We’re all on the same page that producing content for marketing purposes is important. But are you generating content for content’s sake? Or are you actually using your content to attract customers and close sales?
The key to getting the highest possible ROI from content marketing comes from deploying it appropriately across all of your customer acquisition channels.
Below, we’ll cover 26 ways to use content effectively to attract and close customers. Pick and choose the tactics that make the most sense for your business.
How to Use Content for Customer Acquisition: 26 Tips to Know
We divided these by channel, but some can overlap with one another. Be inventive with your approach and use this as a foundation for your own innovative ideas.
You can have amazing content, but if it’s not search-engine-optimized, you could be missing out on views and engagement.
1. Publish new content regularly to engage visitors and improve the “freshness” — an SEO ranking factor — of your site.
2. Update old content on your site for improved search performance, in addition to creating the perception among prospects that your site’s data is current and accurate.
3. Build content for your website that answers common customer questions. In doing so, you’ll naturally incorporate the many different keyword variations prospects and leads used to discuss your brand’s products and services — improving your search visibility.
4. Map your content specifically to buyer intent to improve your search presence for motivated prospects.
Paid Search and Social Ads
Paid search and social advertisements can bring in new customers if done strategically.
5. Develop lead magnet content that can be given away to encourage paid ad clickthroughs.
6. The landing pages your paid ad clicks lead to should have high-value content to increase the Lead Score and relevance of your ads.
7. Use the data gathered by your ad analytics to identify content gaps on your site that could be preventing visitors from converting into customers.
Organic Social Media Marketing
You can get really creative with organic social media marketing by using your platform to entice customers in a variety of ways.
8. Load all-new content pieces created for your website into your social channels. You can use a tool like Meet Edgar to ensure they’re seen by prospects who are active at different times.
9. Develop exclusive content for social followers, based on what your analytics data tells you will most likely interest them.
10. Use content to drive engagement in free or paid private social groups. For example, a Facebook Group built for your followers is a free option for your company.
11. Encourage social group members to produce user-generated content that can be leveraged in other customer acquisition campaigns.
Melissa Ramos, who used free Facebook Groups to drive $60,000+ in revenue in her first six months of business, exploited the power of content by creating theme days for her followers:
“I have Win Wednesdays, I have a Thursday Follow Love Fest, I’ve got Feel Good Fridays and Saturday Sweat where people post their photos of some, like big hike they just did, or the bike ride they went on or playing with their kids in their backyard.”
According to Ramos, content challenges like these improved the relationships she had with her followers, turning many of them into customers when she was ready to launch her products. These relationships spark emotional engagement, which leads to raving fans that tell more people about her products.
Writing content to be featured on other websites is a strong way to expand your brand reach.
12. Build a custom landing page for sites you guest blog from to encourage opt-ins and feature your top-performing content. Brownie points for hand-selecting the articles that are most relevant to the topic of your guest blog.
13. Offer a unique coupon code to guest blog readers (with permission of the site’s owner) to turn individual articles into customer acquisition centers.
Your subscribers could be interested in the content you have to share, so you should customize it to their liking.
14. Use interest in the different content pieces you’ve created to build email list segments, which you can then target with more specific conversion appeals.
15. Ask for subscriber responses to content pieces you’ve created to gain insight into their thoughts and concerns. This will further improve your ability to release customer acquisition content in the future.
Affiliate and Advocate Marketing
Amplify the voice of those who have already had positive experiences with your brand and turn it into mutually beneficial marketing.
16. Supply affiliates and advocates with high-value, customizable pieces of content they can use in their own customer acquisition campaigns.
17. Develop training content for your affiliates to help familiarize them with your company, what you know about your customers, and how to sell to them.
Publicity and Public Relations
The buzz your brand creates can be turned into a valuable marketing tool, do it in a way that feels organic.
18. PR and media members are pretty resistant to sales pitches thinly disguised as stories. Instead, pitch stories based on the content you’ve created for a less-threatening approach.
19. Create content that’s so exceptional it earns your company press — and consequently — new customers.
When I released my ebook “100 Days of Growth,” I made $119,000 in the first six months. Because of the press the book received, I earned even more than that — $192,000 — in new consulting engagements.
Marketing and sales can be a powerful duo when they work together. Join forces with them using the following tips:
20. Give away targeted content pieces in exchange for landing page opt-ins. (You should be doing this already — no excuses!)
21. Have marketing work with sales to develop content pieces based on specific objections your salespeople hear commonly throughout the customer acquisition process.
22. Incorporate content pieces into your ongoing lead nurturing campaigns.
23. Use the release of new content pieces as an opportunity for salespeople to reach out to prospective customers with value-added information.
While digital advertising is king, offline advertising can reach people where they are and build brand awareness.
24. Advertise high-performing, popular pieces of content case studies or whitepapers your company has produced in your print ads. Encourage viewers to request them from you — a much easier task than trying to get a sale-off a print ad. This will also enable you to better track the ROI of your spend.
Now that live events are returning, it’s never too late to plan for the future.
25. Pay to have your best content printed off and included in gift bags given to attendees.
26. Give exceptional content pieces to top prospects. Printing costs are cheap — have your best lead magnet ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, or other assets professionally printed so that attendees can carry your brand away with them.
The last trade show I attended was at a Rise of the Rest event hosted by AOL founder Steve Case. On the way out the door, I was handed a free copy of his book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. I wouldn’t consider it to be a customer acquisition play, necessarily, but it was a powerful gesture that I can still recall to this day.
From Customer Acquisition Tips to Strategy
Don’t worry — you don’t have to use all the strategies above to turn followers into customers. Choose the handful that seems most applicable to your business and iterate based on the data you receive about the performance of your campaigns.
And remember that this list isn’t comprehensive — either in terms of the channels covered or the tactics provided. You may have other opportunities to drive customer acquisition through content that will be even more effective for your brand than the ideas shared in this list.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.