It’s an all-too-relatable circumstance for many content marketers: You’re on a call with a prospective client, and they tell you — repeatedly — their goal is to grow their newsletter and social media base. In theory, it makes sense, especially to brands who believe the secret sauce to viral success is found in a significant following or impressive subscriber list.
However, as savvy marketers know, quality matters much more than quantity. As a marketing expert and co-founder of Questus, Jeff Rosenblum, explains, many professionals are trained to desire a high volume of leads to feed the sales funnel. However, when this happens, but there is no engagement or action, it doesn’t make your list valuable.
To attract leads and thus, customers within your niche and industry, brands need reputable, well-written, strategic content. This not only moves qualified leads through the sales process, but it also filters out those who won’t make a purchase.
“Quality content explains in detail what a business stands for and how its customers benefit from its products and services,” Rosenblum explains. “By creating quality content, businesses can find the strongest fit with customers that will lead to lifetime value and referrals.”
How to explain the value of quality leads (and content marketing’s role in acquiring them)
So how can you convince brands — and perhaps, even members of your teamlance — to focus on quality over quantity with lead generation? And why they need to invest in top-tier content throughout all mediums and platforms?
Here, we explore these reasons with experts:
- Always bringing it back to the customer so you can connect on a human level.
- Quality content leads to audience retention and trust.
- A talented content writer is worth the investment to attract quality leads.
- Securing leads from quality content usually produces a more educated customer.
- Quality leads come by providing a solution.
- By focusing on quality leads, you cover the landscape of your industry.
Always bring it back to the customer journey.
Think about the last time you made an expensive purchase, like a new car or a pricey sound system for your home. More than likely, you’ll go through many steps before finally deciding to fork over the change. These include researching reviews online, asking friends and family for recommendations and even test driving or speaking with an expert.
As Rosenblum explains, customers now go on a journey before they share their hard-earned time, attention and, of course, dollars with a business. And where quality customers — those who put in the effort — and quality brands — that have what they need — meet, that’s the right formula for a sale.
“While they conduct research, they need particular content to meet both their emotional and functional requirements,” he continues. “This content is much more important than traditional advertising, both traditional and digital, which works well in the top and bottom of the sales funnel, but is relatively ineffective in the critical mid-funnel.”
With the right strategic content, leads are more likely to make a move. But if you try to skimp on paying for it, you’ll end up with lower retention.
“Attempting to save money on content creation can lead prospects to simply make a few clicks to find high-value content from a competitor, who ultimately has the ability to move the prospect down their own sales funnel,” he adds.
Quality content leads to audience retention and trust.
Think about all of the places you encountered content in the past 20 minutes:
- This article
- Likely, your email
- Your social media pages
- A website you stumbled upon while searching
To put it simply, marketing pro and the chief operating officer of Raare Solutions, Rekha Gibbons, says that content appears everywhere in the digital age. And not leveraging all avenues can limit a business’s ability to inform and connect. By investing in a central voice and message across all channels and mediums, you create a consistency that the right type of leads will appreciate. When this happens, Gibbons says you increase your audience retention, resulting in a sale and future engagement.
It also builds audience trust, which makes the potential lead likely to buy and recommend the brand to those in their inner circle. And it starts with the very first goal many brands have: conversion.
“High-value content and brand content consistent in message and voice create connection. Which in turn can lead to the penultimate conversion,” she adds.
A talented content writer is worth the investment to attract quality leads.
One of the reasons explaining the value of quality leads is so important is it makes a case for a content writer hire. Sure, some people may say ‘anyone can write,’ but the truth is, a talented, experienced content strategist and marketer can make a massive impact on your bottom line, according to Gibbons. Specifically, if businesses invest in writers who specialize in social media, SEO-blog development, website copy, etc.
“Each medium has an audience, specific guidelines, written and unwritten to the target audience, and anything that falls outside of that parameter will be unerringly sniffed out,” she explains. “It’s worth the investment to hire a writer who’s a pro at bringing a message to life within the parameters of a specific social network.”
If brands are still being iffy about hiring, Gibbons says to remind them that content is a long-term investment that the big players are willing to shell out the change to create.
“Blog articles can endure for two years if relevant and can be searched endlessly. Content can also be repurposed, reworked and quoted in numerous ways: LinkedIn, on a webinar, in a video, infographic,” she adds.
Securing leads from quality content usually produces a more educated customer.
Quality content — as opposed to a simple display ad — provides context, background, and/or a more descriptive value proposition, according to Miriam Washington Kendall, the senior vice president of marketing for MakeSpace.
Why is this important? A customer becomes a more quality lead when they’re educated, they understand what they are buying or joining, and they know what to expect. This decreases the number of negative reviews you could receive from disappointed parties and allows you to secure the type of audience who will value your product and service.
On the other hand, holding one too many promotions and sales because you want to get big newsletter lists has the opposite impact, Kendall warns.
“When your strategy is to attract customers with a discount or promotion, you will typically get deal-seekers or price-sensitive customers,” she adds.
And if it’s out of their price range at its standard ticket price, they may not make another purchase, which decreases loyalty and retention.
Quality leads come by providing a solution.
Content is sometimes a tricky deal to seal since the return-on-investment isn’t always super-clear or instinctive. However, one way to illustrate the value of creating content that leads to quality leads is finding a problem and then figuring out how to fix it.
As Sam Norval, a co-owner of East End Yovth explains, knowing the issues and tackling them allows you to stay ahead of your competitors. As an example, Norval’s recent client included the ‘Ride to Vote’ campaign, which offered 50 percent discounted rides to and from the polls on November 6 for the 2018 midterm elections. The problem? Getting people out to vote!
“To bring attention to this initiative, while visually conveying the weight of lost ballots, our team erected an interactive mural made up of 10,000 ballots, on a heavily trafficked corner in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City,” he shared.
Here’s what they did:
- Each faux ballot was printed with relevant facts to inform and encourage engagement.
- They used the tagline, ‘Don’t leave ’em hanging.’
Norval says the tagline was so effective that an additional 20,000 ballots had to be printed and added to the installation as passersby kept removing and taking the faux ballots to be a part of the art piece.
“We generated content to be distributed across multiple platforms to generate interest, and the campaign was met with critical acclaim and profiled across many publications,” he explained. “Revenue saw a drastic increase over the same period of the previous year for the rideshare platform.”
By focusing on quality leads, you cover the landscape of your industry.
The most vital starting point for any new campaign begins with a discovery process if you ask Norval. And when you’re on a mission to prove the value of quality leads, having this in-depth research session can help make your case.
First, start by defining what the target audience is, what they value, and then begin to fine-tune the brand message to match. For example, Norval recently worked on a new pharmaceutical product campaign, so they focused on three quality lead groups: healthcare providers, health care trendsetters, and patients. They did this to ensure they would gain a full perspective of the landscape in the marketplace.
“Each group overwhelmingly shared the same sentiment as their most valued attribute in reference to healthcare, the relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient,” he shared. “It seems intuitive and a little obvious, but from everyone surveyed perspective, something that has been lost along the way in the industry. Creating content using that information allowed us to speak in complete opposition to the competition’s advertising and allowed us to stand out dramatically.”