Content is an essential part of inbound marketing and sales, but it takes a lot of work. If your sales representatives need another way to generate leads, turn to social media, events, and paid advertisements, or get someone else to write content for you.
Content marketing is one of the most popular methods of online lead generation for B2B businesses. Businesses in industries that you’d never expect to jump on the content train are now writing blog posts, eBooks, guides, and white papers. That’s because content marketing is a proven way to get listed in search results and find leads online. Those who adopt content marketing as a strategy have conversion rates that are six times higher than those that don’t.
There’s just one problem with content marketing: you have to write a lot of content to do it, and writing is only the beginning.
A true content strategy will only help you find leads if you combine it with other strategies. No one will find your content if you don’t have a dedicated strategy for search engine optimization. People that find you online will only convert if you include conversion opportunities, like buttons and forms, within your content. Also, white papers and eBooks need design work if you want them to be attractive to readers.
You need the skills of a copywriter, a web developer, and a designer at the very least to create a content strategy that works. You also need a lot of time. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to generate leads online without wearing down your keyboard. And if you really want the benefits of content marketing, you can outsource the effort.
Find Leads with a Diverse Marketing Portfolio
First, you’ll need a little bit of content and a website. Visitors to your website need clear directions on how to contact you. They also need to know who you are and what you do the moment they get to one of your pages.
If you don’t have a website, work with a web developer. They’ll build you a simple website for lead generation, or something more elaborate if you’d like. They can even improve a website you already have. Once you’ve created your new digital home, you can use other digital marketing tactics to drive people to your homepage, landing pages, and contact forms.
You’ll need a diverse set of tactics to find leads online. Here are some suggestions:
Connect with People on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is more than just a social network; it’s also a powerful sales tool. More than 80% of B2B leads generated through social media are from LinkedIn. Sales representatives should use LinkedIn to create connections with colleagues and leaders in your industry. Connect with viable prospects and join LinkedIn groups where your leads are spending time. Some groups have rules against direct selling, but if you’re savvy, you can use it to drive traffic to your website or strike up important conversations with leads.
Use LinkedIn sales navigator to engage in social selling. Create a powerful profile and leverage your connections to find prospects. Navigator will also provide you with recommendations for leads based on your past account activity. LinkedIn Sales a navigator is now an enterprise product. It comes with a monthly fee, but the fee is well worth if it helps you find leads.
Get Active on Social Media
Create a business page on Facebook and post regularly on Twitter. Share links to articles that are relevant to your industry and provide your own insights into industry news. You may have to do some writing to engage with leads on social media, but it won’t be a large volume. Share links to your own web page occasionally, but not too often. When you get social media traffic onto your website, you’ll have a better shot at generating leads. 81% of B2B decision makers use online communities to make purchasing decisions.
Respond to Queries in Discussion Groups
Depending on your industry, there may be active and relevant discussion groups online. These types of groups are often heavily moderated, which means sales representatives can’t use them as a platform for selling. You can help people solve their problems, however. If people find your advice useful on a discussion board, they are more likely to seek you out online for more assistance.
Network and Speak at Events
Digital marketing is essential for reaching every corner of your industry, but networking is still a powerful way to drum up new leads. Attend local industry shows with your team, go to networking events, and speak publicly to get people interested in your products and services. If you speak at an event, you can record it and use it as marketing material to get leads online. Post it to your website and YouTube, then push the video out on social media to show people your expertise.
Post Digital Advertisements
Pay-per-click ads, social media ads, and digital news ads are a great way to get your business in front of an interested audience. Use search ads to get your website at the top of internet search results. Create social media ads that will appear on your prospects’ news feeds. Place your ads in relevant digital publications to find leads. These are called “native ads,” and they get viewed 53% more than banner ads.
Digital ads require strategy to be effective, so sales representatives may want to consult with marketing professionals before you launch a campaign.
Get Someone Else to Write Content For You
Of course, the best way to find leads online without having to write content is to get someone to write content for you. If you outsource your content marking effort, you can focus on networking, selling, and running your business.
Here are some different types of content to consider:
- Case Studies
- Social Media Storytelling
Your copywriters, designers, and web developers will keep your blog up to date and create amazing content offers that will capture leads. An outsourced marketing team can even implement a strategic SEO effort, so your content gets noticed in search results. Outsourcing content creation has pretty standard for many businesses. About 44% of B2B marketers outsourced content creation in 2016.
Sales representatives can find leads online without content, but finding leads organically is easier when you have helpful content to offer. If you don’t have the time to write content, get help from content marketing professionals so you never miss an opportunity to find leads. With content at the top of your sales funnel, your sales representatives will have more qualified leads to sell to.