How to Create Effective Content that Generates Leads and Delivers Return on Investment
If you’re publishing blog posts on your corporate website and they’re not generating results for your business, you're wasting your time.
Creating content - whether that’s blog posts, a video series, a presentation or a podcast - is useful only if it generates results. If you're reading this we’re assuming that the result you want your content to generate is more leads and ultimately more business.
So how do you create content that engages your target clients, and generates leads for your Consulting firm?
Gone are the days where you can write a white paper that you then walk around the market for 6 to 12 months. This is 2018. Everyone has a white paper, or a blog, or some content they want you to check out. Buzzsumo, the content analytics company, noted in a recent report that ‘the volume of content published continues to increase, and new topic areas get rapidly saturated with content.’ As an example, in December 2017, there were over 160,000 articles published about Bitcoin.
This means that you need to find a way to cut through the noise and get your content noticed, shared, and read by the people that matter to your business.
To do that, you need to provide high-quality content that is useful to your target client.
The questions to ask yourself before you create your content
Before you run off and start creating content though you should consider two key questions.
1. Who is this for?
Before you can deliver useful content, you need to define your target client. Get clear about their industry, their role and the type of organisation that your target clients work for.
This is important because it forms the foundation of the rest of your content strategy. You need to know who you’re targeting before you can start creating content. Imagine you have two very different potential target clients: you’d want to create different content for each. A CTO of a large bank will want different content to a Marketing Director of a retail firm and you need to create your content accordingly.
2. What is this for?
The second question to consider is what you’re aiming to get out of creating your content, and what you’re aiming to deliver to your audience.
In order to be effective, your content should be useful to your target client. When they are reading, watching or listening to your content, that content should provide clear value and help the target client get what they want. For example:
If your target client is looking for information, you give them the answer in a clear, concise manner.
If your target client wants to learn, you teach them something new.
If your target client has a problem, you show them the solution.
If you can do any of those, you’ve provided value to your reader. As marketing and sales expert Zig Ziglar said, “you can have anything you want, if you just help other people get what they want.”
Take this article itself as an example:
Who is it for?
Marketing professionals and senior Partners at Consulting firms
What is it for?
To educate those people on a key aspect of Digital Marketing (and thereby demonstrate what Create Engage can help you achieve)
These two questions - who is it for, and what is it for - should be at the forefront of your mind with every single piece of content you create.
Picking your medium
Once you’ve got a clear answer of who and what your content is for, then you need to pick a medium. Do you want to record a podcast, or write a blog post, or film a video?
This will depend on a number of things. As mentioned in our last article, before creating more content you should do a marketing audit and look at what assets you already have. This will help you pick the right medium for your message. If you have a large email list, then written content works great. If you or your fellow Partners have a big following on LinkedIn or Twitter, then an image, or a video might work better.
It will also depend on your personal preferences. If you enjoy writing and hate being behind the camera, then write; if you prefer talking over typing, then film a short video. Your personal preferences and enthusiasm for the medium will help you create better content that is more authentic and more engaging.
Creating better content
Once you’ve defined the audience, the purpose of your content and the medium in which you’re delivering it, the last thing left is to create it.
Unfortunately, a complete guide to creating engaging content in every medium is beyond the scope of this blog! What we can do is give you some helpful advice that works across different types of content.
1. Be clear and concise
We’ve all come across people who prefer to use 10 words when 3 will do, or drop into conversation words that only the biggest crossword fans would know. Effective communication almost always involves simple, clear language, that is direct and to the point. You can use industry terminology if your audience will understand it, but in general, shorter and simpler words are better. It’s easier for your audience, and being able to explain complex things in a simple way is one of the hallmarks of an expert.
2. Make life easy for your audience
If you’re writing a blog post, break it up into shorter paragraphs, with clear headings and subheadings. If it’s a podcast, make sure you have show notes with timestamps. If it’s a video, consider adding subtitles. These are simple but effective ways to make your content easier for your audience to consume.
3. Signpost key content
Make your content easy for people to follow and give them the option to consume the whole piece or just the smaller sections that may be particularly relevant to them.
For example, if you're writing a blog, add a simple introduction that highlights the key messages and a conclusion that summarises those key messages. This will help your audience quickly understand what your content is for and what value they’ll get out of it.
4. Encourage sharing
Lastly, you should add key social media sharing buttons where you can and encourage your audience - as well as people in your firm and your key contacts - to share your content on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on. If you’ve crafted useful, engaging content, you should be proud to share it far and wide.
These four tips apply to any medium and will help your message to resonate with your audience, and spread.
Creating engaging, useful, content will help you develop a bigger audience, more credibility, and ultimately more leads for your Consulting firm.
When creating content, always consider these two questions: who is this for, and what is this for? Be clear on the audience you are trying to reach and why you are trying to reach them. Choose a medium that aligns with your goals, assets and personal preferences, and craft clear, concise content that provides value to your audience.
If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to developing an effective digital marketing machine that generates leads and creates ROI for your Consultancy.
If you want to develop a Digital Marketing strategy that drives results for your Consulting firm, feel free to get in touch - we’d love to talk to you!
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If you'd like to read more on this we'd highly recommend these two posts by marketing guru Seth Godin which give more insight on the two key questions: who is it for, and what is it for”