Content marketing is an effective strategy to generate online leads for your technology company. When you provide valuable content on your website, prospective customers can download it after providing their contact and company information. Rather than “selling,” the content marketing strategy answers questions and provides information people want.
Great content, along with a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy enables prospective customers to find your content — and your website. If you are like most technology solutions providers, however, your website gets only several hundred, or maybe several thousand, visitors per week, limiting your potential to generate online leads.
An option that can get your content in front of a larger pool of readers is running a pay per lead (PPL) campaign through Internet media outlets. Their websites get thousands of visitors per day and they have email newsletter or email blast lists in the tens of thousands. Furthermore, if you work with the right media outlet, their readership is specific to the industry or market you are interested in.
How Pay Per Lead Helps You Generate Online Leads
In most cases, you — or a marketing agency or writer — must develop the content for a PPL campaign to generate online leads, such as white papers, e-books, and case studies. It’s important that the content answers questions prospective customers have about their businesses, their industries, or how technology solutions can help them. Steer away from content that focuses on products or services or that promotes your company.
It’s important to have a great title that lets readers immediately understand the value they will get from the content — and make them click. A few examples from our clients are “How to Get the Most from Your Store Systems Investment,” “Omni-Channel Retail Techniques That Drive Traffic to Your Stores,” and “5 Essential Tools Every New Warehouse Needs.” Make sure the content that follows delivers on the promise you make in the title.
The media outlet you work with will write a description and a call to action (CTA) trigger and design a landing page that includes a form readers must fill out to download the content. The account manager working with you may make suggestions that will help with your campaign reach their specific readers. For example, we recently worked with an HVAC-focused end user publication that helped us adapt an e-book based on a field services solution to speak specifically to their audience.
The media outlet can help you generate online leads in a number of ways: run ads on their website, include the content in newsletters, send email blasts featuring the content, and using social media campaigns to point readers back to the content.
They will collect the names of people who download your content and provide the names to you that meet the parameters you set in advance, such as geographic location, size of business, or the person’s title with their company.
The Pros and Cons
There are both benefits and drawbacks to pay per lead campaigns. On the plus side, PPL campaigns are:
- Are low risk: You only pay for the number of leads you get that meet your specified criteria.
- Are very targeted: You define acceptable leads with criteria such as type of business, size, revenue, or geographic location.
- Result in better quality leads. Because you know the audience and define the type of lead you are looking for, you have a better chance of conversion than if you had just purchased a list.
Pay per lead campaigns also have limitations:
- Large numbers are more difficult to get. Lists and cost per click (CCL) programs may be able to provide you with more names, but when you are defining specific parameters, it’s harder to collect large numbers of leads, especially if you need them quickly.
- You can’t predict the number of leads a PPL campaign will generate, especially if this is the first time you’ve worked with a particular media outlet. It may take some trial and error to find the best media outlets for you to work with.
If you are ready to put your content in front of a larger audience to generate online leads, consider a PPL campaign. Combining PPL with publishing content on your own website is a strategy that can result in a steady stream of quality leads for your technology business.