What is Content Marketing? How to Use Free Content to Generate Leads and Increase Sales

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What is Content Marketing?

How to Use Free Content to

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Hello Fellow Marketer!

Have you ever wondered, “What the heck is content marketing?” If so, you’re not alone. We all have.

Content marketing can be difficult to nail down. The strategy refers to a long list of tactics and many experts describe it in vague terms. But vagueness does not help your marketing.

You need specifics, and that’s our goal. We will clear the smoke that shrouds content marketing so you can see how the strategy drives leads and sales for your company. Inside this report, you’ll see:

 The definition of content marketing  5 goals content marketing achieves  How marketers hit each goal

Let’s get started!

Adam Sutton

Freelance Marketing Journalist Magnet Ink

adam@magnet-ink.com 704-900-8522

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Every B2B marketing team creates content. The content is in their emails, webinars, and websites. Content marketing is the practice of making this information valuable and giving it away to achieve a goal.

We must accept it: we are publishers.

But what do we publish? What is content? Content is any type of information that is not promotional. It can be as small as a tweet or as large as a book. It can be an image, a podcast, a blog post – almost anything.

There are two kinds of goals you can achieve with content marketing:

Action - you can persuade people to take action, whether you want them to visit

your website or remain a loyal customer.

Awareness – you can improve brand awareness, reputation, and thought leadership.

These categories cover many objectives – but they’re too vague. Next, we’re going to describe specific goals and how you can hit them.

Many companies run straight to the tactics of content marketing without asking an important question: “Why am I doing this?”

You should set a goal before you select a tool. Here are five popular goals and how content marketers hit them:

Goal #1. Attract prospects

Definition of Content Marketing

5 Content Marketing Goals and How to Hit Them

“Content marketing provides free and valuable information

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Content marketing can attract high-quality traffic to your website. Webpages that are optimized for search engines and promoted through social media help attract relevant prospects to your site.

The topics you select for this type of content should appeal to people who have a problem your company solves. You should keep promotion of your company and products to a minimum. This is not the time to sell.

When prospects search for a solution in Google, they will find your website. When they ask friends for help and blogs for advice, they will find your content and your company.

Goal #2. Generate leads

When prospects arrive on your website, you can convert them into sales leads through content marketing. A common way to do this is to offer a white paper or webinar in exchange for the person’s contact information.

The topics for this type of content should continue to focus on the needs of your audience and include little promotion. For example, a seller of

project-collaboration software could offer a video titled, “Collaborate: 10 ways software can save time and cut costs.”

Goal #3. Win customers

You can send case studies, targeted emails, and other content to convert leads and shorten the sales cycle. This is often part of a company’s strategy for lead nurturing.

The topics for this type of content should casually mention your products and services. Later, you can focus entire reports on your services and position them as solutions to the lead’s problems. Case studies fit into this category.

TIP: Qualify Leads with Content

The topic you select for a piece of content can help identify a person as a good sales lead.

For example, someone who downloads a presentation called, “How to Sell Your Boss on Email Marketing” is more likely in the market for email software than someone who downloads a report called, “Email Marketing in Review: 2012.”

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Goal #4. Retain customers

Content marketing can cut attrition and keep customers happy. This requires you to shift your focus from the needs of your potential customers and toward the needs of your actual customers.

Finding this information can be easy. You are likely aware of the complaints customers have with your product or service. Consider how to educate the customer to eliminate these complaints and increase satisfaction.

If you’re unsure of your customers’ common gripes, ask your customer service reps. To make it easy, ask them in person or on the phone. A fifteen minute conversation will give you a handful of ideas and will be much easier than asking them to type.

Goal #5. Raise awareness and reputation

You can also increase awareness of your brand and boost its reputation through content. Companies often partner with other brands to place their content in front of new

audiences. This includes tactics such as:

 Writing articles for trade publications  Speaking at industry conferences

TIP: Personalize for Impact - A great way to increase the impact of your lead-nurturing content is to target it by persona.

For example, if you have two types of leads, then you can take a single topic and address it from each persona’s perspective in separate pieces of

content. This will be much more effective than sending a single generic piece to both audiences.

Example: Software-as-a-service companies need customers to pay for services month after month. By providing handbooks, tutorials, and videos, you can teach new customers how to quickly pull value from the software. This can cut attrition and increase customer satisfaction.

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 Co-presenting webinars

Social media is another channel where you can increase awareness. The digital gate keepers in your industry – the ones who hold the power to make or break your

reputation with a single blog post – are all over Twitter, Facebook, and industry blogs. By engaging in these outlets and sharing your content, you can gain influence in the market and build a reputation as a topic authority.

Content marketing is the idea that companies can provide free and valuable information to achieve a marketing goal. While it’s a simple concept, the number of tactics involved is enormous.

You can set goals to focus your strategy and use them to select the best channels to reach your prospects. Next, focus on the core problems of your prospects and design your content to help solve them. This will increase the customer’s respect for your brand and will position your company as a leader in the industry.

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Magnet Ink helps marketing firms attract leads, earn trust, and win customers with premium content. We supply concepts and copy on deadline – every time – so you can spend less time writing and more time marketing.

Do you need case studies? Does your blog need refreshing? Whatever your goal, we work alongside your team to understand and achieve your objective.

Powered by Marketing Journalist Adam Sutton, we offer marketing vendors all forms of editorial and writing services, including:

o Content writing o Copywriting o Editing o Ghostwriting

o Research and interviews

Want to see samples of Adam’s work? Visit Magnet-Ink.com

Free Report – Content Marketing: 5 Ways to Find

Topics that Attract Leads and Win Customers

Now that you understand the principles of content marketing, you will need an endless number of ideas to power your strategy in the months ahead. Few things are more important than the topics you choose for your content – so choose wisely! This free report will show you how.

Click here to download the report, or contact me and I will gladly send you a printed copy. Till next time!

Adam Sutton

Freelance Marketing Journalist Magnet Ink adam@magnet-ink.com 704-900-8522 Adam Sutton – Marketing Journalist at Magnet Ink Trained as a journalist, I left the industry in 2007 to research what works in online marketing. I have since interviewed hundreds of experts and written nearly as many case studies. I have covered every topic from mobile ecommerce to B2B lead generation.

I taught marketing

workshops across the U.S. in 2011 and spoke at conferences such as MarketingSherpa Email Summit and ExactTarget Connections. I combine this knowledge with my reporting skills to create powerful content for your team.

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