Can marketing activities like blogging really help with generating leads?
Are you thinking of online lead generation or content marketing to help you find more qualified traffic or leads? Many small business owners who are savvy enough can start this on their own. There is alot of helpful information and material out there to more or less self-guide you through setting up and developing your own content. If budget is of a concern, you can also find low-cost ways to get this done.
A word of caution…
Content marketing is an evolving methodology and depending on the complexity of your plan, you could find yourself spending a large amount of time writing content, posting articles, and trying to improve your sites ranking without seeing the results you desire.
What is worse is there are many content marketing agencies or freelancers that are trying to drive results the wrong way and not with a malicious intent either. One of our partner agencies experienced this first hand in a recent event that triggered negative SEO to their site with disastrous results. Google is always trying to find out if “who you say you are” is going to resonate with an actual human being and their algorithms are designed to do just that. If you try to fool these algorithms by altering your content to false audiences or falsify keywords out of context – you will be penalized and your site ranking will suffer the consequences.
5 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Started
- DEFINE YOUR GOALS – This is fundamental before you invest your time and resources into developing a content marketing strategy. Is it tied to a sales goal? Is it a social presence you want? Are there any actionable items that tie to a growth metric? If so, what is it?
- TARGET A BUYER PERSONA – Try not to think of a persona as a group but as a fictional person. This will help you craft your content to specific interests, values, and beliefs. Start by formulating demographic information like age, gender, education, career, job responsibilities, etc.
- GET SET UP PROPERLY – Getting set up properly will save you time and quite possibly a good amount of money. This can vary from not having a site, having a site but no blog, having a blog site but needing to reconfigure a domain, etc. A good rule of thumb is to have your blog domain follow a company naming structure such as www.yourcompanyname.com/blog.
- KEEP YOUR CONTENT SIMPLE AND ORGANIZED – Once you have established your goals, who you want to target, and a good set up in place, identify what you are going to write. There is a ton of useful material out there from keywords and title help to content calendar and mapping suggestions. DO IT ALL. If not, you will go by a day-to-day period of wondering what you will write about and your overall success will suffer. The real secret to the great content is this: Answer the questions your customers ask. If you do that, your content will get read and passed on as THE BEST content in your industry.
- MEASURE AND ANALYZE – At the end of the day, content marketing has taken on popularity for this one particular aspect. Marketing is no longer a void where marketing budgets are created for spending activities but for activities tied to results. If you don’t have access to Google Analytics you can also test run one of the best inbound marketing software on the planet – HUBSPOT. With either one of these in place, you can look at your traffic results and get a handle on how your traffic is reacting to your content marketing efforts.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, above all else – get some help from a certified agency. Why certified? This certification provides the only available documentation on good practice knowledge in this growing industry. Many schools and universities do not teach how to generate leads online because it has only been in existence for little more than 10 years. Some agencies develop partnerships for business modeling purposes but the best group that certifies a good practicing model of ethics and values in inbound marketing is Hubspot. Don’t hesitate to contact a partner agency that can help fix problems or give you advice on how to start your content marketing project.
LUXA Enterprises offers outsourced inbound marketing services for small and mid-size businesses in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. If you’re considering a short or long-term approach for your growth needs, give us a call for more information at 918-928-7288.