It may be surprising to know that the majority of leads that actually result in conversion in todays market are derived from digital marketing efforts. Companies that engage in a lead generation strategy that consists of a focus on optimized content – whether purchased, personalized or organic – were much more profitable than those who implemented more traditional channels for their marketing approach. The problem is, that the the content of many companies, while informative, does not engage the user to learn more or be inspired to share with a larger audience.

That’s where content marketing comes in. 

A solid digital content strategy, when done well, becomes the most important relationship that a company shares with its audience. One that builds trust and develops a connection without actually being face to face, and must be nurtured over time. Allowing for successful ongoing lead generation and sustained business, company must constantly be producing a steady stream of new content that is relevant to their user or timely campaign.

But where does all this content get plugged in to actually generate leads?

#1: Website Optimization

Perhaps the most underused and most valuable resource in lead generation is a company’s website. By leveraging targeted content through SEO and analytics, a company can position themselves for steady growth through organic leads. Many sites are often neglected – populated with outdated content and underused links. Content, as well as site architecture should be audited and refreshed to reflect ideal usage for the user.

#2: Blogging

Incorporating a blog into a content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to build continuous SEO (with tagging/hashing) and solidify brand awareness. At the onset, many feel like they are talking to an empty room, but it is important to remain consistent and strategic. Create an editorial calendar, building multiple posts and articles around a single subject (product launch, industry standards, event etc) and expanding on specific areas on each one will help with search results and credibility. As brands grow, they can better position themselves as leaders in the market for a specific niche or category. As this credibility develops and their user base grows, it’s important to continue engaging through building customer knowledge.

#3: Social Media

Social media allows a company to cast a wide net for it’s content, dipping a toe into new markets and testing the waters for audience response. Each platform has its own rules, but all function as an ideal place to aggregate information, acting as the true driver for a content marketing strategy. A few methods can be taken to introduce content; (1) actual posting of content (no links); (2) links to expanded content on website or other platform (blogs, site content); (3) messaging through interaction with users. It’s important to provide a consistent but varied stream of content, producing as much original material as possible, but also sharing some candid and outside points of view that are relevant to the audience being engaged.

#4: White Papers, Thought Leadership

White papers positioned as premium content often succeeds in generating some of the most conversion prone  leads. While it is free, companies that do well with white papers usually sell prospects on the contents of it as if it was a valuable product the prospect would normally pay for. These reports also tend to be highly shareable if they contain valuable, useful or groundbreaking content. The white paper in of itself is not a tool designed to sell prospects but rather inform. The reader should ideally walk away thinking that they’ve learned something valuable and they can use the white paper to make a purchase decision. The key to accomplishing this is the content combined with strong and clear communication.

#5: Email Marketing

While some may see email marketing as a somewhat ‘hard sell’, the truth is that speaking to a cultivated audience is effective. Whether a prospective or long time customer, the user has already expressed interest in the material. This is where personalized content can be a game changer. A segmented email strategy, only sending information that is relevant to the history of the user (what they purchased, their company model, etc) is the route to opening up the conversation further. Always offer a call to action and check analytics to identify what the top click through items are and who may be opting out.

#6: Webinars, Podcasts

With a true value added cache and monetization opportunities, webinars can prove to be an ideal lead-gen platform to position a brand as a leader in the market. Webinars have gained great traction across multiple industries with professionals seeking to enrich and inform themselves on a wide range of topics. Bringing a more personal face to the content is an amazing tool for marketers. Focusing on a specific topic relative to the target audience is a powerful segmentation tool. If orchestrated well with the right mix of content and presenter, webinars bring an already engaged audience closer to conversion.

With a optimized content in place and a targeted strategy, these lead generation platforms can actively increase the bottom line of a company. Each one has its own benefits, but when incorporated together to deliver an integrated and consistent messaging strategy – can change the future of a company for the better, both culturally and financially.