3 lead generating content strategies for social media
In working with Content Marketing, there are numerous different approaches to take. However, not all approaches were created equal when it comes to converting passive receivers of content into measurable leads that can grow your business. Here are my top three best content strategies for your social media channel.
Before diving into my three strategies, you must first identify, which channel makes the most sense for your receiver. A rule of thumb is that if your offering is something physical - like clothes, furniture or design artefacts - it might be better to showcase the aesthetic of your products on visual mediums like Instagram or Pinterest. However, if your offering is knowledge - like it is very common in a B2B market - LinkedIn is the better option. Facebook can work great for both B2C and B2B audiences, and has the added advantage of different community functions.
Adopt the following strategies to your own context and social channel, and view them as the generic tools they are.
1. Share your success stories
Something that helps your brand stand out and provides real value to your prospects is success stories. And why is that?
When potential customers are seeing you out, they look for signs that you are an authority in the industry – that you are simply an expert on the subject matter. A 30% increase in sales or an exceptional customer review is a measurement of success. And this is something you need to showcase.
Success stories come in different formats: The news of a new client or partnership, a video about a succesful event, an infographic about product impact, great customer reviews or case studies showcasing your best work - each has its strengths and weaknesses. I have become very fond of the case study, which takes more effort to produce, but gives your potential clients a great window into how you work and generate results. More about that here: How to write a good case.
Another pro tip in sharing success, as a part of your content strategy, is to let someone else do it for you. Studies suggest that trust in brands is slowly decreasing, while the trust in people has never been stronger. Align yourself with clients, partners or industry experts and use their authentic endorsements of your work to connect to your prospects. You can read more about why endorsements are so effective here.
2. Use video rather than static content
Video is a great way to show just how your product or services solves a problem. The format allow us to keep it brief and focus on the actual solution to the problem.
When taking social media performance into consideration, Annex Research states that 70% of people view brands in a more positive light after watching their video, while Business Insider found that videos get up to three times more click-throughs than static content. In turn, this means that your video, whether it be sponsored or organically shared, will help you engage the receiver with more accuracy than your static content, which will ultimately generate more leads.
That being said, it very much depends on your receiver and the content. Therefore, I would advise you to always split test the material to get a better idea of what performs best for your specific target audience.
3. Remember the power of free content
People will argue that if you are good at something, you shouldn’t give it away for free. I beg the differ. Why?
Because the free content we publish is a fantastic lead generator. People just like free content, and getting new, valuable knowledge at the expense of an email permission or a LinkedIn comment isn't a hard tradeoff.
In this regard, ebooks are one of the most effective tools you have in your arsenal, but things like webinars, case studies or "How-to" checklists are also great examples.
A post on LinkedIn could for instance write:
I am excited to announce that my new eBook LinkedIn Masterclass is out now. In this guide I take you through the strategic use of the professional medium – from setting up you profile to becoming a thought leader in your network with the right content. If you want to receive it, just write “Yes, thank you” in the comment section below, and I will send it to you here on LinkedIn.
As more people will be inclined to comment on your post (as they want to receive your free content) and because this generates more reach (people from outside your network will also be exposed to the post due to all the comments), you will be able to generate a huge organic reach on LinkedIn. And this typically results in profile exposure and leads created. This is the power of free content.
When considering your website (if you were to lead people to a landing page instead) the most important thing is that the user provides their information in order to download. In this way you can nurture the lead in your funnel via email marketing flows or even more directly via your sales and new business team.
If you want to read more about how the social media landscape has changed - and how to address the challenges that today's marketer's face as a consequence of it, read this blog post about Marketing in the Network Society.