Marketing is about facilitating more closed business, and ultimately grow the company. When asked, most midsized and B2B companies will tell you that they are “doing content marketing.”
However, often when you look at their social channels and company blog the content they create seems highly unlikely to help increase demand generation.
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The reason that the majority of marketing content is an #Epicfail can be explained by the lack of vision and imagination that too many marketing professionals and their empty suit senior managers sadly share.
But I hear you there saying, “What the heck? My team and I are smarter than the average bear, what can we do to give us the edge of our competition? I am glad you asked.
To get the answers from two well respected pros I spoke to Alex Conroy and Bill Grunau of Esotech. They are both digital marketing experts who work with midsized and B2B companies.
Bill says the key is to keep the content focus on solving your customer’s problem. Customer’s don’t care about your product. They care about how they can make more money, do their job better, or grow their business.
Making Weak Content Just For SEO
A major waste of a marketing budget is when companies create content with just a focus on SEO. If the information is weak, just there to drive eyeballs from search engines, doesn’t solve the customer’s problem, and do so in a clear and crisp layout, you have lost that customer forever and damaged your brand in the transaction.
Bill has a simple illustration that any midsized and B2B company can learn from. He tells about a small Caribbean food company’s approach to connecting with their customers. Instead of talking about how wonderful their products are, or the great deal you can get if you buy today, they focus on sharing tasty and fun Island recipes with their Facebook fans in a non-spamy way.
This keeps people coming back and talking about their cooking experience, sharing other recipes, and asking for recipes. This builds a community of brand champions in the process, and drives high-quality traffic to the company’s online sales channels.
Using How To Posts
People constantly Google for “How To” articles when they have a problem, notes Alex. Clear instructional blog posts always drive better traffic. People are more incline to click on “How To” search results. After you have provided valuable solutions for them, you can include relevant additional links to other resources that readers might want to purchase, including to your product.
You can take this approach to the next level to strike website traffic gold. Alex suggests thinking through your niche target markets. Can you create a series of problem solving posts that are specifically targeted to a market segment? Instead of writing posts that are more generic to all your customers, write multiple posts just for that target. That way the keywords that customers use for that market segment are more likely to find you.
Long-Tail Keywords Drive Qualified Leads
While it may be counter-intuitive, and this strategy will bring in fewer leads, they are more highly qualified leads than posts that try to appeal broadly to many market segments. The reason this works is posts that use long-tail keywords and phrases specific to those searchers tend rank you higher in search results. This is because there is often less competition for highly specific keywords, and the searchers are usually more likely looking for what you have to offer, too.
More information on why Long Tail Keywords drive better traffic: “Short Tail Keywords vs Long Tail Keywords, Which gets a Better Conversion Rate?”
Critical to driving more leads at this point is paying attention to conversion optimization. A lot of companies labor under the misconception that they can ask as many question as they wish to a customer who has decided to buy, and make the order process 6 or 7 steps. This is a sales conversion killer they warn.
Make Checking Out Seamless
Instead ask yourself, can I make the purchase process two steps? Bill and Alex say you have to make the purchase process painless or people will abandon their transaction and bounce. They strongly recommend integrating Twitter or Facebook’s open API into the checkout process as a way to cut down the need for making customers re-enter all their personal information. To them this is a no-brainier.
Want more insight to doing conversion optimization right? Check out “9 Chances for Website Conversion Optimization You Don’t Want to Miss.”
Alexander Conroy, Co-President
Bill Grunau, Co-President
Esotech – A Digital Marketing Company – SEO, SMO & Web Design
Check out their great blog http://www.esotech.org/blog/
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.
About Steve Farnsworth @Steveology
Social media, communications, and content marketing for technology companies. Strategy and implementation that generate leads, builds customer loyalty and word-of-mouth buzz. Contact 650-331-0594 to increase your market position and sales.