How content marketing works
The blog, as Zack explains to me, has one main goal, which is to generate leads for the sales department. Just like a salesperson, Jan has a monthly quota to hit, a certain number of leads that she is required to produce. Her quota is insane. The blog is supposed to generate 14,000 new leads every month. Leads are defined as people who fill out a form and hand over their name and email address. The blog gets leads by putting a little box at the end of every blog post inviting the reader to download a free e-book and “learn more.” To get the e-book, people need to fill out a form. Hardly anyone goes to all that trouble. For Jan to generate 14,000 leads, the blog has to attract about 1 million visitors a month. At the end of the month the blog team sends the fresh leads to the sales department, where telemarketers start “nurturing” them, asking them to try a demo of the product. The prospects who look at a demo are handed off to other sales reps who try to get them to buy a subscription. This process is what’s known as the funnel. The blog team sits at the top of the funnel, drawing in new visitors, generating new leads, and starting people off on their “buyer’s journey”—the lovable, nurturing trip down the funnel that we hope will end with them becoming paying customers.
No matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business. Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their lives.