The difference between content generation and lead generation

As the purveyors of fine online marketing support for accountants, we often discuss with accountants the concept of ‘lead generation’.

Lead gen is the fun part. It’s when all of your online marketing comes together and someone enquires about your services – and even better, decides to start working with you.

But to get to the fun part of lead generation, there’s a foundational element that most accountants miss out on – and that’s content generation.

From audience to content to lead generation

Here’s a bit of a ‘timeline’ to show you what I mean (click on image for larger version).

Marketing Tips: Timeline 10 Steps To Success

You see? There are no less than 10 steps to be done before you even get to the fun part of lead generation.

But why is that so important? Can’t you just skip all of that strategy and analysis and decision making, and just put together a nice ebook and share it on your website and do some pay per click?

Well, you could, but if you go the shortcut route, your ‘lead generation’ won’t work very well.

Why is content generation so important?

There are 4 reasons content generation is foundational to your online marketing:

  • 1. Content generation establishes you as a visible expert.
    You can read more about the power of the visible expert here, but the short version is that the more content you generate which is relevant to your target audience or niche market, the higher your chances that a prospective client will choose you over someone else.
  • 2. Content generation keeps your website fresh and current.
    When your website content is continually being refreshed, Google (and the other search engines) like it better, move it higher in the search engine results, and you get more business as a result.
  • 3. Content generation streamlines your lead-to-sale process.
    When you’re sharing good content – whether in word or image or art or multimedia – your clients and prospects can read (or view) what you’ve put together and realise the same thing they see when they meet you in person: you know what you’re talking about.
    But instead of pushing and prodding them to get a two-hour meeting with you (including an hour for emails, two hours for travel, and an hour for follow up), only to discover that it’s not a fit for one of you, all this content you’re sharing can help your prospects decide very quickly if you’re someone they want to meet with or not. (And, done properly, you can review your enquiries and choose who you’ll work with, too.)
  • 4. Content generation makes lead generation much simpler.
    Although we can help with lead generation, the Profitable Firm tends to focus on content and design. Partly this is because many of you already have someone to do pay per click, or adwords, or social media, or some sort of sharing or lead gen work. But these companies you’ve hired to do that would love to have more to work with than ‘XYZ Accountants located in Town X’. When you give them a website page with detailed information and a good video and a call to action, now they’ve got something to work with. And now your lead generation efforts have more power.

Why is good design so important?

After content generation, it’s design that is absolutely critical for your accountancy firm marketing. Because your prospective clients are very discerning.

They can spot a generic ebook – or a stock image, or a ‘one size fits all’ website template – a mile away.

All the benefits of online marketing, social media, instant sharing, and multimedia mean that your prospects are exposed to so much good marketing that if yours is only half-baked, dull or generic, they’ll lose the excellent message which you no doubt have.

We’ll talk next week about ‘features and benefits’ (another one of those buzzwords that I don’t like), but in the meantime remember that if you’re going to generate good, valuable, helpful content for your audience, its power is multiplied by the ‘good design factor’ (GDF) of that content.

Good content + High GDF = Faster lead generation

Actually, I just made that acronym up. But accountants like formulas and acronyms, for the most part, so there you go.