Lead generation is a topic I discuss with our clients on a daily basis. After all, the ultimate goal of IT & telecom marketing is to drive leads, right?
One of the best ways to drive leads is to create a piece of evergreen content and ask people to submit their info in order to access it. This is sometimes referred to as “gated content” or “gating the content” where submitting an email address opens the gate to the desired content.
So what is evergreen content? I’m glad you asked!
Definition: Content that will always be relevant to your target audience, as opposed to other types of content that may change over time.
Let me illustrate with some examples.
Evergreen: How to Form an Effective Content Marketing Plan
Not: Content Marketing Trends for 2017 (this won’t be relevant next year)
Evergreen: How to Recruit Effective Sales Partners – 10 Best Practices
Not: How to Use LinkedIn to Recruit Sales Partners (LinkedIn changes its format from time to time, so what you write today may not work tomorrow)
Popular forms of evergreen content formats include:
- “How-To” Guides
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Resource Lists
- Glossaries or Dictionaries
- Blog Posts
- Slide Decks
What makes evergreen content so effective?
As the name implies, if you do it right, you can leverage these content pieces over and over again. You can use them in campaigns and on social for years to come, so your time investment pays you back repeatedly.
More importantly, Google and the other search engines give priority to timeless pieces over short-lived articles. This means better rankings, which means more traffic to your site, which translates into more leads for you.
Keys to success with evergreen content for lead generation
1. Write the content to your target audience’s pain. Now is not the time to sell. Now is the time to educate. Think about the questions you get asked all the time, and develop content around those things.
2. Develop a catchy, intriguing title for your content piece. You could have the greatest piece of content in the world, but if its title is lackluster, no one will ever read it. Check out this article for tips on writing eye-catching headlines.
3. Host your content on its own landing page and point to it throughout your website. If your content piece is a How-To Guide that you’d like people to download, you can include opt-ins on the footers of relevant blog posts, in sidebars, or on a dedicated section of your website.
4. Optimize the landing page for the search engines. Help people find your content! Start with trends.google.com to discover trending keywords related to your content piece. Then, include those keywords in the title tag, meta description, headlines, body text, and image alt tags. If you don’t properly optimize it, Google will never know it’s there, and won’t be able to send traffic your way. More on this here.
5. Create a professional image to promote your content piece. Humans are visual creatures, so if you really want to drive traffic to your evergreen content, make sure you have some impressive visuals to match. Consider your featured and header images on the page where the content resides, as well as memes to promote it.
6. Promote, promote, promote. The marketing “gurus” talk about the 50/50 rule of content marketing all the time. That is, you should spend 50% of your energy creating the content, and 50% promoting it. This is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. Use your email lists, social channels, and speaking engagements to drive traffic to your content.
7. Create an effective nurture campaign to follow up post-download. A lead is only as good as the follow-up plan behind it. Make sure to have a nurture campaign ready to go so you can continue to develop the relationship with your potential customer.
As with any marketing strategy, the key is consistency and patience. If you’re able to integrate evergreen content creation into your overall content marketing plan consistently, you’ll definitely see growth in your lead generation results.