It’s getting close to the end of the year – you can literally see the New Year poking its head over the horizon.
Ten to one, it’s been a long year of running in the hamster wheel, racking your brain for more and more content ideas in the hopes of generating some viable leads.
At this point, you’re probably tired of trying to come up with ideas. It’s been 12 long months of this, so you need a break.
You might want to get a jump on this kind of thing in January though. Probably.
So, to give you a solid foundation when the new year rolls around, here are some fabulous content ideas for your upcoming lead generation efforts.
Get Your Blogs in Gear
Here’s a fun fact: your blog is the backbone of your content strategy.
That’s it. The ultimate truth.
You don’t need to be an absolute master of content to get your strategy in order. You just need to be dedicated.
Now, you could spend hundreds of hours pouring your heart and soul into 5000-word how-to guides, detailed studies, and lengthy pieces of hyper-researched content. You could join the 9% of B2B marketers who claim to have had success with novel-length blog posts.
Or, you could smarten things up a bit.
Frankly, your major success with written content lies more in your promotion of it than the actual writing process. If none of your content is seen by prospects, how can you expect to achieve anything?
Iron Out the Primary Goal of Your Content
Your content marketing strategy should revolve around building relationships. Furthermore, you need to forge those relationships with the right kind of people. If you’re trying to sell software solutions, you shouldn’t be hooking the local ice cream truck. That goes without saying.
The best advice we can give you, is to take a rather long pause before sitting down to write anything. Determine what your motivations are before your fingers hit the keyboard.
Too many people assume that they can start writing and adjust their content afterwards. That’s simply not how it works.
Answer important questions like:
Which problems can we solve for potential customers through free content?
How can we out-teach our competitors?
Where do our target consume most of their information online? Blogs? LinkedIn groups? Quora?
Would we rather have 50 readers that are all in our target market, or 500 total readers and only a few true customers in the audience?
Do we have the core competencies to produce high-quality content? If not, how can we attract and leverage the right people?
Bottom line: if you don’t actually care about helping your customers solve a problem in their business, your content is going to be crap.
Transactional content WILL NOT SELL. Don’t use your blog as a platform to beg for purchases. It’s beneath you.
Be a teacher.
Promoting Your Content
Your content needs to be discoverable in order for it to make an impact. That much is obvious.
You need to be sure that you create content that is intentionally designed to rank well on search engines; the kind of stuff your clients will actually be looking for.
Here’s a word of warning:
Climbing to the top of the rankings takes time. It’s a rocky journey that not everyone is willing to undertake. But if you decide to take this path, you’ll reap the rewards. Evergreen content rakes in traffic for years to come.
To get your content to climb to the top of search rankings you need to focus on a combination of factors:
An accumulation of backlinks from high domain-authority websites
Guest posting slots
Social shares on all the major networks
While you wait for you footprint to grow organically, you should also consider:
Engaging in online communities where your target customers spend time
Recording simple videos to post on YouTube
Leveraging your connections to amplify social sharing
You need to hustle to get your content noticed. It takes time, it takes effort but it’s definitely worth your while.
Work on Some Audio Content
The popularity of audio content is on the rise. Podcasts are a great favourite among business people the world over. Any people, really.
It’s not particularly difficult to begin releasing a few episodes of your own show. Just focus on the type of content you already have on your blog. Focus on building an audience and helping that audience solve their problems.
Here’s the thing: people aren’t going to have the time to read your blog as and when a new post comes out. They might pop in occasionally, but they’re not going to have the time or focus to do so religiously.
Podcasts allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. You’ll be in their ears (and mind) while they’re at the gym, taking a lunch break, or commuting to and from work. It’s a clever way to forge a much stronger connection than through simply reading some carefully curated instructions on your blog.
Audio closes the communication gap more than you could possibly imagine.
Make Some Useful Videos
A large chunk of the population is more visual when it comes to communication.
Video, if you have the time to invest in it, is a great way to improve your outreach.
Educational or instructional videos are a fantastic way to hook an audience, and can be used to bolster existing written content (or to build a whole new selection of blogs, if need be).
You’ll probably find that the writers on your marketing team are incredibly grateful when a video heads their way. They can easily transcribe the core principles a takeaways in your video into a comprehensive written post that can be published in tandem with the video wherever you choose.
Another benefit you’ll get from creating videos, is the traffic you’ll generate from uploading them to YouTube. If you upload new videos frequently enough (and ensure that the content is actually helpful) you could get thousands of views without a single paid ad.
Again, it’s all about consistency and sticking to your guns.
These three types of content should be the foundation of your marketing and lead generation strategies. If you can only manage 1 or 2 of them, don’t fret. As long as you do SOMETHING consistently and frequently, you have a fantastic starting point.
Stick around for our next installment of this series, where we mention a few of the lesser-known content types that will help set your marketing team up for success.