There are so many benefits to committing to a long-term content strategy as an agency. Your own preparations for your articles and presentations will be one of your greatest sources of education over the years. The content you add to your site will serve as a constant advertisement for you, even many years after you write it. But my favorite thing about a well-executed content strategy is the way it nurtures your prospects.
It is a great feeling when you have a tight sales month coming up, and you get a call from a perfectly qualified prospect to whom you have never spoken, and they say something like, “I’ve been reading your newsletter for years, and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to work with you. I think the right project just came across the table.” If your site is an educational resource on which your prospects have come to rely, this can happen over time.
When you regularly create content, you have a reason to regularly contact the people who have asked you to keep in touch with them. When a prospect signs up for your monthly newsletter, what they are really saying is, “Please get in touch with me every month to remind me of how adept your firm is at helping people just like me and companies just like mine.” This is how you can nurture leads, and it takes no more effort to nurture one lead than it does ten thousand.
Once you have a site that effectively attracts, informs, and engages, it is important to make sure you manage your leads properly. If you only get ten to twenty leads through your site per month, managing the volume is not an issue. Once you start receiving fifty to one hundred conversions on your call to action forms per month, though, you will probably need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to keep track of them. If you use FunctionFox or Workamajig, you already have lead management capabilities. If you are not using either of those, I recommend signing up for a basic Salesforce.com account.
Salesforce.com is a useful way to keep track of your leads at a basic level, and it scales as your online marketing sophistication does. If you get to the point where you bring a large number of leads through your site, you can use Salesforce along with a Lead Management Automation (LMA) tool to do all sorts of fancy marketing operations. For example, you can create a automation process that gathers a list of who signed up for your newsletter and your blog digest and also spent more than sixty seconds on a page on your site about social media marketing. After gathering that list, the LMA tool could then automatically send the list members a promotional email about the social media marketing webinar you have coming up.
Marketing your firm through a content strategy utilizes all the best parts of marketing. You advertise yourself by truly helping people through your expertise. Done right, you will be smarter, you will win more business, and you can feel pretty good about yourself to boot.
This post is an excerpt from my book, "A Website That Works."