When you’re asking yourself, how to turn content into cash, you’re really asking, how to generate leads with content marketing. Here’s how.
One of the most common questions I get is how to turn content into cash. Well, in order to turn content into cash, you need to make sure that your content is generating leads. So, the question really is how to generate leads with content marketing.
Whenever I get this question, I usually follow it up with a question of my own. I ask how they are currently using their content. I usually get answers like, ‘I just post it on Facebook and hope for the best’. Or, ‘I publish blogs on my website and hope that people notice them’.
While these people are clearly putting in some work, unfortunately, hope is not a strategy. And ‘hoping’ that your hard work is going to raise your visibility is not an effective lead generation technique.
I call this the ‘spray and pray strategy’, where you just put your content out in the world, without a target or a goal. Then you ‘pray’ that it somehow hits the right people – those people that need what you are offering and are ready to convert to clients. As you can probably guess, this is not a hugely successful strategy. While you might hit the right people occasionally out of pure luck, you aren’t maximising your chances to generate leads. Your hard work and expertise is simply being wasted.
Why Content Marketing is Worth the Effort
Taking the time to understand and maximise your content is important. According to the latest market research compiled by Technavio, the content marketing industry will be worth $412 billion by 2021 and its grown exponentially over the last four years.
Part of what’s driving this growth is content marketing’s ability to convert leads into clients compared to traditional marketing. In other words, you can generate more leads, and convert more of those leads into customers, through content marketing.
As Zig Ziglar says, ‘You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect’. Content marketing gives you those prospects.
How to Generate Leads With Content Marketing
I had an experience once where I was trying to get a meeting with this incredible woman. She was a CEO of a well-known company and was very busy. I knew she appreciated what I had to say and liked my work because she opened my newsletters every week. But I just couldn’t seem to nail her down for a meeting.
I wanted her to know that I saw her and that I understood the problems that she was facing. So, the next week I wrote my newsletter with her specifically in mind. It targeted and dealt with a specific problem that I knew she was trying to fix. While it was still distributed to over 3,000 contacts, it was to her that it was really targeted that week.
Well, I got my meeting. And then I was invited to speak at their annual conference and then to roll out some of my programs to their staff. She also bought copies of my books to give to each of her employees.
That was targeted lead generation that all started with a single piece of content marketing.
How to Get Started with Content Marketing
Like in my story above, the first major step to gaining customers is capturing qualified leads. You can capture these leads by giving value that appeals to the audience that you want to target. Then creating the content as a vehicle for proving that value. In my case it was a consistent newsletter. But there are many other ways.
Some of the ways you can generate leads with content marketing are:
- Write a newsletter
- Offer lead magnets with Facebook ads
- Collaborate on a webinar
- Produce a podcast
- Create a quiz or a survey
- Use the question type SEO keyword
- Create customer-centric landing pages
- Write a whitepaper
- Publish high quality content on LinkedIn
- Annotate your YouTube videos
Understand Who You’re Trying to Reach
The next thing you need to do is understand who you’re trying to reach. This might be a moving target. As in my story, I wanted to target a specific client at a specific point in time, so I targeted my approach at that time. But in order to combat the ‘spray and pray’ effect, you need to be clear on who you are trying to target every time you produce a piece of content.
Call to Action
In all situations you need to make sure that you content has a strong CTA, so that people understand what you want them to do. Calls to action give your potential clients a next step to take – an actual action that they can complete that will lead them to a solution for the problem that they have. Without that strong CTA your potential leads may flounder.
Look Beyond Social Media
And remember to look beyond social media when publishing your content. You need to leverage it across other platforms – so that might be through newsletters, whitepapers or podcasts, for example. Or even editorials in magazines or other online publications and eBooks. And don’t forget your own website. Publishing your content there and optimising it for targeted keywords will continue to play dividends into the future.
- Have you created your piece of content with a specific idea of who you want to reach?
- Have you created a strong CTA for each piece of content?
- Have you published it beyond social media platforms?
Love to hear your thoughts….
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.