7 Types Of Content Marketing That Generate Leads And Lift Sales

Are you struggling to get traffic that just isn’t converting like you think it should?

You feel like your business is not growing. And no matter how hard you try, you aren’t able to meet your revenue goals.

We have all been in this situation at one point in time in our businesses. It’s only when we take a step back and try to figure out what is wrong with our content strategy, that we will be able to fix it.

What can the right content strategy do for your business?

With the right content strategy, I helped a startup:

  • Double their annual revenue (+127%)
  • Triple their monthly site traffic (+241%) and
  • Quadruple their organic traffic (+331%)

All in six months! And as an early-stage startup, they didn’t have a massive brand or resources for them to leverage either.

I own a product marketing agency, Growth Ramp, that is on a mission to help 1,000 entrepreneurs to obtain their first 1,000 customers.

Switching to serving early-stage startups has tuned my mind to what will get more customers faster.

In this article, I will help you understand seven types of content that will help you attract leads and turn them into valuable customers.

Are you ready?

Then let’s begin by unpacking the five stages of customer awareness.

The 5 stages of customer awareness

Before looking at what content drives sales, you need to understand the principles which make this work.

In the 1960s, copywriting executive Eugene Schwartz identified the five stages of customer awareness in his book, “Breakthrough Advertising.” These are:

  1. Most aware
  2. Product-aware
  3. Solution-aware
  4. Problem-aware
  5. Unaware

Let me briefly touch on each:

1.   Most aware customers

Your customer knows your product and recognizes his need for it. He is almost ready to buy from you.

It is now up to you to give him reasons why he should buy from you today, such as time-limited offers and displaying glowing customer testimonials.

2.   Product-aware customers

Your customer is aware that your product exists but isn’t sure whether it is right for him or how your product is better than your competition’s.

3.   Solution-aware customers

Your customer is well aware of his challenges and knows the solution he needs. However, he may not be aware of your product and how it can solve his problem.

4.   Problem-aware customers

Your customer recognizes her challenges but does not know the solution. This customer also needs to learn more about how they can identify potential issues they are facing and what options they have as a solution.

5.   Unaware customers

Your customer has problems but is not aware of them. Think of this customer as someone who is suffering from a disease but hasn’t received a diagnosis yet from a doctor.

By understanding the five stages of customer awareness, you can apply them to every element of your marketing strategy.

For example, you can also apply these principles to social media content. With more than 2.77 billion people using social media, there are many opportunities to connect with customers further down the funnel.

Another way to do this is by educating your customers with different types of content.

Here’s Adam from Loganix sharing his take:

Content marketing isn’t as simple as writing content. It’s about optimizing content for each stage of customer awareness with a strategic content plan. Doing so allows you to create content optimized for search intent and your customers.

Let’s take a look at these types of content and how they can help bring customers to you.

7 types of lead-generating content

1. Teardown/analysis content

Teardown/analysis content helps solution-aware customers. Since these people are reviewing solutions, they want to see your thought process in detail.

Teardown pieces of content are highly specific, detailed accounts of how your company solves a customer’s problems. It gives potential customers insight into your company’s thinking process and shows them your strategies on a high level.

Here are two excellent examples of teardown content:

2. Comparison content

Comparison content targets the second category of people, product-aware customers.

Create content by comparing your product to a competitor’s product. This sort of comparative advertising will give you a chance to showcase your product against a competitor.

Typically comparison content targets keywords like:

  • [Competitor] Alternative. Example: MailChimp Alternative.
  • [Competitor 1] vs [Competitor 2]. Example: MailChimp vs. Mailerlite.

Here are some examples of comparative content in action:

First we have Intercom vs. Drift for Live Chat.

You see, the content starts by highlighting the audience (fast-growing companies) with the benefit they want (drive revenue).

Further down the page, Intercom shares different numbers to prove they’re the best choice at driving revenue.

Second, here’s a comparison page of sites like Upwork which curates review articles (which I’ll share more in a moment). This is a simple page to get more organic traffic, which you can redirect to other money pages.

Upwork curates review articles

Third, let’s look at LastPass vs. 1Password.

As you can see, each feature has a clear winner between the two. These feature comparisons can help the reader decide which tool to use in the event they prefer certain features.

LastPass feature comparisons

Readers who may be indifferent to a specific feature may want to get to the punchline. So at the end of the post, there is an overall winner.

3. Review content

If you’re like me, you’ll at least look at Amazon’s reviews before buying their product. But what if your product isn’t on Amazon? (Or if it is, is there a way you can maximize the value for people looking for more reviews?).

The answer is to review content.

Review content targets solution-aware customers. When you create content reviewing a particular product or application, you can tell people why it is the best of its kind in the market.

Use keywords such as this in your content title: “[Competitor] Review. Example: Mailchimp Review.”

Here is an example of review content: Toptal Review: Is Toptal Worth It for Hiring?

Review content is an excellent play if you have an affiliate program. All the product marketer needs to do is reach out to bloggers and see if they would like to write a review.

Need some more inspiration? Check out these review examples:

4. Case study content

Case studies show how your product helped a customer overcome a specific challenge or receive a certain outcome. As a result, this type of content can target both product-aware and solution-aware customers.

Case study content:

  • Helps product-aware customers compare your results with the competitor.
  • Helps solution-aware customers understand how you work and how you can solve their problem.

There is a way to get leads even if you don’t have a case study yet. I’ll share how to do that in the next section.

Case studies should show the results your customers desire and how you can obtain those results for them. You can even set up email sequences for existing leads by showing them case study content related to their needs.

Here are some examples of case studies in action:

Decibite case study

Typically, businesses want one of three outcomes: traffic, leads, or sales. With Decibite, I stated I was able to generate 127% more annualized revenue.

Additionally, I overcame a common objection clients have, “How long will it take for us to get results?” Mentioning it took six months gives potential clients a clear understanding of the value they’ll get from my services.

Hotjar case study

Big brands are mentioned countless times online by many publications. The problem? These mentions often are unlinked, providing zero referral traffic that generates leads and sales.

In this case study, uSERP built a custom outreach plan, detailed the process, and generated a 25% conversion rate on placing a referral traffic driving link.

Both of these case studies show the process and the outcome.

You can also create a page dedicated to a short case study. This allows someone to quickly digest the results you deliver.

By linking to the full case study, this helps customers understand your process step-by-step. Here are a couple examples to consider:

You can also do in-depth studies of your subjects.

Take EachNight, a company comprised of sleep experts in the field of wellness, for example. This page is a content hub for their original data and studies, and is both informative as well as visually appealing to customers:

This content is both informative and helps to promote their own merchandise. Whether it’s a marketing case study or a sleep case study, original data, research, and information helps customers trust your brand as a leader in your space.

5. “Case study content” even if you have no case studies

You just saw how case studies can generate revenue. But what if you haven’t worked with any clients yet?

In that case, you can interview influencers on outcomes that your customers want.

My agency’s mission is to help 1,000 entrepreneurs get their first 1,000 customers. Getting 1,000 customers takes time. Before I could show how to get these results, I interviewed other founders to find out how they got their first 1,000 customers.

You may think, “Since I did not get these results, why would this content generate leads?”

There are two reasons this works:

  1. You are associating your brand with the outcome. Yes, you did not get the result. But by interviewing others, people will rightly assume you will understand this process better.
  2. You can add your thought leadership to the content. After each interview, I shared my own perspective of what someone did. As a result, this became similar to the teardown and analysis content I shared earlier.

6. ‘Best of’ listicles

Many marketers I talk to hate these types of articles. However, it is important to remember that your goal is to serve the customer, not your personal preferences.

To create a ‘best of’ listicle post, you must create a list of your competitors and review each one briefly. You can put your product or company first on the list, but remember to be honest in your reviews.

Here are a few examples:

10 Best Content Marketing Online Courses in the World – In this article, Tomas reviews 10 different content marketing courses. If he had a content marketing course, this would be a great article type to sell it.

Best Podcast Microphones [2019] – In this post by Buzzsprout, they compare some of the top microphones for podcasting. Because it relates directly to their niche of podcast hosting and products, it’s a no-brainer to provide this information to customers. If Buzzsprout sold microphones, they could also include their product in the list.

Buzzsprout - Best podcast microphones

The post is quite extensive and reviews different microphones with their pros and cons, images, and prices.

It serves as a guide to customers who can then make an informed decision and choose your product.

7. Answering common customer questions and problems

59% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. People are most likely looking for ways to earn additional income to support themselves.

SwagBucks’ homepage contains a ton of information on how people can earn money working online. It also has prominent CTA (Call-to-action) buttons displayed that act as lead magnets/ opt-ins.

Final thoughts

Customers are in one of five stages of awareness of your products and solutions. It is up to you as a business to reach out, educate them about the issues they are facing, and show them why your solution is the best option available to them.

Comparison articles, review content, case studies, teardown articles, and listicles are some of the best types of content that will help you drive sales.

Creating different types of content generates leads and boosts sales. Both of these help you increase revenue and develop a strong relationship with your customers.

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