Here’s the brutal truth about content marketing strategy:
Most businesses know they need to put out great content, but hardly any know how to do it.
They say things like, “I don’t know what write about.” Or “content marketing isn’t worth it in my industry.” Understandable objections, but today I’m going to show you a method that almost guarantees that you get qualified leads from your content marketing efforts.
You’re going to learn how Steve used content marketing to generate 150 qualified leads from 1 blog. In 2 weeks!
And he accomplished this despite having:
- Very little knowledge of how to create an effective blog.
- Zero knowledge of how to distribute a blog and get people to read it.
- Zero knowledge of how to optimize a blog post.
The best part?
Steve works in a “boring” industry that nobody wants to hear from. (Hint: Insurance. How often do you read content from your insurance company?) In this case study, I’ll walk you through the exact step-by-step process that they used to generate 150 high-value, qualified leads.
Keep reading to learn how!
Content Marketing Strategy:
How Steve used The Relationship Method to Generate 150 Qualified Leads
A few months ago, Steve had a problem.
Steve knew he needed to get into this “content marketing” thing, but he didn’t know the first thing about creating useful content or blogging.
Steve works for an Independent Insurance Agency, Dexter & Company, in Dallas, TX. He wanted to blog but had no idea what his prospects and customers would want to hear about from their insurance agent.
Plus, company management didn’t believe in the ROI of blogging. They had taken a few shots at content marketing in the past with nothing to show for it. It ended up being a waste of time and money for them. Steve was frustrated because he knew it could work if done properly and not the other way.
Fortunately, he didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves and implemented the Relationship Method. And the results speak for themselves.
150 Qualified Leads from 1 Blog in Two Weeks
Even though the odds were against him, by using the Relationship Method his blog was a huge success. Steve’s company has an average price point of about $5,000. Their average close rate on a qualified lead is 20-25% (sometimes even higher).
They put out about 1 or 2 blogs per month. They invest about $300 in each blog. Imagine spending $300 for 150 qualified leads that close at 20-25%. Isn’t that a pretty good ROI?
As a nice bonus because of their content marketing efforts, traffic to their site has increased dramatically. Oh, and they’ve seen a huge jump in search engine results in an extremely competitive landscape.
Do you think the company management believe in the ROI of blogging now? They even asked me to take the blog down!
Now that you’ve seen his impressive results, it’s time for me to walk you through the step-by-step process he used so you can do the same thing for your site.
How to Use The Relationship Method to Consistently Generate Qualified Leads
Here are 5 steps to The Relationship Method.
- Step 1: Listen. Stop trying to get attention and start giving attention.
- Step 2: Give Access. Enable your audience to improve their immediate circumstances.
- Step 3: Be Their Guide. Be present and guide your audience to continuous results.
- Step 4: Keep it Simple. Format your content so it’s easy to understand and take action.
- Step 5: CommUnIcate. Listen to your audience and pay attention to their feedback.
Now that you’ve seen Steve’s amazing results first-hand, it’s time to walk you through the 5-step process that he used to get those results.
BONUS: Download the free Content Marketing Checklist that will show you how to quickly leverage the 5 steps of the Relationship Method.
Step 1 = Listen!
Stop trying to get attention and start giving attention
The Relationship Method focuses on listening to what your prospects and customers want. It focuses on what really matters to them.
Listening is the 1st and most important step of The Relationship Method. Wouldn’t you agree that you can usually tell when someone is really listening to you? Most of the time, people are just waiting for you to stop talking so they can start talking.
Imagine how your prospects and customers will feel when you take a moment and really listen to them. They will feel exactly how you do when someone is truly listening to you!
What happens when you ask a question, pay attention and go above and beyond to give the other what they want based on what they said?
- You’ll end up with a trusting and transparent relationship.
- You’ll end up with longer relationships built on a solid foundation.
- Plus, you’ll end up with loyal customers that trust you.
- Best of all, you’ll take the guesswork out of what content to create. Just listen to understand the needs of your audience.
Methods to Ask Questions
It sounds so simple, right? Listen to what your customers actually want. But most businesses don’t do it. Or don’t know how. Here’s how: Ask questions and pay attention to what really matters to your audience. Then go above and beyond to give it to them.
You can ask questions in several ways:
- Survey: Email your audience a survey and ask them questions.
- Telephone: Call a few prospects or customers, ask them questions, and listen.
- In Person: Set up an appointment and meet your prospects and customers in person.
Check out what Klik Coaching was able to do with just 1 survey:
What Questions to Ask
Here is a simple guide with 4 types of questions to ask. The key is to make sure your questions are open-ended and that you ask them in the order you see here:
- Fact Finding: (70% of your questions) The majority of your questions will be fact-finding. Questions about what they do, how they do it, how their day looks, etc. You might already know the answer to a lot of these questions, but the point is to develop rapport, pick up some new information about them and show them you care and that you’re listening.
- Goal Oriented: (10% of your questions) Ask your audience to describe their goals. Ask them what they’re hoping to get out of your product or service.
- Problems / Roadblocks: (10% of your questions) Ask them to identify the obstacles in the way of achieving those goals. “What’s stopping you from reaching those goals you mentioned?”
- Emotional: (10% of your questions) You don’t need to make anyone cry here, but you certainly don’t want to just be their buddy. “It must be hard keeping up with all that. What do you think would happen to your business if you don’t get past those obstacles?”
Now that you’ve asked a bunch of questions, it’s important to review what you’ve learned from them so they really feel that you’ve been listening.
Tip: This might be a good time to present yourself as the solution to their problem.
Step 2: Give Access – Build Trust
When you listen and know what your audience wants, the next step in relationship marketing is to give access. Give the people what they want!
“Pull back the curtain” to facilitate and enable them to get what they’re after and help them solve their problems. There are no ‘secret formulas’ anymore.
The Relationship Era of Content Marketing Strategy
We are now living in the Relationship Era. People don’t want to be told what to do. They want to make their own choices. Empower people to be themselves and make their own decisions instead of saying “You SHOULD do this…” When you empower people and guide them in a collaborative way, then their trust in you increases.
Be Transparent – Build Trust
Most businesses are still stuck in the mindset of legacy thinking. They hide their prices or aren’t 100% transparent with what a customer should expect. Imagine the trust you would build with your customers when you give access.
Empower your customers to get what they’re after – whether it’s information or actual DIY steps. Show them the tools the pros use.
BONUS: Download the free Content Marketing Checklist to get exclusive tips to quickly leverage the 5 steps of the Relationship Method.
Step 3: Be Their Guide
Don’t just point them in a direction and leave. Guide and nurture them through the whole process. Awareness is critical here. This is what a lot of online marketing experts call “context marketing.” Send the right message, at the right time, to the right person.
A good guide is always available and reacts to the needs of their audience. How? By being present, asking questions, and listening.
This is where email marketing becomes a critical part of the Relationship Method. If one of your prospects clicks on a link to learn more about your Premium Service, send them content about that service. If another person clicks on a link to your entry-level service, then send them information about that. Nurture your leads based on their actions and guide them to get what they want.
That’s not all and I can’t emphasize this enough: Always be available.
- Answer your phone
- Respond quickly to emails
- Consistently share useful and relevant content
When you’ve built trust as a guide and shown that you are available when they need you, people will go where you guide them.
Example of a Great Guide
LeadPages is a great example of being a great guide. We use LeadPages because whenever we hit a roadblock, they are always there to guide us back on course.
Step 4: Keep it Simple
Time is our most precious asset. That’s why people scan everything first before they decide whether it’s worth their time or not. It’s critical to format your content so it’s scannable. The good news is that while you’re formatting your content to make it scannable, you can optimize it at the same time so people can actually find it.
So how do you make your content scannable and optimize it at the same time? Here are a few tips to make your content scannable and easy to read:
- Use benefit driven subheadings. Most people scroll through an entire blog or infographic to get the overall theme of the content. Use benefit driven subheadings to keep them interested.
- Use bullet points. Bullet points are a great way to quickly summarize information.
- Use images. Images
Basic On-Page Optimization for Non-Coders
Optimizing each piece of content means using focus keywords in these places:
- Title Tag
- Alt Attributes
That might sound like a lot of work and that you need coding knowledge, but you don’t. There are a ton of plugins that make this process super simple. We use the free Yoast plugin.
How to “Keep It Simple”
Can you guess the most clicked button in every web browser? It’s the “back” button. The Internet is the easiest place to make a ‘mistake’. Because all you have to do is click the back button and you’re back where you started. That’s why it’s critical to keep your content simple. And do it quickly!
Every piece of content you publish should focus on telling readers 3 things:
- Here’s what it is: Clearly state what readers are about to consume.
- This is what it will do for you: Clearly state the benefits of why they should read it.
- And here’s what to do next: Have a clear call-to-action at the end of every piece of content.
Step 5: Communicate
The last step is to communicate. Listen to your audience and pay attention to their feedback. Sound familiar? If Step 5 sounds a lot like Step 1, it’s because it’s supposed to. Communicating with your audience and listening to them in this ever-changing world is a continuous process.
How to Effectively Communicate
Email marketing is a massively effective tool to communicate with your audience. You can use email to nurture, engage, segment, and even sell to your audience of prospects and customers.
Now what? You already know how to listen to your audience. You also know what kind of results you can expect from listening. (Hint: It’s in the title of this blog) Now it’s your turn!
Here’s the deal: The Relationship Method works. But only if you put in the effort and make it work.
I heard a great quote from Malcolm Gladwell the other day, “The thing that breaks my heart the most is when I see someone that leaves potential on the table.” He was referring to athletes in that case, but the same concept is applicable to your content marketing efforts.
If you use your potential, follow the Relationship Method and take action, I guarantee you will get continuous results like Steve did.
Grab your free Content Marketing Checklist that lays out the 5 steps of the Relationship Method. Keep it by your desk and refer to it when you’re creating content for your website, blog, social media or any other content that your audience will see.
To your continued success,
P.S. To learn more about the tools & resources mentioned, either go to our resources page or download the Content Marketing Checklist.