By running a content marketing campaign, you’re certainly expecting one or more of these results:
- Increased leads and sales
- Increased brand awareness and trust
- Established thought leadership
- Increased web traffic and search engine rankings
No doubt, content marketing will ultimately deliver your desired results — provided you offer high quality content and not crap.
But there’s more to lead generation than content marketing. I mean, you won’t generate leads just by offering high quality, engaging, and problem-solving content for free. In fact, content marketing is just one of the four parts of an efficient lead generation “machine”.
So, what are the three other parts of this machine? What does each part do? And how do these parts work together to generate leads?
You’ll get answers to all these questions — right in this post. Just read on.
You’ll agree with me that a machine won’t be efficient if one of its core parts is missing or installed wrongly. The same applies to a lead generation machine, which usually has four core parts:
- An offer (quality content)
- A call-to-action (CTA)
- A landing page
- A form
Now, let’s discuss the function of each part.
1. The offer
An offer is any form of content that is high in value. Examples of offers include blog posts, ebooks, videos, free consultations, podcasts, whitepapers, free webinars, etc.
Offers help to attract an audience. And that’s why they must be very irresistible. The size of your audience hinges on the attractiveness of your offer. So, only compelling offers will attract a large audience.
This part of a lead generation machine is spurred into action through content marketing. And it must be done right, for you to get your desired results. Go wrong with your content marketing campaign and all parts of your machine will fail woefully.
Your content is your offer, and its quality dictates your end results.
2. The call-to-action (CTA)
This is an image button, a banner or text that prompts the reader to take an action — buy, subscribe, download, register, or share. (A good example of a call-to-action can be found at the bottom of this post.)
A call-to-action links to (and therefore redirects readers to) either a landing page or (directly to) a form.
You call-to-action must be brief, clear, distinct from other content of your page, and it must redirect to your form or landing page — not somewhere else.
3. The landing page
A landing page is a specialized page that gives full information about an offer (free or paid), plus a form to download that offer.
Your landing page is quite unlike other pages of your website and, therefore, must be specially designed to suit its role.
You can use your landing page to give more information either about your free offer or about a new product or service.
Whichever way you use it, ensure that your landing page contains every information the reader needs about the offer. Though very detailed, it must be succinct.
Your landing page works best when the title matches with your CTA, contains just the few words enough to give every detail, and emphasizes the benefits of the offer.
4. The form
A form is used to collect prospects’ contact information. Without a form, you won’t be able to send important messages to prospects — such as messages about new offers, or those offering helpful information.
For your form to work well, you must keep it short by adding only a few necessary fields.
Now, let’s see how these parts work together
After we’ve discussed the role of each part of a lead generation machine, let’s now look at how they function together as a complex. Here’s the simple explanation:
- Your offer attracts prospects and engages them (in an attempt to convince them to obey your CTA)
- While they’re exploring your content, your call-to-action (embedded within your content) prompts them to click a link to complete an action
- The link redirects them to your landing page, on which lies your form
- Your landing page convinces them to fill the form (by stating the benefits they’ll gain from that).
- Your form collects their contact information and sends them to your autoresponder service.
And that’s it! Each time things happen as explained, you win a prospect, a potential customer.
Do you now understand how the lead generation machine works? I’m sure you did.
That’s not all…
In addition to all you’ve just learned in this post, it’s very important you know to adjust each of these parts in order to get the best results. In this post, I offered proven tips on how you can develop a great offer for a productive content marketing campaign.
In future posts, I’ll be explaining how you can optimize other parts of your lead generation machine: your CTA, landing page, and form. To get instant updates when those posts go live, follow me on Twitter, and Google+
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