How small business can use content marketing for lead generation in India

Small business in India has now rightly started to use content marketing as one of the primary tools for attracting more businesses and leads online.

Are you wondering whether content marketing is for you? Do not waste time thinking. A recent study has proved that the marketing expense per lead for Inbound Marketing is way less than traditional marketing techniques.

Also, this slideshow study was done by HubSpot that reveals that more businesses are now starting to blog and they are generating more leads as you read.

Hubspot report for inbound marketing in 2011 - Digikarma

This brings us to a question as to how small businesses can leverage content marketing to generate valuable leads and customers. Read along:

Step one: Do extensive market research

The no 1 step in having the right content marketing strategy is to know more about your target market, what they are searching and what kind of keywords are being used in and around your industry.

"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought" - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

So then one must wonder how you can know whether people are looking for your product let alone your company. The answer is to find the commercial keywords

Keywords are those words your prospective customers are searching for and commercial keywords will help you understand that prospects intention to buy.

Now let us assume that you are a construction company based in New Delhi and would like to know what your potential customers are searching for so that you can build a content or keyword strategy around it.

Keyword research – finding the keywords - Digikarma

Go to Google’s Adwords planner and type in to the search box your main keyword (for eg: Builders in New Delhi) and press get ideas.
There you will be presented with a host of keyword ideas your target market is currently searching for. While this adword planner is used primarily for Google adwords, this one is a great tool to get an idea about what keywords you should be targeting.

By doing the above you can now think about how to target those who are searching for your keywords. You can not only optimize your landing pages for the same but also come up with compelling content marketing strategies that can bring you in more customers over time. Content marketing in that way is definitely not quick but seriously effective by driving in more valued customers over time. One should always realize that content marketing is a time taking process but that it is worth the effort, like how Marcus Sheridan managed to get an ROI of 2 million dollars in sales using blogging as content marketing. Using his blog he managed to take his business into greater heights and still remains as one of the best content marketing success stories.

Answering the questions of your potential customers can also help you build your online personal brand and thereby stand out from competition. By knowing what kind of questions your market is asking you can answer them through your websites and blogs which will help drive quality traffic and some high quality leads. This one technique is used by many companies to generate more business.

One another way you can pick out the right keyword to target is by doing a simple Google search. A simple search and the Google’s drop down will suggest you a host of search phrases that people are currently looking for leaving you with even more keywords and content ideas to work with

Google search to find keywords - Digikarma

Step two: Create an attractive landing page

The next attention should be given to create a landing page that attracts and compels your audience to take action. Every landing page does not work the same way and that is why no two landing pages are created equal. Done right, a landing page can bring in more success and conversion than any other page. For example CRE managed to create 1 million in revenue for Moz using optimized landing pages.

Graph of how CRE helped Moz gain 1 million - Digikarma

The key in having the perfect and optimized landing page is to know what goes where and to understand what works. The perfect landing page should contain an appropriate headline that attracts, should have a strong opening to lure attention and the content should build interest as the reader reads on. This is a fool proof way of making sure the content is compelling on any social media that you may choose to share it on.

The anatomy of perfect landing page - Digikarma

The primary focus should be on the usability part and not the visual appeal. Any user who may wish to consume your content should have a very pleasant experience.

Optimizing the landing page thus should be focused around the reader, ensuring a flawless movement of content will make sure the reader does not get drifted away from the core content and that increases the chance of the prospect converting.

Steps to optimize your landing page -Digikarma

Another important factor that determines the conversion of your landing page is how fast your loading time is. It is so important that KISSmetrics in a recent study stated that a one second delay in loading will decrease the conversion rate by 7%.

One great example of landing pages for reference is Lyft and how they use a very simple design to attract fellow drivers to join them.

Landing page example – LYFT - Digikarma

When you take a closer look at this landing page you can see that it has a very compelling headline that can attract any drivers who are looking to earn money. It is also very easy to read and consume. Even sign up from is clean and easy to understand thus increasing the chance of conversion. The landing page also has an image that gives makes it attractive and gives it a personal touch.

Step three: Create a good lead bait to bring in more prospects:

A good lead bait will act as the resource for your prospects to learn more about you.

It is as simple as that. The idea of having a good lead bait is to lure in potential customers through the bait and give them something of inherent value and make their life better in the best way you can.

What will this do for you? This will increase the likelihood of a prospect wanting to do business with you. Simple!.

A lead bait in that sense can also easily drive more people to your email marketing campaigns.

It is no doubt that Email is still one of the most prominent tools used by marketing expert around the world.

According to Statista in the United States (as of 2015) alone for 90.92% email is one of the most popular activities.

Usage of Email statistics by Statista - Digikarma

Even in the case of professionals Email still remains as the favourite mode of communication making it the most ideal form for Business to Business interaction

Email and B2B interaction - Digikarma

Even in India, in 2015, a considerable amount of marketers still think Email marketing works for them and is effective

Effectiveness of Email program in India - Digikarma

While creating that perfect Email marketing campaign , do keep mobile users in mind. More than half of the entire emails read are now through mobiles.

Mobile market share in Email Readership by Litmus - Digikarma

Now then what remains is to know how to create that perfect lead bait that will leave your prospects wanting more.

Before going deep into all the lead baits you can create, do understand that a lead bait can be anything that lures a potential customer to your content.

Take Revzilla for example who sells accessories and riding gears for motorcyclists around the world. While their end goal remains a purchase, they use Youtube reviews and videos as lead baits to lure in potential customers to their products. By giving in depth access to content about the products they are selling, they are not only showing out their expertise and product but is influencing a buyer by providing valuable information and that does help build a relationship.

Revzilla Youtube Channel Screenshot- Digikarma

It is essential to have the right lead bait to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns. To find out what is the right type of lead bait for you, it is recommended to look at your audience and think what sort of content will be good for them.

In another example if your target market are drivers, it is always better to release podcasts that they can consume, as they will be on the road for most part of their time. Similarly, infographics or a simple animation video might work to explain the working of a software or an application.

Some type of good lead baits can be Ebooks, Case studies, White papers etc.

Step four: Create content based on the research you have done

After the research you have done you will be left with a bunch of keywords that you can use and create your content around. A good content campaign is achieved when the content is of quality and is data driven

The content is more valuable and converting when it is directly targeted and curated for a specific set of readers. To do this might feel confusing at first, but if it is backed by solid keyword research no content will go in vain. To create such targeted content one should:

1) Understand what content users want:

To get an idea of the type of content your users want, it is often better to look at what they are reading or consuming now. This will help you understand what kind of content you should be investing in.

You can do this by looking at your own Google Analytics to know what type of existing content is generating more readership. You can then go on and create content that are similar to that. However, there might be pages with more page views simply because you promoted it heavily, but this will in general give you an idea on what type of content is engaging among the audience.

Better yet, you can always ask existing customers and readers for feedback on what type of content they would like to have. Any such feedback will be immensely valuable for content creation.

2) Create compelling headlines :

People are attracted to content just by the headline. The headline to a content is so important that you entire content can get ignored if the headline is not apt and attractive. The headline should be such that it attracts the attention of any person and at the same time should compel one to click and read more of the content. The Copyblogger media states that 8 out of 10 person who see your headline will read your content. The headline should be such that it should prod one to read the entire content.

Finding the right headline for your content may be time consuming and might require some tweaking from time to time. Thus understanding about creating the right headlines to use will make or break your content strategy.

Some of the ways to do the above is to learn more about existing headlines that are getting the right click through rate. Doing this you can learn from the best copywriters in the industry and leverage it to create the best headlines for your content. To do this you can:

Check online magazines and publications : Online magazines and publications use powerful headlines that attracts readers. There are professional copywriters who give lot of thought on powerful and catchy headlines from where you can draw inspirations from.

Infibeam Screenshot - Digikarma

You can specifically look for online magazines that are specific to your industry and look for headlines that they are using.

The perfect headline screenshot - Digikarma

From the above example you can see that the headlines used is 50 most daring Entrepreneurs. Headlines like the above will not only give the readers an idea about what type of content they can expect but at the same time it is catchy enough.

Study what is ranking right now : Another easy way to get some catchy headlines is to look at what is ranking right now in Google or other search engines. These headlines are already up there because they are catchy enough and these are the type of headlines that people are currently reacting to.

Search content marketing in India Screenshot - Digikarma

The above strategy can give you some headline ideas that you can work with. Now, create that catchy headline that will draw more traffic. Make sure to add your own spin to any type of headlines that you are creating and always listen for feedback from analytics and from real life customers and readers.

3) Collect all the data and statistics :

Before you go all creative with writing that compelling content you have to gather data and statistics relating to the content you are writing.Data driven content will ensure quality leads.

One way to get these data is to look at your own analytics section. A closer look at the page views, bounce rates and percentage of new vs returning customers can be used as data and statistics for the content you are writing.

You can also use other content available on the internet relating to your topic as data that can back up your content and give the proper authority.

4) Create your content and make it deep :

After having the right headline and the data to back up your case you should now start writing your content. Considered to be as one of the toughest part of the entire content marketing process, this one step does have the capacity to decide whether your entire campaign will work or not.

The primary factor that should be considered while writing the article is the amount of words that you are going to include. Recent study has proved that lengthy content are often ranked by Google. In fact, blogs with more than 2000 words have a better possibility of ranking than those who do not.

Average content length stats by serpIQ - Digikarma

The above screenshot clearly shows all the article that is ranking in the top ten has words above 2000.

So, it is always better to write detailed content with more pictures, images and references that you can link out to. This not only show your content is well built but also helps you in achieving a better ranking.

Step Five: Promoting the content you have written.

Now comes one of the most toughest part for any marketers out there who are looking to create valid leads. Promoting the content is one of the vital yet the most struggling part of content marketing.

Before doing any kind of promotion it is vital to understand that a successful promotion of your content is entirely depended upon the content you have created and its relevancy.

To discuss the entire promotion techniques here might just drag this blog a bit too much and expand its scope. There is a dedicated blog article written about different ways of promoting your content. Do read that if you want detailed information.

Step Six: Use Email marketing for Lead nurturing.

Imagine. after you have written and promoted your amazing content, you have gained some valuable leads. Not every lead will of course get converted. What will you do with the rest of the leads that are staying dormant in the pipeline? You nurture it!

Lead nurturing is the entire process of encouraging a lead to become a customer. This is based on the idea that not every prospect will engage at first impression. You will have to work hard to gain attention and to keep it. This is where lead nurturing will help. All leads go through a process

Lead nurturing process by hubspot

Lead nurturing is thus understanding where each lead is and making sure they are reminded of you from time and time again using valuable content that are relevant to those leads.

Then, how can we actually nurture those leads?

Using Follow up Emails. Emails are a great way to reach to those leads you have generated. While mailing them make sure you are providing them with quality content that adds value to a lead’s buying journey. Doing this will make sure your lead gets reminded of you and might even consider buying one of your services. The key then is always not to overdo it.

Conclusion

Are you a small business in India? Are you looking to grow? Are you looking for ways to generate leads using content marketing? Then I hope I was able to share some of what I know about using content to grow and generate business. Using the above steps and techniques small businesses like you can now think of generating valuable leads. Such a process is never a onetime one and it requires consistent effort and dedication from your part. The entire process of lead generation is thus a commitment and small businesses like you should never ignore it.

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Digikarma @Digikarma chats with @Content to Grow about Content#

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