The Role of Content Marketing in the Lead Generating Website
A primary characteristic that sets a lead generating website apart from a typical branded website is the type and quality of the content. Nearly all professional services websites include written content about the company—home page, about page, services pages, etc. But the lead generating website does not stop there. It attracts targeted visitors with an extensive library of educational content, as discussed in our Lead Generating Website Guide.
Consistently publishing value-packed articles and other useful content pieces positions the firm as a thought leader and also acts as a magnet for drawing in prospects. As the content is published to the site, it may likely be found via search engines or social media sites by your targeted readers. Instead of going out into the market and advertising, your firm sits back and allows prospects to find you through your thought leadership.
Content Options for Your Firm
Educational content can come in many shapes and forms. Let’s take a look at a few popular formats used by professional services firms today.
Blog Posts – Short, sweet, and easily digestible, blog posts are a favorite in the B2B world because of their brevity. Firms will publish posts on a weekly basis and use them as bait for new web visitors. Great as ammunition in social media groups and ideal for indexing in search engines, blog posts are a key part of most libraries.
Guides/Kits – 10 – 30 page downloadable PDF documents that resemble short ebooks, guides or kits require more effort than blog posts. Usually these pieces are designed professionally and focus on a hot topic (like lead generating websites!). The main purpose of guides or kits is to secure leads by having visitors fill out a web form.
Research Studies – Also a downloadable PDF, a research study is meant to show your visitors that your firm knows what it’s doing. By collecting market data, drawing insights, and presenting your findings in an easy to absorb format, you are positioning your firm as a primary source for inside knowledge. Research studies are also useful because they can be broken down into smaller content pieces such as blog posts and infographics.
Books/Ebooks – If you want to be viewed as an expert, write a book. Whether it’s hard copy or electronic, having a longer format piece (50+ pages) that is professionally designed and edited is an instant credibility builder. Books are often sold on Amazon (another revenue stream for you) but often firms will give e-versions away for free in exchange for an email address. This is a proven lead generation technique.
Webinars – A seminar conducted over the internet, these hour-long presentations are perfect for both generating leads and nurturing existing prospects. Webinars have the visibility benefits of a live speaking event without the hassle of travelling and spending an entire day at an event. They also present a good opportunity for partnerships if you can find another firm that compliments yours.
White Papers – These technical content pieces are long articles that focus on a specific topic area. Although a bit outdated in some industries, white papers are still very appealing to certain audiences, such as technology and government contracting. Similar to guides and kits, white papers can be used to generate leads through web form fills.
e-Newsletters – Although newsletters have been around long before the digital age, their meaning has evolved. Long, drawn out letters describing the state of the firm is not what readers are looking for now. Instead, use an e-newsletter to offer educational information on a monthly basis. This is often done simply by linking to your best blog posts, webinars, or other content pieces on your website.
Videos – As technology rapidly improves, so does the use of online video. There are many uses of this content format including case studies, company overviews, service descriptions, or weekly blog posts. Having a videos section in your library is becoming standard for professional services firms today.
Which Content is Right for Your Firm?
Which content formats you choose to publish to your site will depend largely on two factors:
- Resources – Some content formats are easier to produce than others. If you are short on time and cash, focus on writing blog posts and sending out e-newsletters. When your capabilities pick up, consider exploring a guide, book, or webinar series.
- Audience – What you produce is dependent also on who you are marketing to. How does your audience prefer to consume content? Are they old-fashioned and prefer a hard copy book in their hands? Or maybe they only have time to check a quick email once per month. You won’t find these answers right off the bat, but after experimenting and talking to your audience members, you’ll develop a unique set of formats that work for your readers.
Whatever content formats you choose, make sure you have a combination of shorter-form and longer-form types. Short, flowing content that is published often (like blog posts) is essential for drawing in traffic on a weekly basis. Longer downloadable content (like guides) is key for enticing action and generating leads. If you have these two basic fundamentals covered, your content marketing should provide a sustainable flow of both traffic and leads.
To learn all that you need to know about creating a lead generating website, download our Lead Generating Website Guide.