Inbound marketing leads—especially those that come in through your content—offer one of the best ways to establish strong connections with your target audience. These folks took the first step of engaging with your brand, so it's up to you to capitalize on that. Here's how we did it at my company, and how you can do the same.
Build on what's working
I work at GemPool, an IT recruitment agency, which means that our most visited page at any given time is usually our careers page. But over the course of last year, we noticed another page gaining traction: our Tech Industry Salary Guide for 2020.
Besides our homepage, careers page, and overall career insights page, this guide had the most pageviews. We also knew that customers and candidates came to us regularly to ask about salary information—clearly, people trusted us as a source on this particular topic. The numbers combined with the anecdotal questions that came in indicated to us that it was worth the resources to continue updating that guide—and we've done just that.
Focus on timing
That salary guide is an evergreen piece of content—as long as we keep it updated, it will continue to provide value. But that doesn't mean that we can just update it whenever it feels right for us.
It's important to be aware of when you're releasing content. For starters, you need to give Google time to find and love your content—it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to start seeing SEO traction, so you can't publish something and expect it to rank the next day. On the other hand, if you have a piece of content that you're updating annually, you want to be sure you update it at the right time of year.
Here's an example. At the very beginning of the year, there's always a surge in the number of candidates looking for job opportunities. That means that in January, we see a huge increase in the number of people asking us about salaries for their industry and role. They need this information to better assess their market value, so that they’re prepared to make salary requests. Around the same time, companies map out their growth plans and hiring needs for the year to come, so they're also looking for salary data to help plan.
With all that in mind—and by using traffic data about our existing guides—we determined that the best time to release our salary guide would be early December. Because it's an existing piece of content, we don't need as much runway for SEO purposes, and this way, we're seen as super fresh right when people are looking for us. Plus, as we promote the guide through all of our marketing channels in January, we're able to call out the fact that it's been recently updated.
Optimize your content for lead gen
Once we understood the value of our IT Salary Guide, we knew we wanted to maximize its lead generation capacities—after looking at the low conversion rates for that page, we knew we'd been missing a huge opportunity. We wanted to offer helpful content, but we also wanted to increase the likelihood that readers would engage with our business.
So we turned it into a lead magnet: we still offered the content for free, but we required people to give us their email addresses in return. We created a landing page for the guide with a clear and concise CTA.
Send people down your content funnel
Not everyone is ready to make a purchase decision after reading one piece of content. So be sure you create other pieces of content that you can send readers to—content that gets them closer to a decision point.
At the end of our IT salary guide, we included a link to job search toolkits, specific to each IT role. The salary guide was the first step (top of funnel): they had a chance to engage with our brand and understand our area of expertise while they conducted their initial market research. But the leads generated via the toolkits were a bit further down the funnel: these were people that were in search of a job and seeking our help.
Establish a follow-up plan
It's important to capture your leads, but it's even more important to nurture them and move them through your lead generation funnel. Before you go live with the content, be sure you know what you'll do with the leads you've generated.
As a part of our nurturing process, we added the leads into an automated email drip campaign. By using an email marketing tool, you can segment your leads, so you're sure to send them content they want. For example, anyone who downloaded a job search toolkit from our site was categorized as a potential candidate, so we sent them messages about applying for jobs.