Your Content Kicks Butt, But Is It Taking Names?

January 16, 2014

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Superheroes are great role models for children AND for marketers, especially those looking to use LinkedIn for lead generation. They know their strengths, use them to their advantage and, at the end of the day, kick some serious butt. And to ensure they meet butt-kicking goals, the most effective superheroes take names – an inventory of butts kicked, if you will. Yes, that’s their KPI.

GraphSo what KPI do content marketers use to determine if they are, indeed, kicking butt? According to IMN’s 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report, the most prevalent KPI is lead generation. 44% of content marketers list “increased leads” as the primary goal of content marketing programs, up from 16% in 2012. This makes sense because for content marketing to be truly effective, it needs to have a positive impact on the bottom line.

If your content commands attention and stirs your audience to think or act a certain way, congratulations, you’ve got the “kicking butt” part of content marketing down. Now for the taking names portion -- here are four LinkedIn lead generation tips to help you get a bigger return from your power-packing content.

Lead Generation Tip #1: Include a Compelling Call-to-Action That Proposes a Logical Next Step

Each click is an opportunity. When members of your target audience engage with your content then leave without taking an additional action, opportunity is lost.

What do you want your audience to do next? Do you want them to connect with you on social media? Do you want them to subscribe to your blog? Download a whitepaper? Request a demo?

Creating content with a goal in mind ensures you’re not creating content just for the sake of creating it. Goal-oriented content puts a “why” behind each piece of content you create, and allows you to get better at guiding your audience to the next step.

To do this effectively, you need to map content to the appropriate buying stage. Consider the following fictional blog post titles:

The Novice’s Guide to Marketing Automation

4 Things You Must Include In Your Marketing Automation RFP

Potential readers of each post will likely be at different stages of the buying cycle. For the second post, it might make sense to include a CTA for a competitive analysis report or a demo that leads to a lead generation form. Readers of your “novice” post will be less likely to fill out a lead generation form at this point (unless you have a free piece of content or a tool that novices find desirable), however they may be interested in subscribing to your blog or following you on social channels.

Lead Generation Tip #2: Make Your Gated Content “Worth It”

Be careful here. On one hand, you want a headline and a teaser description that convinces your prospect to give up personal information in exchange for your content. If you’re successful, you’ve got a new lead in the funnel. But what happens when your content doesn’t live up to expectations?

According to a Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs 2012 report on B2B content marketing, less than half of all digital vendor content is found useful, and buyers feel that 22% of the buying process is wasted with ineffective content. Vendors who produce low-value content are 27% less likely to be considered an option, 40% less likely to win the sale. Your audience expects valuable content when they give up their personal information to get it. Don’t let them down.

Lead Generation Tip #3: Use SlideShare

Not only is SlideShare super sharable and SEO-friendly, it’s also a great way to generate leads. You can offer SlideShare viewers a teaser of your presentation and then gate the rest of your content with a lead generation form. Give it a shot with your next SlideShare presentation and test lead-generation form placement within your presentation to see where it’s most effective.

Lead Generation Tip #4: Always Be Testing

Optimization isn’t just a marketing buzzword. It’s how successful marketers ensure they are getting the best possible results.

Think about it this way: What would a one percent conversion rate improvement mean for your company? For even a mid-market business, a one percent uptick in new leads can mean millions of dollars in additional revenue. At the very least, you should be testing the big stuff (i.e. offers, headlines, major design elements and CTAs) and go from there. Of course there are some general dos and don’ts you’ll want to adhere to when testing.

What did we miss? How do you ensure your kick-butt content takes names when you use LinkedIn for lead generation?  Tweet us @LinkedInMktg.

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Ready to unleash your inner superhero and put these power-packing tips to use? Get started with LinkedIn marketing for lead generation today.

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