Although content marketing is incredibly effective for lead generation, a 2022 survey found that about one-third of marketers spend up to 75% of their time creating content. That’s a lot of time cranking out blogs, case studies, and social media posts that could be better spent on big-picture tasks, such as developing growth strategies. If you’re looking to boost content marketing leads in ways that don’t require your team to generate pages of text or deplete your budget for the quarter, consider these 15 easy and free (or very low-cost) tactics.
1. Make it easy to share your newsletter
If your company or brand sends out an e-newsletter, you can put the power of exponential marketing to use by adding share buttons. Nowadays, even the most basic newsletter templates feature easy-to-add icon buttons to give readers the ability to share via email or on social media.
2. Share industry expertise on a podcast
Whether your company has its own podcast on which you can feature other industry guests or your leadership appears as guests on other podcasts, you can put audio or video content to work for your brand. Share shorter clips as teasers to promote each episode on social media, websites, blogs, or in e-newsletters, and be sure to include a link to your web page with lead capturing.
3. Invite guest bloggers
Beyond just bumping one to-do item off your copywriter’s plate, hosting guest entries on your company’s blog can introduce your brand to a new audience, which can generate leads. Ideally, you want a blogger with ties to your industry who will happily promote their guest blog to their own readers, viewers, and followers on social media or through emails.
4. Write a guest blog post
Yes, someone on your team will still be creating content, but chances are that you can repurpose or upcycle one of your brand’s existing blogs to save time. But the real value in guest blogging comes from the likes, shares, follows, and click-throughs you’ll get from unique audience members who you might not have reached otherwise.
5. Develop an entertaining or informative quiz
People love quizzes, especially if they tell them something about themselves. To brainstorm questions, consider ways to promote the benefits of your product or service. Beauty brands can ask about dry vs. oily skin, if they need noncomedogenic products or something with a high SPF, and whether the consumer’s makeup goal is to camouflage imperfections or accentuate particular features. To expedite lead generation, consider asking for quiz-takers’ email addresses to get access to their results.
6. Run a poll on social media
There are a lot of advantages to running polls or surveys on social media. You can gather information on trends and opinions, increase engagement, boost brand awareness, and generate leads. Rather than displaying the results, ask participants to share their email addresses with your brand in order to have their results delivered.
7. Offer gated freebies as CTAs
Free trials and samples are the perfect enticement for prospects to share their email address. Most savvy consumers know that companies are hesitant to give anything away for free without at least gathering contact information in exchange. To gather the best leads, include these calls to action at the end of relevant blogs, case studies, white papers, or content promoting the features and benefits of your product or service.
8. Use an exit call to action
How many times have you tried to leave a website only to be asked for your contact information in order to stay updated on the company’s product launches, updates, and other news? Gathering this information when consumers come to your site can be difficult, but once they’ve had time to look around (and possibly learn something new), they might be more interested—and trusting.
9. Create a landing page
The standard role of a stand-alone web page is to capture information from contacts. Consider creating a landing page that offers something of value—such as a limited-time discount or information that isn’t available to the general public yet, such as concert venues and dates, or an undisclosed celebrity endorsement. Keep your request for information to a bare minimum, or your page visitors might not perceive the value as outweighing the cost.
10. Gate your videos 10% through
Although marketers can require an email address before or after a video is viewed, brands are more likely to gather leads once the viewer’s interest has been piqued. By placing your gate around the 10% mark, you’ll weed out those who don’t care for the content and better qualify your leads based on their intent to seek more information from your video. One caveat: ensure your videos are engaging right from the start. If the first 10% is nothing but an intro, you’ll lose viewers long before they share their contact information.
11. Distribute content at expos and conferences
Not all content needs to be mailed, emailed, or posted online. Face-to-face networking can be an effective and affordable way to distribute content, collect business cards, and ask people if they’d like to be added to your subscriber list.
Pro tip: If you’re working a table at a busy convention, consider setting out a sign-up list or fishbowl (or other container) to collect business cards in exchange for an entry into a raffle for a high-interest prize.
12. Rethink your SEO
The best plan to gather leads through your website is only as good as the quantity (and quality) of the prospects that find their way there. In addition to sharing direct links and calls to action, optimizing your website and blog can help consumers find your brand organically. Optimize your sites for keywords and phrases based on popular searches, including wording that reflects the problems your consumers might face and the solutions your product or service provides.
13. Reassess your CTAs
Not getting the traffic you’d hoped for to your content pages? It could be that your CTAs aren’t inspiring consumers to take action. Run a split test or A/B testing on your calls to action to see which versions perform better, and then reevaluate your stats.
14. Compile your content into an ebook
Long-form content can provide a boost to your lead collection, but you don’t necessarily need to start from scratch. Consider compiling pieces from your current collection of content in a way that offers tangible advice, useful tips, helpful hints, or examples. Then, promote the ebook as a value-added bonus available for nothing more than sharing contact information.
15. Advertise your content
For less than the cost of a fast-food meal, marketers can pay to promote their content on social media platforms and other channels to reach a wider audience. Choose content that supports your sales funnel, increasing your brand’s visibility to new customers or remarketing relevant content at other touch points in your nurturing cycle to keep your products and services top of mind.
Use these free (or very low-cost) tactics to boost your content marketing leads. Your sales team will appreciate the effort, and your marketing budget will be freed up to spend on other vital projects.