When you’re focused on serving your audience, shipping product or trying to manage your team, it’s sometimes hard to balance finding new clients and branding yourself. But putting out high-quality relevant content is a great way to create inbound leads with minimal effort: content keeps working for your business while you’re focused on other tasks. Every piece of content you create—whether it’s a blog, video, infographic, podcast or something else—provides a new way for potential customers to find you.
Here are five ways you can use content to reach a new audience, engage more deeply with the audience you have, and create new business opportunities.
Do a Roundup Post to Grow Traffic
One of the best ways to support others in your field, and also drive traffic to your website, is to create a roundup post that cites the work of others. Whether you do a roundup of top experts, must-follow influencers, binge-worthy podcasts, books worth reading, or something else, when you create a list of other’s work, you convert each of them into an advocate who will likely share the link.
Be sure to reach out to everyone featured to let them know you’ve highlighted them and ask that they share the link with their audience. You can even make this a regular feature, so you’re capturing new audiences and forging new industry friendships on a regular basis.
Use Q&As to Engage With Your Audience
Your audience has questions, and you have answers. By providing a means for your audience to submit questions and creating content that contains the answers, you not only provide value to a single consumer, but to others who likely have the same questions. You can choose to answer questions in a podcast, recurring blog series, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, or YouTube video series.
By creating content that provides valuable information to your audience, you position yourself as an expert, and endear yourself to your audience by engaging with them directly. When they know they can come to you for help with their questions, they’ll be more likely to do so when it comes time to invest in a solution.
Submit Guest Content to Expand Your Audience
If you’re blogging or posting to your own social channels regularly, you’re likely growing an audience already, but why not tap into broader audiences to bring new people into your business’ world? Look for websites, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and other communities that capture your target audience and reach out to see about submitting content of your own or swapping content to your mutual benefit.
Be sure to focus on how you will provide value to that audience, and position it as a way for that community owner to benefit (versus trying to sell your services). Whether it’s a guest blog, an email newsletter takeover, an appearance on a podcast or something else, you’ll be able to get your message out to an entirely new audience who can discover what you and your business have to offer, and potentially find an fellow business owner ally in the process.
Create a Free Course to Upsell Bigger Services
You are an expert in your field, and your audience is dying to learn from you. A free course is a great way to provide some of the most important basic information you audience needs to succeed, while showcasing your expertise. The best part about creating a free course is that it creates an audience full of warm leads who are totally sold on the value you can provide them, giving you the opportunity to follow up with a invitation for a more expensive course, 1:1 coaching, consulting services and more. There are a number of websites that will handle all the hosting and promotion of a course, but if you wanted to do it even more simply, you could also set up an email sequence containing passwords to unlisted YouTube videos, too.
Develop Resources to Grow Your List
Guides, worksheets, checklists, ebooks, case studies, and other larger resources provide an incredible amount of value to your audience, but they also give you a way to collect new email addresses for your email list, members for your private Facebook community, or other registrations. These resources, which are often called “lead magnets,” can entice potential customers to voluntarily share information about themselves in exchange for a valuable piece of in-depth content. If you’re intimidated by the prospect of creating something in-depth as a lead magnet, consider simply offering your regular blog-posts for download as PDF as a way to collect email addresses from those who’d rather download and read more later.
Creating content for your audience gives you a chance to showcase your expertise, provide value, and reach an audience across different platforms. Whether you’re most comfortable writing, appearing on video or lending your voice to quality audio content, you can find a way to make content work as hard for your business as you do.
Melanie Deziel is a branded content consultant and speaker, teaching marketers how to use the tools and tactics of journalism to engage their audience and grow their businesses with authentic content.