Offering an effective way to nurture leads at every stage, lead generation content has the potential to drive conversion. Many companies tend to treat content as an after-thought, however. Used as part of your broader lead generation strategy, content allows you to connect with leads at every stage of the customer journey.
From the very moment that prospective leads arrive on your site, all the way to the time they are ready to be handed over to sales; leads rely on content to find information, answer questions, gain assurance, learn about your company, and make decisions. Done right, content has the power to make this process smoother, helping to address specific challenges, answer questions, build trust, forge relationships, and grow your reputation. When content is ignored or sidelined, you lose out in the chance to not only improve your lead generation campaigns but also connect to your leads.
Top Signs Your Lead Generation Content is Failing
To get more from your lead generation content, the first step is to know where you might be going wrong. Keep reading to find out whether your lead content needs improvement.
Battling to see any results from your lead campaigns? Wondering why your content never seems to deliver results? Some of the biggest warning signs that your lead generation content is not hitting the mark include the following:
1. You have not set clear objectives
Without clear goals in place, it will be very difficult to measure results. Although conversion (and especially sales) is very often the primary goal for most businesses, lead nurturing can also be done to drive awareness for specific products, events or services. Campaigns could be planned for short-term goals, such as building a mailing list or getting bookings for a webinar. You might want to generate more traffic or you may be aiming to increase downloads such as case studies or ebooks.
For every campaign, you will need clear goals in place. These will allow you to design content that is best suited to your specific goals, rather than generic content that may not be appropriate or targeted. Every automated email, landing page, lead form, lead magnet, and blog post that is created for the campaign needs to be in line with your goals.
2. You have no lead personas in place
Another mistake that is often made is having no lead personas in place. Personas are incredibly useful for many reasons. When it comes to content, personas are especially helpful, allowing you to craft content that is geared towards your target audience. This ensures that there is far less chance of generic content that could all too easily end up being ‘hit and miss’. Targeted content that is personalised and relevant to your actual audience will have a far better chance than generic, one-size-fits-all content that does not apply to your audience.
Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, take the time to define lead personas. Don’t use assumptions to create these, either. Instead, use data to consider your target customers’ age, location, needs, challenges, and interests. The more insight you have, the easier it will be to create a deep, targeted persona.
3. You are not considering your lead funnel
If you are not thinking carefully about your lead funnel when crafting or planning your content, it will soon become a lot harder to plan content that truly reaches customers at each stage of the buying journey. Content created for the early stages of the funnel is very different from content created for the bottom of the funnel. Generic content that does not factor in each stage of the funnel will very quickly lose its mark. Instead, you need to be able to target your audience carefully at each stage.
When leads first enter the funnel, they are typically looking for information. The awareness stage is when you would plan content designed to provide such information – useful tips, guides and resources that educate on a broader level. As leads move down the funnel, they move into the decision-making stages. At this point, you need to provide content that helps leads make their decision – comparisons, more extensive guides, case studies, videos, and other content that helps leads reach their decision. Towards the bottom of the funnel, leads are primed to make a purchase. Once they reach this stage, they are looking for final assurance and anything else that helps them finalise their purchase. This could be content designed to build trust, incentives or anything else that can help seal the deal. Trying to push leads through the funnel more quickly by sharing the wrong content at the wrong stage will almost always backfire, resulting in lost leads.
4. You do not have enough lead magnets
Lead magnets are an excellent way to bring in leads. These come in many forms, from free ebooks all the way to free webinars or other lead content upgrades. To be truly effective, lead magnets need to meet a few requirements:
- They need to solve real problems. Lead magnets need to solve real problems that customers have and meet real needs. In other words, leads need to have real incentive to download your magnet. If they do not have any use for your content, they will not want to give away their email address to download your magnet.
- They need to offer a fast benefit. Over and beyond solving problems, your lead magnet also needs to offer a win – a quick one that allows leads to gain a benefit instantly. For example, this could be learning an insider secret or learning something that they could not easily learn somewhere else.
- They need to be focused. A generic lead magnet will not have the same effect as one that is highly focused and specific. Offering something that is not relevant to your industry might get you email addresses but those leads will likely not ever go anywhere. Something that is ultra-targeted to your field of expertise will have far more chance of success.
- They need to be easily digested. Shorter, easy to download PDF checklists or worksheets are far more easy to digest than long, large files or documents that could be overwhelming or confusing. Make sure that your lead content can be quickly downloaded and used without much effort.
- They need to show your expertise. Lead magnets that show your expertise will be especially valuable, helping to position you and your company as industry experts. Think carefully about the expertise you have to share and create magnets that help to showcase this expertise.
5. You are not personalising content
Finally, without personalisation, your lead content will not have much impact. Sending out generic messages across all of your lead channels is easy. Taking the time and effort to create personalised, highly targeted content may not be a quick and easy fix. It will, however, give you far more chance of reaching your target audience right from the start. Using your personas, think carefully about how you can craft messages that are geared towards your target audience. This will allow you to reach your audience on a deeper level.
You can also use personalisation in your automated campaigns. Just make sure that you do this carefully, however. Addressing leads by name is good – getting names wrong is not. Rather than simply using an autofill to add in first names a few times, think about how you can speak to your lead. Segment your audience, split test subject lines and intros, plan content that answers common questions, listen to feedback, and aim to continually improve your content according to your audience’s core needs.
Invest in Lead Generation Content
As an investment in your campaigns, content cannot be ignored or overlooked. Start rethinking your approach to content and you will soon see just how much it has to offer your lead generation efforts.