Create a content strategy for lead generation
1. Ask the sales, customer service, and marketing teams to describe the ideal customer profile and the reasons they buy the company’s services.
Write down the main pain points and problems of these customers. Ask for specific cases and customer stories such as how they found your company, what solution were they looking for, what led them to do business with you, and how you solved their problem.
2. Write down the problems your service solves, from both your team's and your customers’ perspective.
Ask your management/leadership team to describe their vision, positioning, and how the company started. What problem were they trying to solve? Write down what makes your company different from competitors and what you specialize in. Write down which of the offered services gets the most customers, why, and through which channels.
3. Create a spreadsheet with a list of keywords that describe your services and the sub-topics belonging to each service.
Ask the SMEs (subject matter experts) in your company to contribute to this list by brainstorming topics. Include not only the standard industry terms, but also synonyms that visitors might use when referring to your service. Perform keyword research using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, Clearscope or Keywordtool.io.
4. Use AnswerThePublic and Google’s suggested topics to extract FAQs for each of your keywords. Add these in the same spreadsheet.
Add the search intent next to each query. The keywords with commercial intent will have priority. Create five additional columns for: the search volume, whether the keyword is a strategic one for your business (you must be known for it), or it just serves a marketing goal (SEO, lead gen, engagement etc.), the funnel stage, the idea or angle for approaching the topic, and the current ranking.
5. Narrow down your list of keywords to 5–10 queries that cover all funnel stages.
Prioritize the BOFU topics, then the MOFU keywords, and focus on only two topics for the top of the funnel. Bottom of the funnel keywords are typically less competitive, easy to rank for, and will have a high conversion rate.
6. Assign a content type to each of the selected keywords.
For BOFU content, focus on comparison articles, pricing articles, list articles that describe the best option from a range of services, or the top [service name] companies in your area etc. For MOFU content, choose content types that allow you to tie your service in: customer stories where you show how you solved their problem, how-to posts, service description posts (what you cover, how the process looks like, what the customer can expect). Use CTAs that tie the service in and lead generation forms on all your MOFU and BOFU pages. If your CMS doesn’t allow you to create leadgen forms, use a tool like Instapage or HubSpot. For TOFU content, you can opt for brand stories, guides or client stories. Stick to CTAs that tie the service in, but don’t push any conversion. These articles serve for building trust.
7. Research the topics you’ve assigned to the bottom of the funnel to find channels where users discuss these themes.
You can search for “[topic] site:reddit.com”, “[topic] community”, “[topic] forum”, “[topic] site:youtube.com”. Search for groups and communities on social media platforms where users are engaged and ask questions, as opposed to just sharing links. Create a list of 3–5 communities that you’ll target. Use a tool like SparkToro to find accounts that talk about your target topic and can be used for influencer marketing or backlinks. Create a list of 3–5 accounts. Search for industry magazines or blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. Select 5–10 with higher domain authority.
8. Create your content calendar in a spreadsheet or a tool like Asana or Airtable. Add the topics you’ve selected at point 5 in the calendar and attach a content brief for the writers.
Include in the content brief: the title and target keywords, the target segment and angle to take, the structure of the article and the competitors the writer should look at. The competitors should be the first 3-5 organic results for each query.
9. Write and publish the first 5 articles, monitoring the results.
Distribute bits of the TOFU and MOFU content in the selected communities. Distribute the BOFU content through promoted posts/paid social media campaigns for quick wins/faster experimentation. Track the content KPIs for each stage of the funnel to understand which content types and topics engage your target segment better. Repeat this step for the next target segment.