Case Study: How to Generate New Leads Through Content
Listen to any content marketer, and they’ll have a pretty straightforward strategy for getting new business: Create great content. Set up a lead capture form. Collect the leads. Hand them off to your Sales team. Repeat.
Seems pretty easy, right?
It’s not. What you don’t see there is the hours of research and writing, the endless tests, the social media campaigns, and—possibly—the ads!
Fumble at any step, and the entire strategy falls apart.
I speak from experience.
But when you check all of your boxes, the results are magical!
That’s something I wanted to prove when I started Monster Riff, a music blog that focuses on underground rock.
Starting completely from scratch, I built a small side business that has generated more than $2,000 in one month and six new leads today alone.
Here’s how it happened.
Monster Riff: A Lead Generation Case Study
Phase One: Building the Platform—And An Audience
I initially started Monster Riff to be a small SEO machine.
I did plenty of writing during the day for clients, but much of it was confined to suffocating contracts or rigid strategies developed by other agencies.
I wanted something completely new, that I could build from scratch.
So I went through the fun but the laborious process of starting a blog from a completely blank page (I outlined that process in a previous post).
I chose my first few blog topics carefully. I wanted to compete for topics that were relatively high volume but with relatively low competition. Doing so, I believed, would help me capture a few subscribers early on, essentially greasing the wheels to a longer play.
Note: At this time, I only wanted to focus on organic traffic. I didn’t work on building a social media presence alongside it, and I didn’t have a newsletter or even a lead magnet. I was simply working to get as much traffic as possible.
Phase Two: Building Your Lead Magnet
I quickly realized that the musicians in the underground rock scene—a genre of music where there is little money transferring hands—don’t have many resources when it comes to marketing.
In today’s market, where only the major record labels stand tall and proud, the little bands are easily overlooked.
And that leaves bands left to fend for themselves, often while learning on the fly.
So, I sat down and wrote The Stoner Rock Band’s Guide to Marketing one weekend.
It’s simple, easy-to-read, and approximately a dozen pages.
It’s designed to give the basic outlines on simple marketing strategies.
And there’s a subtle CTA at the end encouraging people to reach out to me at Monster Riff or Poetica Marketing to take it to the next level.
Pulling In the Right Traffic...
To help prime the pump, I also wrote an in-depth blog about how to release an album without a label behind you. Again, the target key phrase was extremely focused, so the traffic wasn’t incredible.
But it was valuable—because it was niche.
Taking it a step further, I also concluded that article with a download form for the white paper!
...And Pointing Them In the Right Direction
Stopping there would have left a lot of this up to chance.
So I took three more steps to help drive conversions:
I added a banner at the top of the website telling bands to click for marketing help and consultations.
I added a graphic/link in the sidebar to call attention to the white paper.
I added a similar graphic/link in the website’s footer.
By spreading out these graphics, I increased my chances of people seeing them without feeling like I was pushing advertising on them. Sure, I could have used a pop-up or something similar, but that would have gone against the ethos of the entire site: putting the bands, the readers, and the music before everything else.
Besides, if you can win someone over on your content, you establish trust. And trust makes the sales process so much easier.
Phase Three: Social Media
This was the last phase of Monster Riff's content wheel (in addition to its podcast component).
To be perfectly honest, I actually resisted launching the social media channels early on because I knew exactly how much work it would entail. Besides, I was focused on organic traffic, not social media traffic.
But it was an important step in the site’s growth.
In fact, social media has accounted for nearly 28% of site traffic in 2021 so far! That’s a significant amount of traffic, and it’s indicative of the influence a strong social media presence can have on the rest of your business.
The most important step, though, was when I started dripping messaging about the guide.
I didn’t launch my social media channels and then start trumpeting out announcements.
Instead, I waited.
I built up a small but loyal following, establishing Monster Riff as a reliable resource for music news.
Then I pushed it.
Phase Four: The Push
Downloads for the white paper started organically.
Every week or so, another download would go through, and I’d reach out to the individual to say thanks and let them know about Monster Riff’s other offerings.
Most people didn’t care; they just wanted the guide.
But some bands were intrigued. This is a niche market, remember, and not many companies are around that serve them on such a small scale.
And then I started making announcements every now and then on social media, letting people know that Monster Riff has a free white paper available that’s packed with marketing guidance.
Although Monster Riff had a growing reputation among bands for being a reliable source of positive coverage, not many of them knew that they could use Monster Riff as a resource for marketing guidance.
Every social media post resulted in another handful of downloads—half a dozen here, half a dozen there.
I didn’t want to saturate my content calendar with pushes, so I spaced them out by about a month at a time.
And each time, the results were the same: People visited the link and downloaded the guide.
Phase Five: The Pitch
Like I said, not everyone was keen about the upsell.
But by maintaining a steady stream of downloads (and getting email addresses onto my newsletter list!), I was able to get more at-bats with my sales pitches.
Slowly but surely, the efforts began showing results.
In the best month so far, the process generated more than $2,000 from leads that came through Monster Riff—not bad for a side hustle that’s completely secondary to Poetica Marketing!
Starting Lead Generation Through Your Own Content
You can generate leads (and profits) through blogging.
It’s something I’ve written about in more detail in our white paper, Blogging For Sales. In Blogging For Sales, we take a closer look at developing a content calendar, how to resonate with readers, how to rank on the front page of Google for your target keywords—and much more.
You can download it here.
By the way, do you see what just happened there? I spent more than 1,000 words building your trust through storytelling and facts, then I nudged you to click on my white paper.
At best, you’ve already clicked the link and downloaded it.
At worst, I’ve planted a seed. I’ve cracked the door so you can see inside my music world, and now you know that I have white papers for musicians and business leaders.
You probably won’t forget either of those facts any time soon.
And if you’d like to discuss these concepts in more detail, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page!
In the meantime, pay attention to your audience. Listen to your existing clientele. Look for opportunities in the market.
When you combine all of these facts together, you’ll uncover major content opportunities.
And you can turn those content opportunities into paying customers.