“Lead gen engine” symbolizes the process and protocol for funneling intent-driven traffic to your site and capturing visitors’ information. You should have defined structures in place that do this work for you: It is, after all, an “engine,” which implies multiple parts contributing precisely, efficiently and reliably toward an intended end.
Both B2B and B2C marketers are finding success outsourcing their lead generation activities to vendors, offloading time-intensive tasks such as content creation and measurement.
Through these web content services, you gain expert insight into lead gen theory and a proven business partner that’s singularly focused on inbound marketing ROI.
The Nuts and Bolts of Web Content Services
Content marketing is the engine that powers your inbound lead generation. At its core, organic content maximizes your indexable web presence in search and puts your brand directly in front of your target audience without being sales-y.
While content marketing is utilized for all stages of the consumer journey, organizations — whether B2C, B2B or B2G — primarily lean on content to drive top-of-funnel, brand awareness efforts. In fact, a 2021 study by the Content Marketing Institute, and expressed by Oberlo as a means of content marketing, found that nearly 9 out of 10 marketers have successfully met their brand awareness and credibility goals via organic advertising.
Once you’ve drawn interest (measured by clicks and engagement), it’s up to your marketing and sales team (with support from your vendor) to convert that interest into leads and leads into contracts.
Content marketing is an encompassing term; it includes content creation service, SEO content writing service, website content writing service, web design service and content strategy service, among a range of other sub-engines. Looking deeper, you can manufacture and manage these workflows by dividing your digital output into quantifiable business units, as seen below:
High-quality content is a must. This includes assets of a wide variety that fuel your inbound marketing campaigns and match the search intent of your core audience. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have the bandwidth to prioritize new content on a consistent basis. In recent months, we’ve been able to populate our site and drive leads by publishing content on diverse topics such as:
- What is Content Creation
- B2B Content Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide
- What Is Content Marketing?
- Social Media Marketing: The Complete Guide
- Why Video Marketing is So Powerful: Your Complete Guide to Video Marketing in 2023
If your company isn’t able to pivot quickly and post regularly, you’ll likely need the services of a content vendor accomplished in:
Blog posts, press releases, case studies, eBooks and white papers should all be components of your content strategy, as each of these products serves various parts of the funnel. Great content writing fuels every function of content marketing, as high caliber landing pages and a compelling CTA text trigger downloads — in turn, capturing leads and displaying ROI progress. Content writing encompasses various domains, namely: data-driven SEO content writing, quality website content writing and targeted PPC writing, among others; each with distinct expertise required to produce high-quality content.
Infographics, custom illustrations, document formatting, newsletters and creative imagery go a long way toward adding a visual stamp to your brand. Depending on your audience and industry, site visitors may be interested more-so in quick-hitting stats with complementary graphics than in a 2,500-word blog that takes 15 minutes to read. Content that’s design-forward appeals to a different part of the human brain, thus diversifying your lead gen capabilities to include more than a generic, narrow buyer persona.
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Taking visuals even further, around 9 out of 10 video marketers expressed that their video content efforts have yielded a good ROI. It’s, quite literally, infeasible to craft a content marketing strategy that does not include video. Animations, web demos, customer testimonials, corporate promos, studio shoots and live-action videos form the backbone of dynamic content.
Search Engine Optimization
Web content that’s meticulously researched, grammatically proficient and persona-focused can still fall flat if it doesn’t also adhere to the standards by which search engine algorithms grade it.
SEO content marketing in 2023 requires absolute front-end content quality with structured back-end savvy. This means web pages should be properly tagged with schema for Featured Snippet opportunities in addition to being optimized for RankBrain, Google’s primary AI algorithm which measures click-through rate and dwell time.
SEO content writers know how to optimize written content — whether related to blog writing, bottom-of-funnel article writing, web content writing more generally or related content type — to not only resonate with its target audience, but also drive search engine success. Such professional content yields results over both the short and the long term, as is the fundamental role of quality SEO content.
The true metric for online success is cold, hard ROI. In terms of lead generation, our central indicator of ROI is leads, both quantity and quality. Content that’s constructed to be easily crawled by search bots, quickly interpreted by ranking algorithms and indexed appropriately on SERPs is the only way to put your message ahead of others (at least organically). Once content is published, its search position can fluctuate dramatically for nearly a month before RankBrain better assesses your pages’ value to users and ranks them higher or lower relative to other organic listings.
High-Intent Audience Targeting
Search intent (the queries entered into search bars and the motives behind them) is a fundamental part of SEO. Each page on your site needs to be optimized for a single keyword, offeringusers the most comprehensive content available on the web for that specific search term. And that keyword should also map to your commercial business goals. Searchers that use intent-driven language in their queries are often further down the funnel and may be more apt to do business with you within a shorter sales cycle.
Promotion and Distribution
Content — even high-quality content — that lives only on your site is akin to leaving your car parked in the driveway — you’re not going anywhere. To magnify your exposure to potential prospects and to send stronger ranking signals to Google, you need your content to be shared on social media and linked back to.
A stellar, consistent social presence should serve as a soundboard for prospecting. What are followers wanting to know? How are they engaging with your brand? How are you resolving online customer service queries? Social media boosts the reach of your content and creates a two-way conversation with followers who may be looking to purchase from you.
But you can’t rely on your branded soapboxes alone. You need other, reputable voices to sing your praise. That’s where influencer marketing picks up the baton. Content that’s shared by relevant industry insiders adds extreme credibility to your brand, which helps qualify your authority and dependability in the eyes of social followers.
In addition to social media promotion, your lead gen efforts benefit from email distribution. Email marketing is now the primary medium with which to interact with subscribers and leads. And by automating your email targeting and honing your lead nurturing campaigns, you bring the highest value leads to the forefront of your sales team, allowing them to focus on what counts most: closing the deal.
Syndication and Amplification
Spotlighting your work on valuable, niche sites provides another angle to your brand image and increases the total scope of your content’s reach. Guest-posting on third-party sites, syndicating through trusted platforms like Medium and amplifying via every paid, earned and owned media avenue available to you boosts your inbound potential.
From Content to Conversion to Customers
Generating leads through content is, of course, your main mode of inbound success, but only if you actually nurture and convert those leads into paying customers.
It’s a nearly universal business maxim that generating quality leads is the No. 1 challenge the average company faces.
Even more difficult, however, is converting. Still, content plays a role in the conversion process because 96% of people who land on your site are not yet ready to become a customer. That means you will need to continuously nurture leads through a content ecosystem that will finally serve a business goal of yours down the road.
What To Look for in a Web Content Vendor
Partnering with a content marketing agency isn’t always a clear-cut decision. Who’s better? Does price trump all? How expansive should the service offerings be?
Or maybe you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for: are you looking for quality SEO content? General content writing services for all your marketing efforts? Or simply a steady stream of high-quality, constant content?
To distill this for you here, your marketing vendor should be able to provide you with relevant industry samples of their work, illustrate their SEO services and social media prowess, be flexible with contract terms and have a process in place for tracking and demonstrating ROI across all deliverables.
Shop around, and ask the tough questions before committing to a contract. The future of your lead gen success is at stake, as you’ll be entrusting an outside entity with an immensely important business activity.
But, hey, website content agencies have been there and done that before. That’s why they exist.
Editor’s Note: Updated October 2023.