Many small businesses struggle with making the most of their precious marketing dollars. There are dozens of lead generation marketing strategies a company can attempt, but not all are created equal, nor will they all yield the same results and benefits. With marketing and PR, it’s not so easy to measure ROI, especially when it comes to something like content marketing. Content marketing focuses on creation and dissemination of interesting content with the goal of attracting a specific audience to source for leads. Here’s what you can get for your dollars when you invest in a lead generation strategy based on content marketing. Better engagement with consumers Traditional advertising is less and less effective; most consumers are bombarded with too many messages throughout the day. Rather than “pushing” out commercial messages in the traditional style, savvy brands are learning it makes better financial sense to “pull” consumers in by providing something they need: good information. That’s where content marketing comes in. If your company provides helpful product or service information through a website, blog or other social media content, consumers are more likely to engage with your brand as they research their options. Once your audience is engaged you can then funnel them to your lead sources and landing pages with higher efficiency. For example, if you run a tax preparation service, good SEO content will help ensure that consumers can find you online during the time of year they need you. Once a consumer does a search and finds your site, they’ll be more likely to spend time there and trust your expertise if the content is helpful and interesting. With any luck, they will make your site a regular resource during tax season (and throughout the year), and turn to you when they need assistance. Efficient customer retention It used to be that customer service required nothing more than a friendly sales clerk and a liberal return policy. Now there is so much more you can do for your customers. Do they have questions about the best way to use the item? Can you help them make the most of your service? Do you have valuable updates you can share with your client group? It has always made good financial sense to make sure your customers are happy in the first place rather than having to go back and fix a situation later. Support and helpful ongoing information can help prevent the expenses associated with the increased staff time needed to deal with unhappy customers, and the additional marketing resources needed for damage control. For instance, if you’re running a real estate office, your customers will have lots of questions, even after the sale is complete. In addition to making sure they are happy with your service, you can offer help with information about relocation, or advice about contractors or insurance. Good content provided by you could help to ease their transition to a new home, and make your service that much more valuable. More sales You don’t want to lose touch with a customer after they’ve purchased something, especially if you have other products or services to offer them. A great way to continue the relationship is with content. Continuing to add value and your customers will think of you first when they need to purchase again. A small investment on your part will result in longer and better relationships. For example, if you’re running a Pilates studio, you don’t want your customers to fade away after completing one set of classes. You want them to try a new class, maybe sign up for personal training, or attend a special workshop at your location. By continuing to offer content that expands on your customers’ learning experience, and lets them know about the benefits of ongoing exercise, you’ll strengthen your connection and increase the likelihood that they’ll become long-term patrons. Content marketing is the most efficient way to spend your marketing budget because it’s the most effective. It uses the power of social media to greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by reaching consumers where they already are, and when they are ready to buy.