Marketers know that lead generation is a core function of their job; however, simply expounding the benefits of a company’s products or services won’t cut it. According to the Content Marketing Institute, nine out of ten organizations are now marketing with content http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/B2C_Research_2014-withlinks.pdf and B2C marketers who are not currently marketing with content are expected to jump on the wagon.
Driven by the digital age of marketing, prospects are now interacting with media more than ever before. They take to the online arena seeking out information on products and services, searching for relevant information, resources and expertise before making purchase decisions. What these customers are looking for is a company that can provide answers, feedback and direction—a company that can demonstrate thought leadership demonstrated by good content that engages them. It’s about fostering education and creating awareness at the start of the purchase journey, at the top of the lead gen funnel.
Today’s digital age, where content is king and social reigns supreme, demands relevant, timely and quality content that can help a customer solve a problem or meet a need. For internet franchise marketing, it has never been easier—or, ironically, more overwhelming—for a company to satisfy these needs.
The choices for content are plentiful, but it’s important to remember that content is not just about producing web pages or newsletter articles. In order to educate and raise awareness among prospects, a company needs to be ready to provide a range of informative materials that will kick off and also augment the lead generation journey. These can include:
- Videos and photos
- E-books and manuals
- Product information sheets
- Tip sheets and checklists
The point of these, and something many marketers may shirk from, is that to be effective, the content cannot be specifically about your company or your products or services. That is secondary. Such a radical idea can be overwhelming to swallow, but to build credibility; your content should go beyond the sales pitch. You will speak volumes to prospects if you speak in broad terms to your industry and to specific problems that your company seeks to overcome.
In addition, the company that employs a variety of these tools, among many others available, will go a long way toward building trust and rapport with their prospects and their current customers.
Today, many big name brands are employing journalists in a bid to bring top-talent to their company stories, news and information http://contently.com/strategist/2014/02/19/the-great-journalist-exodus-begins/. Many are developing their own corporate news rooms or news bureaus to tackle the need for content on their websites or in their lead generation programs. However, while these brands may have the budget to create a successful newsroom within their company, the reality is that franchise owners may not. Yet this shouldn’t stop them from providing quality content to customers and prospects. For lead generation, website development for franchisees can incorporate a place for content to help drive the customer journey.
The content should satisfy the following criteria:
- It should meet a customer need, answer a problem or area of concern.
- It should be well written.
- It should back up claims with evidence by providing stats, facts, testimonials, quotes and links to any relevant research.
- It should be something that is relevant to your company.
- As always, it should NOT be promotional in tone.
Once the lead generation program is developed together with the supporting content, the content itself should be promoted through your company’s landing page, media release, blog and social media properties.
As the Harvard Business Review has stated https://hbr.org/2014/07/the-content-marketing-revolution/, the content marketing era has ushered in a period of “corporate enlightenment” that can result in being seen as a trustworthy thought leader who is more than just the sum of their products or services.Back