Hubspot did a State of Content Marketing survey a couple of years ago. In it, they asked 1,400 business owners how content affects leads generated for their organizations.
The results were interesting.
It found, of the business-to-consumer organizations that consistently create new content, 88 percent of them had generated more leads than when they began content marketing. And, among business-to-business organizations, 67 percent garnered more leads.
It also found the more content the organizations created, the better their inbound lead generation.
From the study, respondents had:
- Ten percent more leads if they created one or two new pieces of content per month.
- Thirty percent more leads if they created two to four new pieces of content per month.
- Seventy-seven percent more leads if they created more than four new pieces of content per month.
Though the study isn’t super recent, the results tend to be the same. Content marketing is where it’s at right now and organizations that haven’t taken advantage have a huge opportunity before them.
It used to be you’d have to hire a PR firm to tell your story for you, using the relationships they had with journalists, producers, and other media. While it’s still valuable to do that if you are concerned with brand awareness, thought leadership, and credibility, the opportunity you have to tell your own story is with owned media.
Owned media, by definition, is the content you create for the things you own: Your website, your blog, your collateral, or your brochures.
But the difference between the content you used to create for those things and today’s definition is they have to be valuable and interesting to your audience. They cannot be all about you. They need to highlight your thinking, your process, and even some of your intellectual property (take a look at how McDonald’s gave away their secret sauce recipe).
Step One in Content Marketing
One of the biggest complaints I hear about content marketing is it takes a lot of time or the organization doesn’t have a writer on staff or it’s too hard to get started.
The easiest way to get started with owned content is to go through every page of your website. It used to be your website was your corporate brochure online. Today, though, your site has to be a living, breathing document that not only tells customers and prospects the pain you solve for them, but it has to be interesting, valuable, educational, and generate leads.
Some of you can print out the pages of the site and others will have to use the “find” button in your content management system.
If you print out the pages, spread them out on a conference room table and uncap a red pen. Go through each page and circle the French – the “we, we, we.”
If you use the “find” button, find those same words and rewrite the content to solve a problem for your visitors. Find all the “we,” the “us,” the “our,” and anything that talks about how great you are.
You’ll replace those words with “you,” “your,” and other words that put it in the perspective of your customer or prospect.
If you update every page on your website in this manner, you suddenly have new content. If you publish one or two new pages each week, you have new content for several months.
Of course, that’s not all you have to do. You have to understand how to use on-page search engine optimization and contextual calls-to-action to actually generate leads like the Hubspot survey shows.
We’ll talk about how to do that next week.
A loosely modified version of this first appeared in my weekly AllBusiness Experts column.