By Keith Trivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
It’s no secret that content marketing has exploded into every nook and cranny of online marketing. Everywhere you look, it seems, brands and marketers are clamoring to get their heads wrapped around how to put content marketing to good use.
But we’ve always felt that one important aspect of online marketing has been conspicuously missing from much of the content marketing we see: lead generation.
Think about it: Of all of the content that is now being produced by brands – some of it good, much of it awful – how many pieces of branded content have you seen that have a lead generation component to it? My guess is it’s less than a handful.
Thankfully, that’s starting to change.
According to eMarketer, marketers are beginning to place far greater value on generating leads via their content marketing campaigns. In fact, generating more leads is the No. 1 goal of content marketing, according to IMN’s “2013 Content Marketing Survey Report.
Content Marketing’s Main Goal: Lead Generation
As we wrote in our 2012 report, “Content Marketing Like a Pro,” content that a brand creates that doesn’t generate leads is a waste of time and money.
When we published that report, we presented three key takeaways for how brands can use content marketing to improve their lead generation and SEO. They are:
- Content marketing can drive leads directly and indirectly. Direct click-throughs can be created from content marketing pieces to a website for lead-generation purposes. Leads can also be generated indirectly by impacting the performance of other channels, such as SEO.
- Focus on the audience. Even if content marketing efforts are utilized with the goal of improving SEO, it is important to focus on how the content will benefit consumers. By defining the target audience and performing the research necessary to understand what that audience values, content can be created to provide value to the consumer that will in turn lead to engagement and success.
- Measure results. There is a great deal of learning that comes from each content marketing campaign. By tracking and analyzing key performance indicators associated with the efforts, this data can be leveraged to improve future campaigns and understand the types of content that resonate most with the target consumer.
When consumers first encounter a brand digitally it’s not always the brand’s website that makes the first impression. What makes the greatest impression is the authority of the brand’s website measured by where it ranks when a consumer searches.
Content marketing is a method to build this authority and rank.