97% of marketers see the opportunity that content marketing presents, according to a recent survey from HubSpot and Smart Insights.
Considering this statistic, it's likely that you already have your hands full with writing quality content to attract new traffic and leads. And if that's the case, you're also probably no stranger to the panicked feeling you get when achieving your monthly or quarterly goals starts to seem like an impossible feat.
What can you do to keep your head above water?
For starters, take comfort in knowing that it's not easy trying to create engaging, inspiring, educational content at a high frequency while attempting to balance the rest of your day-to-day responsibilities. We've been there. We get it.
With that said, we threw on our lab coats and started experimenting with small content tweaks that had the potential to make big improvements in terms of lead generation. In doing so, we learned a lot ... and now we're going to share our findings with you.
For tips on how to get more leads out of your content assets, keep reading.
5 Small Tweaks to Help You Generate More Leads
1) Update your existing CTAs to be more relevant.
In our research, we discovered that 76% of monthly blog post views and 92% of monthly blog leads are from old posts.
In order to increase the number of leads converting on your existing posts, you should optimise the CTAs in the posts that continue to drive a lot of traffic (mostly from search) month after month.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Create a list of your high-traffic but low-converting blog posts. If you’re a HubSpot customer you can do this using an Attribution Report (check out the step-by-step guide here). If you're using another blogging platform, you should be able to export your data to an Excel spreadsheet and manipulate it in there.
Step 2: Once you have chosen the posts you are going to start optimising, you should aim to answer the following questions for each:
- Was the primary CTA's offer the most relevant offer you had for the post's particular subject matter?
- Were there other CTA opportunities available that you hadn't thought of at the time of writing? Or have more relevant offers been created since?
Step 3: Swap out the CTA for the most relevant and up-to-date offer you have.
2) Focus on the keyword alignment.
Think about it: If you know which keyword(s) the majority of people are using to find a particular post, then by making sure the offers used in the CTAs on that post match the keywords as closely as possible, you’re more likely to get people converting on that post’s CTA.
When HubSpot put this theory to the test, the results were incredible. We optimised 12 of our high-ranking, high-traffic posts based on their keyword searches, and this is what we found:
- We increased the number of leads we generated from these posts by 99%.
- We increased the average conversion rate of these posts by 87%.
Here's what you need to do:
Step 1: Make a list of the search terms your blog is already getting found for. We did this by looking at the organic search traffic in HubSpot's Sources App. If you're not a HubSpot customer, you can also use Google Webmaster Tools to identify which keywords you're getting found for.
Step 2: Identify which of your blog posts are ranking for these keywords, and record their ranking in a spreadsheet. You'll need an SEO tool to make this process easy. We used HubSpot's Keywords App since it's integrated with the Sources App. If you don't have an SEO tool, you can also do this manually by searching the keyword in an incognito browser, finding your blog post that ranks for it, and recording the ranking.
Step 3: Sort the posts by monthly views. This allows you to target and optimise the posts that generated the most traffic, and then work your way down.
Step 4: Reposition your CTAs to be more relevant to the most common search term people used to find the post.
In this example, the most commonly used search term to find the post was ‘Press Release Template’ so we simply changed the text on the CTA to match that. As a result, we increased the number of leads we generated from the post by 99%.
3) Optimise existing offers to rank better in search.
In HubSpot’s analysis of our own lead generation content, we discovered that only 15% of monthly organic leads came from offers created that month, and a whopping 57% came from older offers. It makes sense to leverage this data and optimise your existing offers so you can get even more leads finding and downloading them.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Identify offers that have potential to perform better in search. These are generally offers that are covering topics with strong keywords, but the offer itself is not ranking very well for those keywords.
Step 2: Look for blog posts you have previously written on that topic and where appropriate link across to the offer. If you have a high number of blog posts on that topic, look for those that have acquired external links. Blog posts with external links carry more authority and you can pass some of that across to your offer with internal links.
Step 3: Try guest posting on other high-traffic sites that share a similar audience with you and link back to your offer. Every guest post you write is another chance to link back to your website, thus increasing your ranking in search engine results pages for the content you link to.
4) Play around with different formats.
When we look at the type of content that generates the most new leads for HubSpot, webinars came out on top, raking in about 18% of our leads. This is followed by ebooks and kits at 12% each.
It’s important to analyse your content formats to see what is working for your audience. Then you can take the content you already own and reformat it.
Do you have a few blog posts on the same topic that you could turn into a webinar or an ebook? Do you have some cool data that you could turn into an infographic?
Here's what you need to do:
Step 1: The key is to find out the type of content formats that your audience likes to consume by analysing which ones receive the most traffic and downloads. If you're a HubSpot customer, you can find this information in your landing page analytics. If not, you can use Google Analytics. You should also look at which ones generated the highest quality leads by looking at the average lead score from each of your offers.
Step 2: Once you have a list of your top offers you can then analyse them by format until you start to see a trend. You can do this by exporting your offers into an Excel spreadsheet and adding a column for format -- this is a manual process so you will need to input what format each offer is in yourself.
Step 3: Spot the trends. If you see that 75% of your top performing offers are webinars, why not take the content from your other top performing content and turn it into a webinar? Go after what's working.
5) A/B test your titles.
There’s more science to selecting a title for your content than you might think.
In one of our experiments, we changed the title of an ebook and ran an A/B test to see which one would perform better. We took the original title, “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers,” and changed it to “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing.” This is what we found:
As you can see, the revised version outperformed the original by 776% in terms of lead generation (first time submissions). Not only that, but it resulted in more customers as well.
If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect headline, check out this infographic on data-backed strategies for writing better headlines. And once you come up with something you like, run it through the Headline Analyzer Tool by Advanced Marketing Institute to determine its strength.
What you need to do:
Step 1: Brainstorm 10+ titles for every offer you create. For tips, feel free to play around with HubSpot's free Blog Topic Generator.
Step 2: Get a group together internally to whittle them down to 2 of the best title. In doing so, try to focus on factors like clarity, attractiveness, and length.
Step 3: A/B test both titles to a small sample group.
Step 4: Once you declare a winner, use the updated title in all of your campaign promotions moving forward.
While these small tweaks worked for us, be mindful that results may vary based on your industry, audience size, etc. For even more experiments and ideas to increase lead generation, check out our free email course: Double Your Lead Flow in 30 Days.
What other experiments have you run that got you significant results? Share them with us in the comments below.