How to Generate Leads with a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy

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In recent months, content marketing has moved beyond trendy buzzword to a full-fledged marketing strategy. Increasingly, the discussion has turned to its value to brands as it relates to SEO.

Some believe content marketing will take over SEO. I don’t. As I outline in a new report, “Content Marketing Like a Pro: Tactics and Techniques to Increase Search Engine Visibility”, content marketing should be used as a way to supplement existing SEO efforts and become a lead-generation source in and of itself.

In order to maximize the impact of content marketing, both as a driver of leads and sales and as a way to augment SEO and drive organic search performance, marketers should utilize the following 10 best practices:

  1. Know Your Audience. In order to engage with potential customers through content marketing, it is important to first know who they are, what they want and what they value. This starts with market research. Identify the customer segment and find out the types of websites they frequent. These websites provide an initial list of publisher prospects for the content.
  1. Include Images. Part of the goal of producing and promoting great content is to influence customers and prospects to share your content with their online communities. Use large, engaging images within your content so that when it is shared via social media, the summary that is visible to other users will include a thumbnail. This will draw more attention to it and garner higher click-through rates. Don’t forget to properly tag your images so that they, too, show up in search rankings and improve the authority of your brand’s content.
  1. Curate Content. Regurgitated information from another source is not likely to draw much attention from your target audience. Your content should offer a fresh perspective and draw from multiple sources. Curate content from a variety of trusted sources in order to provide readers with a new perspective or insight they may not have already seen.
  1. Promote. Use multiple channels to promote your content. Leverage your current marketing channels, including email, social media, public relations, display advertising, etc., to inform your customers and prospects about new content resources.
  1. Reference Industry Influencers. When discussing a specific topic within your content marketing piece, it can be helpful to reference and cite individuals who are known to the audience and have authority on the topic. People love to see their own names published and will likely promote the content on their own for free, thus further spreading the exposure and influence of your brand and its expertise.
  1. Leverage Mark-up and Tagging Opportunities. In addition to content promotion, page features can be used to help consumers more easily find your content. For example, using targeted keywords in title tags, meta tags and image alt tags can help the content show up in search. Similarly, rich snippets such as the rel=“author” tag can give credit to the author where applicable and leverage that author’s authority.
  1. Stand for Something. Don’t just tell people what your company does; articulate why you do it. By demonstrating the value your products or services will have on consumers’ lives they will be much likelier to engage.
  1. Be Transparent. Earn your audience’s trust by providing them factual, well-researched information. If consumers feel your brand has something to hide, they will be much less likely to engage with or share its content.
  1. Follow Up. To ensure and maintain engagement of your content, it is important to influence readers to keep the conversation going. Answer any questions consumers have in a comments section (if applicable) and within the various social networks. Allow your customers and prospects to add to the wealth of knowledge you are sharing with your industry.
  1. Measure Success. There is a great deal of learning that comes out of a content marketing campaign that can be used for future campaigns, both for content marketing and other channels. Track key performance indicators such as visits, conversions, inbound links, leads generated and social shares generated by each content piece to understand the type of content that performs best. Use those metrics to inform the type of content you create in the future and how, where and when you promote it.

Content marketing offers brands an exceptionally high potential for return. Whether the goal is lead/sale generation, improving SEO performance or a combination thereof, leveraging the above best practices will help garner success.

Marc Purtell

Marc Purtell

VP of Search Marketing at Direct Focus Online
Marc Purtell is VP of Search Marketing at Direct Focus Online, a full service digital marketing agency that employs hundreds of marketing experts worldwide. He... Read Full Bio
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  • John

    Agreed .. it is very good for marketing in the sense that it may bring in lots of leads that actually could turn into steady stream of revenue. But the question is will it last long enough in SERP…. if it does not get enough backlinks? These days, except by way of gust posting like yourself in the same niche (most of the time credit card/insurance etc. highly competitive niches don’t work together!)…. very few want to give out links to competitors . Some also fear in giving out links for fear of being penalized as all of us know Google has created a whole for itself by way of initiating its Search Bots on the basis of editorial citations and now when webmasters/SEOs found a way to manipulate those citations, they create psychological havoc among webmasters for giving out editorial links. No matter what or how good the content might be, there is always a chance that you don’t get good links (with juice) ! And wit out links does the particular article/content have the authority to remain on top of SERP for long? I doubt so.

    Say what may they, SEs still depend on citations … may be in different from now..lets say 4 years ago. Now they are emphasizing on social signals, author’s authority ( social may be!) and many more. But still the same citations……………..!

    What if a small company tries to put up a shop online, have small budget for marketing which is not one hour’s consulting fee for biggies like Loren, Aaroon or Michael Gray?? These guys are the Gurus of the SEO industry along with few others who have dedicated followers/friends in social networks and might get lots of social citations which seems to be the buzz-word for SEO world these days!

    But what happens with smaller and medium players? Are SEs going to kill small/medium businesses who have limited budget for online marketing!

    Seems, SEs are getting confused themselves as to how to keep their searches free of manipulations! So nothing is to be thought as permanent as they will do their job and SEOs and webmasters alike will try to dogde those steps like PANDA, Penguins, Teddy(!) updates. ALways one-up-manship but like Mickey & Mouse! 🙂

  • ravi kumar


    You talked about right and upcoming strategy of SEO. SEO industry has been changed completely and tends to new internet marketing techniques called content marketing.

    Now everyone should leave their traditional SEO techniques and move on to content marketing. We have to add this new topic to online marketing category.


  • Alina Miller

    Good marketing tutorial thk u!

  • Tory Reiss

    Another fantasic organic marketing article. Great job, Marc!