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October 30, 2015

Cindy Penchina, President

Content Marketing for Your New Business

So. You spent the last six months painstakingly designing a beautiful website. It’s a marvel of modern design, a wonderful mixture of form and function dancing a delicate ballet across the monitors of millions. It’s got everything you wanted – a beautiful homepage banner, strong messaging, social media integration, and a truly breathtaking blog.

But it’s all been a waste if nobody knows about it. After all, you didn’t make it for yourself. You made it for your customers – and the people you want to become your customers. So you need to get the word out, but just sending out an email blast isn’t enough. Sure, it’ll help you reach the people you already know. But it’s the ones you don’t know that you really want.

So it’s time to think about getting a little bit of content marketing going. And while inbound marketing is our preferred marketing strategy, it’s a long-term, slow-burn process that’s all about building up legitimacy and trust. But there are some quick and dirty lead generation plans you can utilize to get started.

1. Get an email list. 

Ideally, you already have one, made up of existing contacts developed by your business organically. That means that you’ll generally have less lead qualification work to do because these are people you’ve already engaged with in a business capacity. If you don’t, you can purchase lists, but they won’t be well-qualified by any stretch of the imagination. Another option would be to use a pay-per-click campaign to help build your own.

But whatever method you use to get the contacts, here’s what you do with them.

2. Build a content offer.

A “content offer” is just a fancy-pants way of saying “a piece of content you’re giving away.” This is the cornerstone of your first marketing strategy, and it serves the important role of getting people to care about coming to your website. Whatever your business, it’s something in which you’re an expert. So think about what you know about and what sorts of questions you get asked. Think about who you’re doing business with, and what their pain points are (we can get into developing your buyer personas later! You need leads now). What keeps them awake at night – and what can you give them that will get them invested in you for the future?

When we produce these sorts of content offers at Hudson Fusion, we think to ourselves “a lot of our customers are small businesses trying to get started with marketing.” And so, we’ll offer a guidebook on how to use social media for business. The only people googling around for that are people who might be looking for a marketing solution, and when they sign up for it, we turn them into a known lead.

3. Blast the content offer. 

So you’ve got your list of folks – but you want to turn that list into something useful: a list of people who might be interested in your services. So it’s time to blast out your content offer, “An Easy Guide to Getting Started with Widgets” or something.

An email blast requires three components: your traffic driver email, your landing page, and, of course, “An Easy Guide to Getting Started with Widgets,” helpfully formatted as a PDF (or if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can offer ePub or .mobi files as well). These three parts have to work in tandem: the email has to entice them to click through to the landing page, which has to sell them on the offer such that they’re willing to give you their contact information, and the content itself has to be engaging enough that they stay interested in you.

“But, wise marketing experts of Hudson Fusion,” you might be asking, “I already have their contact information.” For the people who came from your traffic drivers, that’s true – but you’re forgetting two things. The first is that email isn’t the only place you’re going blast this content; you’ll share it on social media and host it on your website, creating numerous paths for unknown visitors to find it and convert. Their contact information is something you don’t have.

And second, even if you already have their information on your list, when they convert, they get added to a second list of marketing-qualified leads you can continue to develop and nurture. And that’s doubly valuable if you’re using a different CRM platform to receive the leads than you used to send the email; if, for instance, you have an existing ConstantContact account but are driving people to a landing page powered by HuFu-recommended HubSpot.

4. Analyze the results. 

And here’s where things get really interesting, because when you use a great CRM like HubSpot for your analytics, you get to answer a bunch of important questions. How many people opened your email? How many clicked through? Who were they? Where did they come from? Did they convert when they got to the landing page? However your campaign did, it generated super-useful analytics to help you move forward, showing you how effective your email subject line was, how much your messaging swayed people – and even whether you’re barking up the wrong tree entirely. This data can effectively guide your future marketing efforts as you start to nurture the leads you’ve generated.

So there you go! Now you know some of the fundamentals you need to turn your website into a major part of your marketing arsenal – and getting some eyeballs on it to begin with! If you need more help, we’re available to talk to you about getting started marketing your website.

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