To do email marketing properly, you need email addresses. Not just any email addresses, but those that can lead – notice the word! – to a sale. That’s right, we are talking about lead generation or contacts of people or companies that might be interested in doing business with you.

Lead generation is an important part of any email marketing campaign, as it allows you to target prospects rather than contacts who are not in your audience. One of the factors that can boost your lead generation is content. Again, not just any content, but content that is properly designed, has real value, resonates with the reader, and can create enough engagement to make them want more.

How do you use content to generate leads?

Content marketing basically has one core goal: offer content for which your audience will be willing to give you their email address. The emails that you harvest as a result can be used for many marketing purposes – from targeted and personalized messages to broadcast emails. However, the actual task of setting up content marketing the right way is not as simple as it sounds – it has many layers and requires thorough preparation and research.

How can you get leads in exchange for your content? Your website visitors might see a piece of content from you – something they would like to explore more closely – an ebook, tutorial, video, or report – and will provide their emails in return for the content that sparked their interest.

The tricky part is offering the right content to lure the right audience. Read on to see how you can build your content marketing strategy like a pro.

Find your target audience

Determining your target audience is a universal task for any marketing effort. If you want to pique people’s interest in your offering, first decide who it is for. While defining your target audience and shaping up your buyer persona, try to think of as many specific details as you can:

  • Age, geographic location
  • Profession, education, job role
  • Family status, income level
  • Main sources of information

This knowledge will lead you to determine the common pain points and challenges your audience faces and find the most effective keywords to set up your SEO algorithms and increase the engagement rate of your content.

Determine the right types of content

From the target audience, you can proceed to the types of content that might engage them. For example, if you are targeting B2B customers, focus on case studies, white papers, and reports. For individual customers, offer videos and checklists, if they go well with your product.

And, of course, anyone would love a free trial, so if you can offer this, you may see significant growth in your email database. Moreover, free trials not only generate leads; they can increase your conversion rate, too, by as much as 15-30% in the B2B sector.

Create useful content

If you want your content to generate leads that convert, make it useful and valuable. Deliver what you promised when you asked for that email – a detailed ebook, a high-quality video tutorial, a thorough case study.

In addition to lead generation, quality content helps to establish trust between your brand and your prospects. This is the first real transaction they have with you – they give something and get something in exchange. Make sure the content you deliver does not make your customers regret their subscription.

If, on the other hand, the piece of content they get from you is useful and engaging, the chances that they continue doing business with you are much higher. In this case, you are getting true leads that can eventually convert to customers. Useful content has a great potential to boost loyalty and brand awareness.

Remember to be patient. Conversions do not happen immediately. It may take as many as 3 to 5 pieces of content before the customer reaches out to you.

Build landing pages that boost conversion

Your landing page is content, too. This is where the first contact with your prospect occurs and this is where they will decide to either continue to browse more or reach for that red cross in the top corner. It’s up to you to set up your landing page to grab your visitors’ attention and hold it until they decide to subscribe.

What is a converting landing page? It can be described as follows:

  • It contains a clear copy describing your unique value proposition.
  • It offers useful graphic content – an image, video, or animation – explaining what you offer and how it resolves your audience’s pain points.
  • It includes user-generated content, such as testimonials or reviews, serving as social proof and increasing your visitors’ confidence.
  • It is not cluttered with too many graphics, too much animation, irrelevant information, or widgets that interfere with the visitors’ journey.
  • It shows your contact details, such as a physical and email address, social media links, and landline or virtual numbers.
  • It has a clear call to action that is impossible to ignore.

Promote your content

Once you’ve created your great, useful content, make sure the world knows about it. Design promotion strategies and make them even more effective by leveraging the features of your engagement platform.

Which channels can you use to promote your content and generate leads? In fact, there are quite a number of them:

  • Social media. Use your social network accounts to announce your latest blog posts or videos. Your community of subscribers can also contribute to the promotion by sharing your posts, thus widening your reach.
  • Guest posting. Cooperate with other businesses to enhance your customer base by placing your content on their sites, and vice versa. This way, both of you are benefitting from such cooperation, as you may get access to user groups you did not reach before.
  • Influencer marketing. People tend to trust other people more than they trust brands. This is why influencers are so popular. Connect with them, and ask them to comment on your posts or videos and share your content on their pages.

By using all these techniques, you are widening your audience reaching the users who were beyond your niche before.

Wrapping up

If we were to summarize all the techniques that we discussed above, we would say that you should create content that your customers want to see. If you can think like your customer and try to see through their eyes, you are halfway there. This is where engagement starts and this is what turns your prospect into a qualified lead.