A ‘content marketing strategy’ is, according to the Content Marketing Institute, “…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” The same organisation defines a ‘content strategy’ as the “creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.”
Salespeople were the ONLY experts worth asking questions before deciding on a purchase. They were the gateway to purchasing wisdom before and after any sale went through.
It was a completely different world.
Things are different now.
People do their own research before making a purchase.
These days, everyone's an expert.
Selling is an entirely different game.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social spots for sales prospecting but not many people know how to go about it. There’s a stigma about LinkedIn that makes it seem less “friendly” than other platforms.
We show you that it “works if you work it”.
We’ve previously covered why Instagram is such a great place for realtors to hang out and find new prospects. Let’s face it: it’s the bees knees of social media for the real estate industry right now.
You’ve just got to make sure you use it properly.
Like so many other things in the marketing game (and in life), IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT.
Optimising your real estate Instagram account is nowhere near challenging but it does take a little time to get it done properly.
It’s a worthwhile time investment though, so let’s get right down to it.
Given the fact that there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of real estate agents in any given area, standing out from the crowd and generating quality, qualified leads can a challenge.
With all the competition, and marketing techniques ever evolving, how can you make an impression on the market and find quality leads that will actually convert, rather than just a list full of tire-kickers?
We’ve put together some of the best lead generation tips for you to try.
Let’s face it. You can’t spend all day driving around, looking at all the roofs in your local neighbourhood, banging on doors if you see one that needs repair.
It’s just not a viable way to do business. You don’t have the time for it.
And it’s a little creepy.
Don’t be that guy.
There are proven ways for you to generate more roofing leads.
Smart ways. Easier ways.
And we’re sharing those ways with you right here.
In the previous post, we touched on the the three big kahunas in the content kingdom:
If you can harness the power of all three of these, good for you.
If you can only manage 1 or two, and do them frequently, you’ll be a-okay.
That’s not all there is to it. There are some other fantastic content ideas you can focus on that’ll generate mega traffic. All you really need to do is make the right decisions.
Wrap Your Head Around Creating Some Books and eBooks
Now, we’re not suggesting that you release a new book every month.
In fact, we’re not even suggesting that you release a new book every quarter.
You might get away with one every couple of years.
Just consider getting one out there. Maybe two. For now.
Books and eBooks keep your current audience topped off with fresh content. They also leverage your lead generation power on startup-focused sites, like ProductHunt. Seriously, enough upvotes will keep you going for a long time.
Launch your books on external communities where your audiences spend their time online.
Use them for lead generation throughout your blog. Wherever you can, include regular calls-to-action, asking readers to go and download your book, especially in high-trafficked blog posts.
Finding the Time to Write a Book
When you reached this section in our blog post, your first instinct was probably to wave it away. After all, you don’t have the time for all that writing, anyway.
First, consider which blog posts have had the biggest impact on your audience. Or, consider which topic has the greatest demand.
Next, go through your existing blog posts on the topic and organize them into a simple Google Doc. Check to see if you have any information gaps. At the same time, check for redundancy issues and remove any duplicate content within this draft of your new book.
Once you’re sure that you’ve covered all the points you need to, do a thorough edit of your extremely long doc. Primp and fluff where necessary, make sure there are no grammar issues or typos, and slap in a table of content.
If your text passes the QC, design a simple (yet eye-catching cover) on a tool like Canva.
Boom, you’re done.
Templates are the Bomb Diggety
Don’t underestimate the power of a cut-and-paste template.
People generally don’t have the time to waffle on for hours, creating their own emails, worksheets, datasheets, questionnaires, social media posts, and so on.
Especially when it comes to learning a new business writing skill, people want as much guidance as possible. They want to know that they have a good starting point without having to worry about setting everything up themselves.
Our cold email templates, for example, have helped hundreds of customers set up successful email campaigns. Our customers love ‘em and we love handing them out.
It’s all about having the smarts to develop a useful document that is straightforward, easy to use, and involves nothing more than a quick copy-paste with adjusting of minimal content.
Start Curating a Few Online Courses
Online learning is booming right now.
People hanker after knowledge like never before. Everyone wants to develop new skillsets. Very few people want (or can afford) to pay for the extra tuition fees.
There’s a distinct need for quality instruction on a wide range of business and tech-related subjects.
Just take a quick look through any online learning portal and you’ll see topics that range from something like email writing all the way through to in-depth online marketing courses. You’ll even come across stuff like speech writing and delivery, impromptu speaking, how to run a successful webinar, and so much more.
You’re guaranteed to have at least one “marketable” skill that you could develop a course on. Take some time to mull it over and then get started.
You don’t even have to go through the schlep of designing the coursework. A ton of online teaching platforms are ready and waiting for you. With an easy setup and hosting process, and step-by-step course instruction forms, you’ll be ready to start spreading valuable knowledge in no time at all.
Most of these teaching platforms are completely template-based, making the setup process that much easier.
Coming to Terms with Topic Selection
You probably have a rough idea of what your audience might be looking for.
If this isn’t the case, you simply need to get to know your audience.
If you work in the digital marketing agency sphere, you probably want to look at subjects that your customers find particularly challenging. They could be tasks that are extremely easy for you, but that anyone without your expertise would struggle with. Consider things like:
How to create Facebook ad campaigns that really work.
How to promote blog content effectively.
How to become a contributor on reputable sites, like Forbes.
How to build relationships pitch content ideas to editors.
As long as you come up with ideas that will actively solve a problem your audience needs to solve, you’ll have enough ammunition for an extremely popular online course.
Make sure you give them enough of a foundation to get started with the work themselves but make it clear that you’ll be right there if they decide that the burden is too much to bear.
Your courses need to show that you’re the ultimate benevolent teacher. You should always be happy to share your valuable knowledge with no strings attached.
Often, you’ll find that people will give things a bash but end up discovering that they simply don’t have the time to add anything else to an already lengthy to-do list.
We’ve got one more blog post in this series coming up, so stick around for another set of fantastic content ideas for your lead generation tactics.
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.
We recently did a poll on our community page asking which networking platform you'd most like to crack. The winner: Instagram.
Instagram is probably one of the trendiest kids on the block. It's all about quality content and engagement. Instagrammers are looking for content they can relate to, advice they'll actually use, and cool stuff they just can't live without. And then there's the food...boy are there a ton of lunchtime snaps or what?
Cracking the Insta-code isn't too crazy. All you really need to do is stay on trend, post regularly, reciprocate on post interactions, and be as authentic as possible.
We've come up with 10 hacks to help you grow your account organically and fairly quickly too!
1. Kick Some Ass With Your Content
Facing a bit of a content block? Cool your jets and quit panicking. Check out what your competitors are doing and rework their stuff. Big brands spend thousands of dollars on content research, so they know what works. Emulate their strategy and recreate their top posts. Work smart, not hard!
Amp up your smart content creation approach by re-posting other people's posts. Don't use a re-post tool. Save the image to your phone and post it on your profile. Make sure to credit the original poster by tagging them directly and by crediting them in your caption.
Do a little exploring. Search the top 9 posts on Instagram for a popular hashtag. Save the pic to your phone and repost it from scratch on your profile. Don't forget to tag the original poster directly, and credit them in the caption. Flattery is everything.
2. Consistency is Key
Don't be a lame-o. Post consistently to keep your interaction up. If you can post multiple times a day, you're definitely winning. Make a big effort and Instagram will prioritise your content.
If you post several times a day, you'll be reaching a wider audience. The more time zones you hit, the bigger your audience will be.
3. Scheduling Software is a No-No
I get it. You've got a ton of shit to do and scheduling software makes your life easier. Just this once, you're going to have to do some manual labour.
You won't get banned if you use 3rd party software BUT your posts will be de-prioritized. Instagram rewards its loyal manual posters.
4. Buying Followers is Insta-Death
This isn't an exaggeration. If you're going to buy followers, consider writing off your Instagram account as a dead end.
Anyone you pay to become a follower will probably unfollow you after a month or so. Their duty is to boost your count for a short time only. Once their job is done, they'll unfollow and move on.
Fake followers are never going to buy from you. Why are you investing in these people when there's no return?
Your engagement ratio is going to plummet. Your engaged follower count will be way lower than your total followers, so you're really just kicking yourself in the teeth. Instagram will deprioritise low engagement ratio posts and accounts. It is what it is.
5. Do Your Hashtag Homework
Hashtag research is crucial - you can't just wing it.
Keep your hashtags as unique and low-competition as possible. General hashtags have millions of followers so unless your follower count is up there too, you're kinda wasting your time.
Your goal is to rank in the top 9 posts for a specific hashtag so that Instagram will show off your post on the Explorer page. This is where you'll be pulling your new audience from, so make it count!
6. Stop Using the Same Old Hashtags on Repeat
Don't turn your account into the broken record of hashtags. Use important hashtags that align with your brand but mix it up by throwing in something a little different each time.
Instagram is working overtime to clamp down on bots. If you're posting at the same exact time every day and you're using the same old hashtags each time, you might get mistakenly flagged as a bot and face a shadowban (or worse) on your account.
7. You Have 30 Hashtags Available - Use Them
If you pass up on the chance to use all of your hashtags, only your friends will see your posts. You wouldn't waste a free lottery card, don't waste this awesome opportunity.
Your content could compete with the best of the best but if your hashtags aren't solid, your content is going nowhere.
8. Play Nice and Socialise
It's called social media for a reason. So, be social!
Like your followers' posts, comment occasionally, thank your top followers for their support! Again, flattery gets you everywhere... but don't be a suck up about it. People value quality interaction - after all, that's the whole point.
Connect with other accounts that you might be able to collaborate with. Do some cross-promoting, maybe some sweepstakes here and there. Be creative.
9. Make the Most of Every Function
Be smart about using the functions presented to you. If you want to make the most of Instagram, get used to IGTV, stories, and posts. Instagram is a big ass machine, which will work best if all its parts are functioning properly.
Social media platforms tend to prioritise features they've just introduced. Everybody wants to promote their new stuff, right? This means that IGTV is the hottest of the hot right about now.
Repurpose your content if you're worried about finding a whole ton of new content ideas on a daily basis. Create a short teaser of your IGTV video. Use the main point of your video and create a few additional posts around that.
If you have more than 10 000 followers, it's a good idea to link your story to your IGTV and/or website.
10. Connect with Influencers
Take a little time to make a list of all the influencers in your niche that you might like to work with.
Work on developing a relationship with them. Spend some time each day just interacting with their posts. Leave a a meaningful comment or three. Simply throwing out phrases like "great post" or "I love your profile" aren't going to get you anywhere. Talk specifically about the content in their post.
Mega influencers aren't the only way to go. Micro influencers are rapidly becoming more and more important as people realise it's interaction, and not numbers, that counts.
If you are going to work with micro influencers, remember this: you're NOT doing them any favours. Offering them a paid gig doesn't mean you own them. They're not always going to have the ideal turnaround time - it takes a while to really get the word out on Instagram. Be patient, and they'll make a world of difference to your brand.
There’s no one-size-fits all approach to lead generation. While there are tons of tools out there, they can’t all be used for the same thing. Check out our list of the various tools you can use and how to use them.