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How to Use Content to Get All The Leads You Can Handle

John JantschJohn Jantsch

JJ1Customers make a business. You are always looking for more and better customers. Your ability to find and keep said customers can have a major impact on the profitability of your business.

That’s why lead generation is such a huge part of any business’ marketing plan. Businesses need leads to add more customers. Strong leads, in the hands of a capable sales team, mean more sales, and hopefully more happy customers.

But gathering leads is a bit of an enigma for a lot of businesses, small and large alike. The outdated thought that you have to identify potential leads, seek them out, nurture them and eventually turn them into customers is difficult, time-consuming and doesn’t produce results. These days, your customers want to find you, not the other way around. Cold calls are an annoyance, but Internet searches are a must.

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Today, lead generation is all about making sure you have something of value to offer your customers when they find you. Today, lead generation is all about content.

The Content Funnel

JJ2It’s pretty standard practice in marketing to ask for a visitor’s information upon arrival on your site. After all, a visitor to your website may be a lead, but you need information to actually turn that lead into a customer.

But today, so many people use email as their primary form of communication, so it is no longer enough to simply ask for their email. People value their email addresses much more than they used to.

So in exchange for their information, you must offer them something just as valuable. Think of something your best customers may view as gold.

The idea here is that every person that gives you his or her information in exchange for content not only knows your brand but also has some level of trust with you. Much better than a cold call to a phone number on a list.

Then you can begin the communication process directly with them.

Content Upgrades

The valuable piece of content you deliver is through a mechanism called the Content Upgrade.

Start with an enticing piece of regular content. This is a landing page or blog post. Something you can offer that gives a taste of great information for free.

Then begin building the content upgrade. Think of this as a “Next Steps” or “Additional Reading” piece. For my business, I offer how-tos or checklists on marketing subjects. These are tied directly to related posts. People come, they check out the post, then download the content upgrade to learn more.

This element requires a bit more thought and effort than a basic blog post. If you’re producing downloadable content, treat it as you would any printed marketing project. Consider hiring a designer to polish the document.

Video can also be a great content upgrade. Be sure to use professional equipment and possibly even hire someone to include graphics. You don’t want your customers to feel cheated of value when they download your content upgrade.

JJ3Know more about your Lead

Another important factor to the multi-variant content upgrade is that it helps you segment visitor interest.

With a content upgrade, you know exactly what drew your customers to your site, and what compelled them to give you their information. Now you can tailor your follow-up with them to address their very specific interests.

Think about the implications for this when it comes to email marketing follow-up. You now have a much more focused idea about what your subscribers care most about and tailor your follow-up with this knowledge and even use it to create a complete products and courses based on this interest.

 What Makes a Good Upgrade

You don’t have to overthink the package for a content upgrade. In many cases what you’re looking to do is simplify information not make it more complex. People want relevant snacks more than the full manual.

All you need to do to think of an appropriate content upgrade is keep your best customers in mind. What do they want? If you can answer that question, you’re well on your way to creating an effective content upgrade.

Get More Leads

Once you have the content upgrade in place, draw the leads in with targeted social advertising and PPC ads. With a highly targeted group, your upgrades will be collecting all of the leads your business can handle.

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.

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