you’ll eventually become a trusted resource.

YOUR CONTENT ISN’T VERY GOOD

Not just anything will do. We’re in a state of content overload on the internet which means you’ve got A LOT of competition. Your content needs substance and it needs to provide new information for your readers. Lack of time is one of the top reasons cited for producing poor-quality content. Fortunately, there are scores of quality freelance writers available to alleviate your burden. Writing isn’t something that just anyone can do – it’s a skill, like any other skill, that takes time to perfect. If you want results, sometimes it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

YOUR DISTRIBUTION IS TOO LIMITED

Many people fail at generating leads from their content because the right people aren’t seeing it. Distribution is KEY to getting people to read your contact. One tweet or post with a link to your blog isn’t going to drive any significant amount of new traffic. You need to get creative with distribution. Here are some ideas:

1. Create a monthly newsletter with links to your blogs that you can email to your prospects

2. Look into guest blogging opportunities within your industry

3. Following industry influencers on all of your social sites, engage with them, comment on their blogs and see what kinds of blogs they’re sharing

Sites like Buzz Sumo are a great way to see what kinds of blogs are performing well in your industry, who the influencers are, and what kinds of blogs influencers are sharing so you can try and get your content in front of them.

YOU DON’T HAVE GOOD CALLS TO ACTION

Once again, this goes back to the bigger picture of WHY you’ve created content in the first place. You’ve done it to drive new leads to your business. It’s great if your target audience is reading your content, but do you know what you want them to do after they read it? It’s essential to have a call to action in every piece of content you produce – and that call to action should be strong enough to entice your readers to go a step further with you and click on your CTA.

Inbound Marketing is proven to work when done properly. If you don’t have the time to give your inbound marketing the effort it deserves, agencies like Smashdeck Marketing can help. We’d be happy to set up a free consultation to see why your current content marketing isn’t working and how we can help make it better.

Don’t believe inbound marketing works? Download our free white paper to see the facts: Inbound Marketing: Let’s Talk Numbers. Why Content Makes Good Business Sense.   

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The “Hey just checking in” Sales Call

9 April 2015 smashdeck Leave a comment Sales Growth

You know the story. Jake is a sales rep looking to sell his medical disposable product to Jan, the Purchasing Manager for a local hospital. Jake calls Jan every other week to say, “Hey just checking in.” What he’s really saying is “I know you haven’t made a decision yet on whether to purchase our product but I thought I’d call anyways at the off chance you have.” Not the best use of time for either party.

However, this sort of thing happens all day long. Why not provide Jan more information that will help her and her team through the sales process? This is when educational content that drives prospects into the consideration stage really helps. A case study, for example, can help Jan to conceptually understand what Jake’s product can really do for her and the company. The way to avoid the just ‘checking in call’ is to nurture Jan with valuable content that will earn her trust and value Jake’s company as a solution provider rather than a product pusher.

To properly assess what stage a prospect is in the sales funnel, take a look at these three criteria:

Develop a lead scoring system:

A lead scoring system scores your leads based on their actions. For example: when a prospect downloads a white paper, they receive a different score than if they attended a webinar.

Leads will make their way through your sales process by educating themselves with your material. At a certain point you will want to “trigger” a direct action, a personal email or a phone call. A lead scoring system can help you determine when this ‘right time’ is.

Develop a content strategy:

There is no doubt about the power of content. Without a content strategy you won’t understand your audience, which makes it hard to communicate.

A content strategy accomplishes the following:

  • Identifies your target audience or multiple personas
  • Gives you a genuine understanding of your customers including their behaviors, their needs and the best way to reach them
  • Helps you develop a competitive analysis so you can identify your competition and differentiate your brand

Set up email nurturing sequences:

Lead nurturing is as, if not more important than getting the lead in the first place. Most sales, for B2B companies especially, aren’t transactional. The first time a user learns about your brand, is most likely not the same time they’re ready to make a purchase. Lead nurturing helps to fill in the gap. The “just checking in” sales call should be replaced with a lead-nurture sequence that provides relevant and timely information that nurtures the user to that specific buying stage.

Just look at these stats:

  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost (Forrester Research)
  • Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails (Jupiter Research)

Jake is a happy camper if inbound marketing can help him avoid the ‘just checking in’ sales call. He can then focus his time on closing the prospects who are actually ready to buy.

Inbound Marketing Kick-Start

 

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