Gini Dietrich

Four Content Ideas for Driving Inbound Leads

By: Gini Dietrich | August 3, 2011 | 
164

As some of you know, Marcus Sheridan, of The Sales Lion, did a fantastic job of giving an overview of inbound marketing and how to create content that drives leads.

I’ll be honest. Because of my problem with authority (thanks dad), it’s very rare that I walk away from a webinar, conference, or seminar where I’ve learned something. It’s not the speakers; it’s me. I put up this “I know it all” wall and it’s something I work really hard to overcome.

But that wasn’t the case with Marcus’s webinar that he so willingly helped us host while we have Spin Sucks Pro in private beta.

I was writing stuff down more quickly than I could tweet it. He was entertaining and really knowledgeable.

Four Content Ideas for Driving Inbound Leads

Following are four content ideas he had for driving inbound leads.

  1. Questions people ask. He started off by saying your internal teams are the best content generators. They may not write or produce content, but they have the best ideas for you to use. For example, what are some questions customer service are asked continuously? What questions does the sales team answer when they’re in new business pitches? If you work alone, what kinds of questions do you get from your clients that you can answer via content? This is why we created the Facebook question of the week. I was tired of emailing the same answers to the same questions to people. So, instead, we answer questions via video on the blog and everyone wins.
  2. Cost. This one is interesting and it may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up…like it did mine. He asked webinar attendees what’s the number one thing prospects ask you about? Price, of course. So why are we so afraid to talk about how much things cost with us? Social Fish does a nice job of detailing different projects. Why not do something similar? Then expectations are set even before a phone call is made or a proposal is constructed.
  3. Problems. This one I really like because there are plenty of us who have competition who badmouth us. Marcus says to embrace it. What is your competition saying about you? Blog about it or create a white paper that says, “You may hear this about us. Our side of the story is XYZ.” Then, when people Google “problems with your company,” they’ll find your response as well. I love this one.
  4. Vs. At first I didn’t understand what Marcus meant by versus. And then a light bulb went off. Why not create some content that talks about your company vs. another? For instance, I could easily write a blog post (and will soon) about boutique agencies vs. global PR firms. There are pros and cons to both. Why not spell it out for prospects? I love this one because it qualifies your leads even more. If they’ve decided they want to go with a boutique agency, they’ve read about your prices, and they’ve seen you overcome what the competition is saying…and they still call? That means they’re super qualified by the time they call.

As an aside, because I speak a lot and do various webinars within the industry, I get questions from those engagements that always go unanswered. Writing a blog post (or a series) to answer the ones you didn’t get to not only helps your inbound marketing, but it makes the attendees feel good, too.

Blogging is closest to home for me, from a content standpoint, which is why I talk about it the most. But your content can be newsletters, email campaigns, white papers, podcasts, video series, and more. Don’t think content has to just be a blog. There are lots of opportunities for you to create content that drives inbound leads.

You really should download and watch Marcus’s webinar. It’s $50, but it’s worth every, single penny. Even though he did it for us, I feel like I should pay for it because I’ve watched it several times and have taken away new ideas each time.

He’s doing part two on August 25 so, even if you don’t watch part one, mark your calendars and attend that one!

And speaking of driving inbound leads, Christina Pappas is joining us for a webinar on, well, using webinars to do that very thing. Notice a theme with us? It’s so effective and you don’t have to leave your desk to make it work. Join us on August 11 at 11:00 a.m. CT. This webinar is $50 and you can buy it by clicking here.
Special thanks to Hubspot for the image.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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164 Comments on "Four Content Ideas for Driving Inbound Leads"

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adamtoporek
adamtoporek
4 years 8 months ago

I participated in Marcus’ webinar and can attest that it was worth every penny. The content was so rich that it could take months to execute all of the concepts. For people who did not attend, the above post gives a good outline of some of the ideas Marcus shared, but the webinar delves into how to actually execute them.

My only complaint with the webinar: not enough lion taming. That Marcus guy was running wild! :)

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
4 years 8 months ago

I participated in Marcus’ webinar and can attest that it was worth every penny. The content was so rich that it could take months to execute all of the concepts. For people who did not attend, the above post gives a good outline of some of the ideas Marcus shared, but the webinar delves into how to actually execute them.

My only complaint with the webinar: not enough lion taming. That Marcus guy was running wild! :)

KenMueller
4 years 8 months ago

Some great ideas, and stuff I often tell my clients to blog about. But there are a few new things there, so I might add them to my list. Thanks!

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek Thanks Adam, you’re a pretty cool cat yourself brother! :-)

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek Thanks Adam, you’re a pretty cool cat yourself brother! :-)

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek Thanks Adam, you’re a pretty cool cat yourself brother! :-)

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
4 years 8 months ago

Gini – great article. I find in the “New” economy value is being squeezed out and price is becoming the epicenter of business decision making.

It used to be that people would pay more for exceptional service (rule) not that in itself is the exception.

By discussing price/value early in the conversation a lot of time and heartache can be saved for all parties.

Great article and thanks BTW for the link to my post. I have yet to figure out how to fully embrace the lies my competitors tell, but I will never stop working on it.

Grinblo
Grinblo
4 years 8 months ago

Great content drives qualified leads. Here are four ideas to do just that http://t.co/XMh2CTf RT @ginidietrich

kmtirpitz
kmtirpitz
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich Got up at 2:29. Could only run a m, better tomorrow. How Ya doin today kid? Need an app for punctuation

Al Smith
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks Gini (and Marcus) This really got me thinking about some things and what to do. Especially, regarding cost and price. Keep on bringin it ! You both continue to share and help me grow. Thanks again.

Al

John Falchetto
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks Marcus and ginidietrich for sharing his insights with the community. As I said before Marcus needs to franchise his magic and have inbound marketers in every major city teaching us how to create inbound leads thanks to The SalesLion method.

NancyD68
4 years 8 months ago
This was good for me to see. If I have the cash, I am going to sign up for the webinar on the 11th. I probably should have signed up for this one. I felt like no one knew I blog B2B, so I did not feel like it was really for me. That is my fault. I need to be more vocal about my own qualifications. That is no one’s fault but mine. I actually blog for a B2B internet marketing company and I am always looking for ideas. The problem is that right now we really are so… Read more »
marianne.worley
4 years 8 months ago

Great content ideas. I’ve never had problems convincing a company to listen to prospects and customers so we can create content that answers their questions. 2-4, those ones are a tougher sell. As a marketer, I know that’s the information customers want. But companies let fear take over and try to step around the issues. I think it’s better to be proactive and not wait around while your competitors create content about 2-4!

TheB2BModel
TheB2BModel
4 years 8 months ago

RT @ginidietrich Great content drives qualified leads. Here are four ideas to do just that http://t.co/E7CxcP3

JFSean
JFSean
4 years 8 months ago

@TheSalesLion @ginidietrich Go ahead and be biased. Great content is great content. Nice summary Gini. Sending to friends.

JFSean
JFSean
4 years 8 months ago

@TheSalesLion @ginidietrich Go ahead and be biased. Great content is great content. Nice summary Gini. Sending to friends.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@NancyD68 I blog for a B2B internet marketing company, too! :) The beta of Spin Sucks Pro will begin to roll out next month so you can pay $50 (early adopter rate) a month and get all of these webinars (and more) for one price. I just don’t have a way to make it work that way right now. But they tell me August 26 is the delivery date. Which has already been changed from the 12th so we’ll see.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@marianne.worley When he said the price one, I went, “Whoa! Really?” But he’s right. Every, single prospect wants to know it. And, the more I think about it, the more I realize it’d save us a lot of time in writing proposals if prospects knew what we cost upfront.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@John Falchetto You know, that really is a great idea. thesaleslion I hope you’re listening!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@Al Smith Yeah…the price/cost one got me too. You’ll see it’s still nowhere on the Arment Dietrich site, but I’m going to get it up there soon.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@KenMueller You can only add them to your list for clients if you admit you adore me. Publicly.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek HAHAHAH! I wish I’d been able to moderate it but I had a previous engagement. Of course, I’m not sure I could have tamed him. We’re probably worse together.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@danielnewmanUV Competitors will always tell lies about you. It sucks. Life sucks. But the more honest you are and upfront with what you’re doing, the easier it is for prospects to see the truth. The good guy always wins in the end.

KenMueller
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich ok. “publicly, i adore you. privately…eh”

MarcMaWords
MarcMaWords
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich I thought #3 was spot. It can’t be stressed enough when it comes to helping companies keep up their image.

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’d like to do an entire article on this subject Gini…here…if you’ll have me. It’s too important to overlook, and it’s such an incredibly integral part of the trust/sales process. My only fear is that when people read today’s article, they only see the reason why they ‘can’t’ discuss price, versus the mountain of reasons why they should.

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich@John Falchettothesaleslion I’m listening, I’m just too dumb to figure out how to do stuff like that 😉

KenMueller
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich@John Falchettothesaleslion well, there are those of us already doing this. we just need VC from Marcus…

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 8 months ago

@ginidietrich Speaking of worse together, I do very much want to do a dual gig sometime Gini. It would be AWESOMENESS!!

glenn_ferrell
glenn_ferrell
4 years 8 months ago
Pt 2, Cost is a great blog topic. I suspect that the lack of definition of “the ballpark” for my / your / our services (or even the ballpark for pricing in the industry) is one of the primary barriers to getting prospective clients to pick up the phone. Writing a post on this gives you perhaps the best opportunity to discuss the range of costs and what affects them in a way that gives these prospective clients some degree of budgeting confidence, but without forcing you to throwing estimates out against a wall of vague requirements. There are some… Read more »
glenn_ferrell
glenn_ferrell
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’ll read it :)

glenn_ferrell
glenn_ferrell
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich@marianne.worley I’ll read it :)

jonbuscall
jonbuscall
4 years 8 months ago

@soulati BTW 300 people downloaded my interview with you in JULY!!!!

EricaAllison
4 years 8 months ago

All I can say is “dang, I hate I missed this one!”. @adamtoporek told me it was awesome and this blog post with your key points included only amplifies that! Dangit!

Great tips and some that tie in nicely to what I was just talking with Adam about: more clearly defining what I do vs. what someone else does and in effect, qualifying my leads based on the content I put out there! Brilliant.

Thanks, @Marcus_Sheridan and @ginidietrich for sharing this!

trackback
4 years 8 months ago

[…] This post was Twitted by lindsaybayuk […]

EricaAllison
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich Doh! Just read the fine print: I can download it!!! Yay!

EricaAllison
4 years 8 months ago

@adamtoporek@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich Doh! Just read the fine print: I can download it!!! Yay!

marianne.worley
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich Love that idea Marcus. I’m currently working on an Adwords/landing page campaign for a client. We’re focusing on price, even though he’s never discussed prices in his marketing before. When I asked him, “What is the number 1 question your potential customers ask?” his immediate response was, “How much does it cost?” I’d doesn’t make sense to ignore or try to avoid what is most important to the customer.

JosephManna
JosephManna
4 years 8 months ago

I like all the points but the last one. “Versus” has an innate “selfishness” to it. This doesn’t *always* help the prospective buyer, existing customer or the market. However, in moderation, it’s totally right.

I’ve seen SO MANY affiliate-driven “Product A Review” or “Product A Alternative”…. and it’s just tacky and not useful. This lowers the trust people have and introduces or compounds market confusion.

The other three points are SOLID. Address the questions on the mind of the prospect and hit their needs through the buying process. Slowly, casually and candidly. :-)

JosephManna
JosephManna
4 years 8 months ago

I like all the points but the last one. “Versus” has an innate “selfishness” to it. This doesn’t *always* help the prospective buyer, existing customer or the market. However, in moderation, it’s totally right.

I’ve seen SO MANY affiliate-driven “Product A Review” or “Product A Alternative”…. and it’s just tacky and not useful. This lowers the trust people have and introduces or compounds market confusion.

The other three points are SOLID. Address the questions on the mind of the prospect and hit their needs through the buying process. Slowly, casually and candidly. :-)

MrSAYS
4 years 8 months ago

Hello everyone. Dropping by from Twiiter and Livefyre. This topic is what I have been searching for. Thanks Gini for the info. Hopefully it works for me.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@EricaAllison You dork. LOL!

cassiepean
cassiepean
4 years 8 months ago

@courtney_toomey thanks for the RT. Hope you’re having a good day :-)

Leon
Leon
4 years 8 months ago

G’Day Gini,

For a bloke who makes a living from digging holes and filling ’em up with water, that Marcus Sheridan is, to quote him exactly, “one cool dude.” Back in the early 1940s, Dizzie Gillespie was described as “a cool cat.’ Perhaps you should buy Marcus a trumpet!

Thanks for posting MS’s words of wisdom. Even this curmudgeon agrees with youse. In closing may I use, in the spirit oh the ‘hep’ talk and the music, the title of a Fletcher Henderson classic; “Yeah Man.”

Geez those Aussies are wierd…..

Regards

Leon

TheJackB
4 years 8 months ago

Marcus is dead on regarding problems. Take those comments and turn them to your advantage. You don’t need to badmouth the person(s)/company(ies) who are doing it.

It is part of building trust between you and your prospect. That is the sort of thing that will help you close a deal- even when you charge more or offer the same services as your competition.

courtney_toomey
courtney_toomey
4 years 8 months ago

@cassiepean Great stuff! You too :)

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 8 months ago
Lub @Marcus_Sheridan he definitely has a lot to share and learn from. Just my 3 cents since I have 3 points and they all are worth 1 penny…US currency so use them quick before they keep slipping in value. First is I am just like you Gini. I rarely read business books because I am in an MBA class 24/7 called real life case studies unfolding before my eyes and I read so much as it is. I also view most widely read books and blogs as not a source of insight because while there may be good info if… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan Oh people will get a taste of the two of us together on the 25th. Then we’ll give them the real deal after that.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@KenMueller Nice loophole you found. Jerk.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 8 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan As luck would have it, I have a background in franchising. I can introduce you to thefranchiseking and I’ll bet he can help you.

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