Content marketing nowadays is essential in order to make the most of your digital campaigns. Every business owner or marketing consultant should know how content marketing can enhance lead generation and improve customer retention strategies. Whether you’re a local business or a global brand, feeding content to your fans and followers maintains a steady engagement to increase your clout and PR on the Web.

Sharing quality and relevant content entices the interests of your prospects and current customers. There are tons of ways to curate or distribute content, the key here is to feed a specific target segment with relevant content that they can share on their social networks. With that in mind, it's also an opportunity for a business owner to turn a prospect into an actual customer and converting an current customer into a brand advocate. And when customers start promoting your brand or service themselves, it improves your lead generation efforts as well.

Here are the types of content that people like sharing:

1.) Blogging

Establishing your voice and being a thought leader in your industry begins with a blog. It's the old reliable when it comes to reaching your target market while educating them about your product or services. Maintaining a blog with 2-3 weekly posts attracts traffic from the search engines. Always keep in mind that both search engines and potential customers are looking for relevant and original content. Posting your blog articles using your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also enhances the traffic your website receives. Treat your blog as lead generation tool but don't sound like a salesman.


2.) Guest Blogging

Aside from maintaining your own blog on your business' website, it's also a must to create relationships and connect with other niche bloggers and similar websites. Whether you're a business owner or a local marketing consultant, websites can accommodate you as a guest blogger. This helps you capture your target market in an instant as you build an alliance with website that feature your industry or region.  It's a good start to contribute for small niche websites then eventually you can move to large media sites. Writing not only for your blog but for other sites increases your clout and lead generation as well.


3.) Free Content

It's a well-known fact that prospects and current customers want something free like a white paper, an audio recording, or a free product demo. It's an approach that entices potential customers to notice and try your product. For instance, you're fitness coach specializing in healthy eating and balanced diet, you could come up with a downloadable report called “How to Eat Right and Enjoy It.” It's something to tease potential customers in purchasing your other content offerings like videos, diet programs, or even personalized training. Aside from increasing your leads, it can also grow your mailing list. Keep in mind that “free” is the new medium to reach the minds of customers.


4.) E-Books

The rise of e-books sales has become an effective means of reaching prospects and turning them into actual customers. It's an approach that educates a prospect and once he understands the product or service, the path to purchase starts. You can compile a series of articles or write a short e-book from scratch (10,000+ words is ideal), then have it formatted and loaded to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, which distributes e-books for the Nook and iPad. Don't forget to give free customers a preview once you launch your e-book.


5.) Email Newsletter

It's the old reliable that never ceases to capture potential customers. While most of us have depended on social media ads and Google adwords to cover our target market, acquiring a prospect's email is still gold! It's something personal that a prospect has which could lead to an actual purchase. Today's newsletter is a mix of infographics and personalized content because a newsletter isn't a one-size-fits-all content strategy. It's a matter of blasting that email newsletter with the right balance of relevant content and frequency.