Would you rather have a click-through rate of 0.01 percent, or one of more than 20 percent?
No, it’s not a trick question.
When strategizing how to identify and nurture leads, you need to decide whether to use pay-per-click or content marketing — or both. The two strategies have complementary pros and cons.
The advantage of PPC is that you only pay for the visitors who actually arrive at your site; the disadvantage is that the success rate can be very low — like 0.01 percent. With content marketing, of course, you pay all expenses — website, staffing, production of material — regardless of traffic. This isn’t as crazy as it seems, though, since once you get the visitors to your site, 20 percent or more will click through to explore further. In addition, once posted, the content can remain available indefinitely, unlike a PPC campaign with a limited time frame.
This can make content marketing an extremely effective means of lead nurturing. Here are four tips to keep your investment cost-effective:
Provide the content that potential customers are looking for. You’ll get more traffic and better retention with targeted content. To find out what this content is:
- Start by talking to your own team. Both Sales and Customer Service know quite a bit about your customers’ concerns. Talk to these departments directly, and make sure those lines of communication are wide open going forward.
- Use unbranded surveys and interviews to find out what your customers’ issues are and how you can help resolve them.
- Eavesdrop on potential customers where they congregate on social media sites like LinkedIn Groups, Quora, and Yahoo Answers.
Use your existing customers as a resource for content. Effective content is based on story-telling, and the stories potential customers want to read are about how you can solve their problems. Organize the testimonials and other feedback you already have, gather more from Customer Service and Sales, and ask customers to provide them going forward. Some may turn into full case studies, but even those that don’t can provide vivid details for blog posts.
Repurpose all material that you create. Start with a substantial piece of content, then spin off sections of it into other formats. If you have written a major downloadable white paper, use each of the chapters as individual ebooks or blog posts, or transform sections of the material into slide shows, infographics, podcasts and webinars. Promote each of these pieces through email, social media, and links on your website. If it’s useful information — and you won’t have wasted your time on it otherwise, right? — give people as many chances as possible to encounter it.
Put a single person in charge of the entire process. That person will not be creating all the content herself, of course, but you risk duplication of effort — and dilution of your message — if more than one person is developing elements willy-nilly. One person should be responsible for coordinating and delegating all elements, including planning, scheduling, and posting content; building an audience; and monitoring results.