There is more to effective content development than sitting down and typing a stream of consciousness post. Instead, each piece of content must meet three distinct criteria to be useful.

Relevance. Whether it is a blog or tutorial, the content must be relevant to your business. If you are in the trade of installing windows, do not offer content about detailing a car.

Search engine optimized. Local SEO is crucial to your business. Unless you operate a company with a national or global appeal, the majority of your customers will be local.

Readable. Large chunks of text turn off readers. Their eyes need resting points. Lists, indentations, headlines and interspersed images make your content reader-friendly.

With that in mind, how can your content generate leads?

Know Your Personas

The secret to turning a fluffy, overextended content marketing strategy into a precise, lead-generating machine is to first know your buyer personas. If you haven’t had a chance to delve deeply into your buyer personas, now’s the time. There are numerous articles written on the subject.

Once you know who your buyer personas are, pick one. When building a solid, lead-generating content marketing strategy, you need to focus on one buyer persona at a time.

So to start, choose the one buyer persona you would most like to attract to your business. Of course, after you’ve executed a content strategy for this buyer persona, it will be time to go back and tackle the next one.

Address Pain Points

Now it’s time to answer this persona’s questions. Identify their need, often referred to as pain point. What do they lack that you can offer, and how would they be better off with it? How would they come to the knowledge that they have this need? What sorts of questions would they ask when they begin researching how to meet this need?

This is the meat of your content strategy, and it will fuel your content creation. Try to answer these questions with a variety of media to reach potential clients with different media consumption preferences.

Consistent Blogging Builds and Maintains Professional Relationships

We recommend posting new blogs two to three times a week. Each piece of content must be unique and contain a call to action. For example, you might solicit reader advice on specific issues relevant to your business or host a poll. Encourage newsletter sign-ups so that your customers do not miss any new information. Provide shareable content that current customers might forward to their friends.

Offer Free How-to Advice, Tutorials and Consumer Guides

These downloadable pieces of text offer industry insider tips and tricks. Written in a way that avoids the niche jargon, any reader understands the information. Add images to simplify even complex topics further. Offer these guides free of charge but ask for an email address. Host them on a locally SEO optimized landing page.

Convert, Convert, Convert.

And after you’ve generated the leads? The next step is to convert those leads into customers. Make sure that you continue to provide valuable content to your buyer persona all along his or her path down your sales funnel.

At each stage, you can collect more information about your leads, provide them with valuable content and offer them even more—all based on their particular buyer journey.

Content marketing is a powerful lead generator. Set it up correctly and reap the benefits.

If the idea of targeted content development leaves you stumped, contact us for information on how we can help.