5 Reasons Why Your Content May Not Attract New Online Leads
Content creation is more than a chain of words and paragraphs that occupy the blank spaces needed to fill pages on your website. Today’s web content is multi-functional, used in different ways to accomplish different things. Today’s content is deployed to convey important points while at the same time charged with attracting neFor some, creating web content is a mundane task that simply serves as a way to fill pages with text that does little more than sell products and services on a blog or web site. Creating valuable content and marketing it effectively truly depends on how you plan it, write it and deploy it. Here are a few things to consider when writing content that attracts new online leads. Design content carefully and learn how to use it to attract new leads within your niche.w leads and generating fresh views online. In this sense, content becomes the linchpin of the online communication process.
1 – Have You Defined A Goal?
Always define a specific goal before you start the content creation process.
Each piece of content that a company or organization creates is created with a specific goal in mind. The goal should dictate the design and delivery of the content as well as its functional association to your sales funnel. Many companies blow through this step without remotely considering the content’s purpose. Decide what you want the content to do and who you want it to attract. What stage of your sales funnel are you trying to support with the content? This is the first rule of writing content designed to attract new online leads.
Just because a topic seems relevant to your market doesn’t necessarily validate it for extensive content creation. The better thought to consider is this, “Precisely where does this content fit within the goals of my sales or marketing funnel?” The more prudent and helpful question might be, “What part of my sales funnel should this content support?”
- Does the content raise general awareness of your brand; therefore lending itself to the possibility of increased website traffic? Maybe it would be more useful if aimed at prospects closer the top of your sales funnel where lead attraction and branding is important. Does it contribute to a specific area of your sales funnel? Does the content support your call to action and a critical engagement decision? What does the content do to contribute to your goals?
- Will the content focus on your products and services? If so, would it be more useful to prospects near a decision stage of your sales funnel? Content that highlights specifics about benefits is typically found in the middle of the sale funnel. Maybe that’s where it bolsters the overall strategy. Should it be posted on social media or in your follow-up email sequence?
- Maybe you’re creating content to support the final decision process. This type of persuasive information tends to appear near the end of the sales funnel. Maybe the content you need should focus on differentiating your company or service from the competition. These are all considerations for the type of content you create and how it’s deployed.
If you are willing to focus on the most basic of goals, that accessment can help produce a road-map for effective content creation. This type of road-map pays dividends by contributing to your broader more tangible goals.
2 – Is Your Content Positioned To Sell or Educate?
It’s much better to create content that educates the reader rather than content that sells the reader.
When trying to attract visitors to your website, avoid the urge to focus on selling. This is a common mistake made by new online marketers and promoters. This approach is quite seductive initially however it rarely produces the results you seek. Content that educates is met with far less sales resistance than content that sells. If you want to attract more people to the entry phase of the sales funnel, use education to lure them and not elaborate sales copy. Content that educates is content designed to attract new online leads.
Help your readers understand the specifics of circumstances core to their concerns before offering them viable solutions. This approach establishes a groundwork from which you can expose your offerings at a later time. Delay the sales urge and expose your offerings when you have created a back-drop through which the benefits can clearly be defined and appreciated. Extensive sales copy should occur later in the sales funnel. Educating versus selling will illuminate the benefits of your offering, without having to over-sell. The benefits of what you are selling will be received more positively when presented to a well-educated prospect.
Your educational content should focus on several things:
- It should provide useful information that is recognized as having immediate value.
- It should focus on educating visitors across all segments of your targeted niche.
- It should avoid direct promotion of the company and its products/services.
- It should help attract organic search traffic by way of sound SEO practices and be filled with relevant and inviting keyword phrases.
A steady stream of visitors to your web site that originates from organic search results is a good way to contribute to your lead generation process.
3 – Have You Chosen The Right Format For Your Audience?
Do not choose content formats by simply selecting the first type of content format that pops into your head.
Some content creators assume that video is the Holy Grail for delivering their message, while others hardly ever deviate from the written word. It’s a good idea to select the way you choose to deliver content carefully. Instead of delivering your content the way everyone else in your niche delivers it, you should choose the best way to get your message across that fits your specific audience. Do a little research to find out important demographic nuances about your audience. Meet them where they are. If the level of content consumption responds more favorably to video or audio, use video or audio. If the audience doesn’t mind reading the information they need, give it to them in written form.
A few tips on formats:
- Videos – Great for conveying technical information that would otherwise be too difficult and lengthy to read in a whitepaper
- E-books – Sometimes prospects don’t have time to read a 15-page white paper. Consider restructuring the information in an easy to read e-book that is downloadable and can be stored on the device in which it was originally acquired.
- Customer Reviews: Customer reviews can be extremely powerful and very effective. Surprisingly only 33% of online marketers think to use them. This is according to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition.
4 – Are You Writing To The Wrong People?
Determine who your ideal customer is and write directly to that customer profile without deviation.
One of the best ways to pick topics that will interest your prospects is to think the way your customer thinks. As best as possible, place yourself in that exact mindset, the specific situation and circumstance of the prospect. Present specific and useful information that makes good sense and meets them where they are as they move through decision-making process. Make sure your content is the type of information that can shed light on their decision process. It should contribute to your prospect’s ability to make concrete progress. Put yourself in the frame of mind of your ideal prospect. The ideal prospect is the best person you can possibly target.
Review your sales funnel carefully and ask yourself, what questions would someone have at this stage of the sale process? What type of information would be helpful to that person? What could help that specific person move forward toward achieving their goals or answering their questions?
- At the beginning of the funnel, the ideal prospect may be concerned with affordability. This is always a good topic to breech when creating content at the top of your sales funnel. Address this head-on in a manner that reduces sales resistance. Offer content designed to attract leads at a very low price or in some cases totally free of charge. Do whatever it takes to put the prospect at ease.
- If you are trying to support the middle of the sales funnel, the ideal prospect for a B2B business might ask, “What products or services does this company offer?” When you begin to provide detailed information about products and services this typically supports the middle of the sales funnel. At this stage make the content useful by addressing questions that may lead to possible conversions.
When you thoroughly understand the needs of your ideal prospect it empowers you to address relevant questions and needs. It helps you understand the specific concerns of sub-niches within your market that are sincerely interested in what you have to offer. When you target specific segments of your audience it adds to your ability to answer the very important question ”What’s in it for them?”. It also helps you create effective content that attracts specific needs of the prospect.
5 – Have You Used Search Engines To Refine Your Audience and Your Content?
Find more meaningful opportunities by learning how to use search data more effectively.
When people have questions on a particular topic, they turn to search engines. When you learn to use search engines more effectively, you gain direct access to the mind of your prospect. This is one of the best ways to uncover specific problems that prospects are trying to solve. This can offer a laser guided road-map that leads to the exact type of content you need to create.
A great deal of the data on Tier I search engines like Google is free. Many of Google’s keyword and trend tools are also free to use. Don’t make things more difficult that they need to be. Enter keywords related to your business or niche into search engine tools and let the tool do the hard work of finding more concrete topics of interest to serve your prospects.
Here are a few things to look for when analyzing search results:
- How many related keywords and keyword phrases are there for the base keyword you entered for the original search?
- What is the search volume for the targeted keyword?
- How often do you notice common problems or issues raised by different people that are reported by the Search engine results page?
Some search engine tools will also report the relative competition for bidding on paid search terms used in various ads. This information can give you a general idea of the competition you face for each keyword or keyword phrase. This type of insight is invaluable when constructing content for web pages and landing pages.
Search engines help find top-level keywords that should be used in copy. These search tools also help identify hugely competitive keywords you should avoid. Some of the more competitive keywords may require larger ad spend budgets to effectively associate them with your brand. You may want to sidestep these keywords altogether and focus on less competitive keywords that are more specific.
Here’s a few things to consider when using keyword research to develop topics for content creation:
- What keyword phrases are relevant to the prospect’s needs at that stage of the sales funnel?
- What keyword phrases have lower search volume but considerably lower competition?
- What keyword and keyword phrases are too competitive to pursue but can lead to discovery of other keywords and phrases that equally describe the same concept or idea?
Creating effective content that gives you better chance of attracting new and fresh eyes is more than an exercise in combining elaborate chains of words and sentences. Just because these keywords are relevant doesn’t mean the way they are used isn’t important. If you truly want to attract new customers with your content creation, it requires a different approach. An approach that incorporates research and a creative independent thought. Use all the tools available to create content that is noticeably valuable. Create content that educates, content that encourages engagement and this will serve your prospects well. Only then will your content begin to attract the caliber of prospects that invariably return a positive ROI. Developing a content deployment plan allows you to create content designed to attract new online leads that augment your sales funnel.