November 2nd, 2017
Generating Higher-Quality Window and Door Leads
Last month I had the good fortune of being a guest on Jim Lesko’s podcast, “Lesko Talks Windows.” Most of you probably follow Jim’s podcast, which appears here every month.
We had a great conversation about generating higher-quality leads using content marketing. I talk to so many people who tell me that they know they need to be doing some content marketing, but when I ask them why, they have a really tough time explaining that part.
The secret to content-marketing success begins with an understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.
As a sales and marketing guy myself, I get it. As I look through my blog feeds, the phrase “content marketing” is the buzz phrase of the decade.
Maybe the best place to start is to kind of flesh out what content marketing really is…after all, how can you really know if you’re successful at it, if you still aren’t quite sure what it is?
I kind of like the definition of content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
The real question is…Do you do the content-marketing thing to impress search engines to make it easier for someone to find you online, or do you do it so that users who find you can have a great experience?
Maybe if we break this definition down, we can answer this question: is it an “either/or” proposition, or can you have your content marketing “cake” and eat it to?
“What kind of content do I need to create?” This is the starting point…what is it that defines content for you and your organization? There are tons of different types of content: blogs, articles, videos, press releases, white papers, ebooks, webinars, presentations, podcasts, interviews, case studies…the list goes on ad infinitum. Where do you begin?
We teach our dealer partners that if they want to be successful at content marketing, start by understanding how your audience likes to consume their content. After all, the key is to keep them engaged, and what better way to make that happen than to provide content in the way they prefer to consume it?
There’s no better starting point than a good business blog that features great, engaging images and the occasional video. This way you maximize your potential touches…In other words, the people who like to read can read the post, while the visual learners can consume the images and videos. The auditory learners can listen to the message of the video, including any background music that you might use.
I’m a big baseball fan and, as such, have always been a sucker for a great baseball movie, and I believe that Field of Dreams is one of the best. Adding a content marketing component to your existing web presence will give you some of the same, “Just build it and they’ll come,” opportunities as changes to your site give the search engine “spiders” a reason to revisit your site.
As you begin to understand that getting your content, or at least links to where your content lives, out to all the places that your potential audience goes is one of the keys to successful content marketing.
The Three Pillars of Successful Content Marketing
“…Attract, acquire and engage…” Although, I like the overall definition, I think this part is a bit out of order.
You can maximize your opportunities to attract by doing some of the things that we’ve already talked about — creating content based on your audience’s preferred learning and consuming modalities and giving them many different, relevant places to find your content.
But if that content isn’t engaging and valuable, you won’t have an opportunity for the Holy Grail of content marketing; customer acquisition. The greatest content in the world is worthless if it doesn’t accomplish what you set out on this path to do…get more customers!
The Real Secret
We’ve spoken during previous visits about the old sales adage that I believe is truer today than maybe at any point in history. “People love to buy, but they hate to be sold.”
How do you let people buy? This is where the “relevant and valuable” part of the definition comes into play.
By creating content that educates rather than sells, you create “relevant and valuable” information that leads to a win, win, win.
First, creating content that answers the most researched questions that homeowners ask will get rewarded by the search engines in the form of higher organic rankings, allowing your information to be found quickly and more often.
Second, you create an opportunity to establish a level of authority with the potential customer by providing answers to their questions WITHOUT trying to sell them.
Third, you take advantage of the first two by creating additional or supplemental content to the original piece. This may allow you to capture email information that allows you to continue educating the customer until they’re ready to take the next step.
Next time, we’ll start working through the process of creating an effective content marketing program for your window and door business. In the meantime, feel free to leave any questions that you might have below in the comment section.