The Future of Lead Generation: Visual Content for an Ultra-Specific Audience
Looking to the future, it’s clear that visual content will be the cornerstone of your lead generation efforts.
That’s because, in a highly competitive and noisy digital marketing environment, you need to stand out and be memorable. And the easiest way to get noticed is to use outstanding visuals.
What’s so special about visual content?
There are two reasons why visual content should play a major role in your brand’s lead generation strategies.
First, our brains have a much easier time absorbing and retaining visual content. This blog post on visual learning provides a few notable facts:
- 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than plain text
- Visuals help significantly with comprehension and retention
Second, social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat prioritize the consumption and sharing of highly visual content. And they’re some of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there.
So, not only do our brains prefer visual content, the digital environment we live in now prioritizes visual content as well. If you’re not producing top-notch visual content to communicate with your audience, it’ll be way harder to get their attention.
What types of visual content can you use for lead generation?
By now you’ve probably already seen different types of visual content that companies use to generate leads. Below are some popular choices from a long list of options.
Well-designed infographics are powerful pieces of visual content. It’s no surprise that they’re the most popular form of online content today.
Infographics effectively convey broad concepts, share detailed statistics, and tell compelling stories. They’re highly scannable, and can be formatted to encourage your eyes to keep moving to the next section.
With the right approach, and the right tools, you can learn to design infographics pretty easily too!
Ebooks, guides and whitepapers
Research-driven ebooks are a great way for you to generate qualified leads. They’re also a great way to connect with your audience. Ebooks go into more depth than the typical blog post, they can be used as references for strategy-building, and they’re typically packed with a ton of useful information.
By creating ebooks, you also position yourself as an industry leader, demonstrate passion for the topic (since you’re providing so much for free), and gain your target audience’s trust. The same goes for helpful e-guides, whitepapers and other in-depth pieces of content.
Webinars and presentations
Webinars and presentations are also a great way to generate leads. They usually tend to take less time to create than ebooks, reports, and guides. You can repurpose existing content into really great webinars.
It’s important to note, webinars using highly engaging presentation slides do much better than webinars without strong visuals. So expect webinars packed with strong visual content to be more memorable and engaging for your audience.
Video content for marketing is not at all new. Currently, 87% of marketers are using video marketing strategies in their marketing efforts.
However, the shift towards using video content for lead generation hasn’t really happened yet. It’s surprising since, according to Inc’s post on video marketing:
- 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video on it.
- 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
- Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
Now before you get all mad-scientist and start tinkering with different visuals to create the ultimate lead magnet, you need to make sure it’s what your audience wants.
Visual content works best when you know your target audience
Captivating content that generates quality leads needs to be specific. The more general appeal something has (like cat videos), the less likely it is to attract prospects, and convert prospects into clients.
Your visual content needs to focus on the interests of your ideal users. Your content should also tie back to (implicitly or explicitly) how your products and services are the answers to your target audience’s problems.
In order to create highly relevant content, you should follow these three steps.
Understand your audience
Consider who would be interested in your products or services. What would their professional title be? How large of a company would they be working in? What type of tools do they likely already use?
If you’ve got a good understanding of your target audience, then answering those questions won’t be difficult. If you don’t know the answers, then consider your ideal audience persona and go from there.
Understand your audience’s day-to-day challenges
Once you understand who your target audience is, consider the challenges they face.
A growth marketer wants to drive revenue, reduce churn, increase conversion and more.
A salesperson wants to automate emails, build rapport with their leads, remember clients’ birthdays and so on.
A contractor wants to simplify his billing, automate invoices and make payments easier.
Knowing where your target audience experiences friction helps you understand why your products or services are right for them. This puts you in the best position to help them. Your content can highlight how your products and services are solutions to their problems.
Connect your target audience to your solution for their problems
Lastly, help your target audience find your awesome content.
How you do it is up to you, but rest assured there are many ways to drive traffic to your pages to generate these leads. Some strategies include:
- Writing blog posts and guest posts
- Optimizing landing pages to favor search engines
- Creating a live chat feature on your site
- Running paid ads on Facebook
Don’t be afraid to get creative, but map out a clear strategy to get your content to fall into the hands of your target audience.
How do you use visual content for lead generation?
This is the easy part! A popular lead generation strategy is content gating, something you’ve likely come across already.
For example, a prospect discovers some content of yours that she wants to check out. To view it, she has to fill out a lead generation form with her contact info. She does this happily since she wants this awesome bundle of insights. Then, with her contact info, you place her in a highly effective email marketing funnel that encourages her to one day become a paying client!
There are plenty of content gating strategies you can take to generate leads, some of which are:
- A landing page promoting a free ebook, guide or whitepaper download
- Offering to reveal a blog post, or the insightful visuals in the blog post
- Offering relevant bonus content at the end of a blog post
Content gating is simpler than you might think, too. Online design tools like Venngage let you apply content gating to any content you create in the tool and publish online (infographics, ebooks, whitepapers and more). You can also use tools like Unbounce and Wishpond to create landing pages or lead generation popups.
The land of lead generation is vast and visual content plays a big part. Today, creating quality content that’s well-researched and attractive, is not difficult. A lot of small businesses today can easily create quality content. Naturally, your audience has high expectations and so, only the most polished, eye-catching content will grab their attention.
Position yourself to master highly visual content creation (if you haven’t already). It’ll be a game-changer when it comes to crafting your lead generation strategies.
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