By Marvin Joles III and Jeani Ringkob

It can never be too late in the season to market your business and try to create leads, especially if your season never ends. In any case, you have heard me speak for years about how internet marketing, whether social media or other, can get your potential client familiar with you before you even arrive. Familiar in ways that almost have the lead closed before you get there. Familiar in ways that your competitors may never be able to because they aren’t using social media content or internet marketing.

Blacktop Banter Content Creator and Strategy Expert, Jeani Ringkob, joins me in this article to break down some insight and tips on how you can perform this even better, and get better results. A recent Speaker at ConExpo and Podcast Host, it is always a pleasure to hear her insight in this matter. Without further delay, I will let her do her thing. Jeani…

Creating Inbound Leads with Content Marketing
Content marketing provides businesses with an invaluable tool to educate their prospects and increase the quality of inbound leads. It can help sales teams struggling with long sales cycles and countless hours spent attempting to inform prospects. These days consumers make efforts to be over 70% of the way to their decision before they engage a company.

So how can we take advantage of this shift in purchase decision behavior? Leveraging this approach can increase ROI if we just understand the specific question people are looking to answer before they engage in a sales conversation. This shift empowers the consumer: leading them to show up to the conversation already having done most of the work traditionally accomplished during a long and hard sales process. Businesses can leverage content marketing to generate well-informed and self-qualified leads that can then be converted more quickly.

Become the Authority
The first step is to learn what questions consumers have when they are considering deciding. Becoming the authority means gathering insight from customers about what concerns they face while researching options This can include becoming aware of challenges within your niche that potential buyers may not even know they need solved until you bring it to their attention. Being able to address these concerns before the buyer ever enters the sales cycle will give you an edge over the competition.

Gather Feedback
To become the authority, the best place to start is with survey or interview your existing customers to learn about directly from them. Asking direct questions helps to understand what types of questions people are searching online – focusing on keywords, topics, and customer pain points is vital. This research can uncover helpful insights into why people end up buying from you and which parts of the customer experience should remain consistent throughout the journey.

Understand Your Niche
Prioritize taking the time to understand your target market and the trends within your niche. Take advantage of keyword tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush which can indicate which topics are gaining traction and what consumers are researching in relation to your service. You can also use platforms such as Quora or Reddit to discover what other people outside of your own network are discussing and where there are gaps in knowledge that your content can fill.

Taking time to develop a comprehensive picture of who your audience is and what kinds of conversations might draw their interest can make all the difference.

QUICK START TIP: If preparing to interview customers sounds daunting but you have a great sales team, start by interviewing them. Get familiar with the conversations they are having already and the questions they address repeatedly.

Create Engaging Content
Once you’re informed on what your customers are looking for, the next step is to create relevant and engaging content that addresses those needs. There’s a variety of mediums such as podcasting, video, blogs, infographics, whitepapers, e-books, guides, case studies, social platforms etc. Make sure everything you produce reflects your brand identity and values; ensure it reads naturally and has a conversational tone throughout.

Tell a Story
Using storytelling techniques that draw readers in with interesting narratives can keep them engaged and helps them relate. Humans are hardwired to respond emotionally to stories and connecting products and services to narrative arcs gives them context, helping people to remember the ideas behind the offering even after they leave the content page.

Use Promotional Strategies
Adding promotional tactics such as SEO optimization, social media sharing, sponsored ads, email campaigns, website banner placement, etc., will further extend the reach of the content and improve visibility across many channels. Stay informed on what the latest strategies are as they often change frequently.

QUICK START TIP: A great resource to understand story in both marketing and sales is the book Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

Making It Easy for Buyers
It’s important to make sure that you’re giving buyers easy access to take the next steps. Provide clear contact options on your site, add CTAs (calls-to-action) to every piece of content you create or directions to take the next step (sales team). Keep track of how effective different tactics are through A/B testing and metrics tracking.

Key Takeaways
Creating content that educates prospects is an invaluable tool to increase the quality of inbound leads and boost conversion rates.
BONUS: It supercharges your sales team, and they can use every piece as assets in their sales cycles as well.
Here are some key tips to bear in mind:

  • Become the authority on the questions your prospects have
  • Consistently create content that educates consumers
  • Make it easy for prospects to take the next step

As always, if you have any insight or criticisms about this article or anything in it, please feel free to email me at or of course, reach out to us at Blacktop Banter on any form of social media.

Jeani Ringkob is the chief strategist at StoryBuilt Growth Strategy and Marketing. She has over 25 years of not just experience but also ownership in the construction industry. She’s an advocate for helping construction industry owners and leaders grow stronger businesses and increase profit margins so they can win at work and life.

Marvin Joles III, Owner of Wis-Coat Asphalt Maintenance and host of Blacktop Banter podcast. You can listen to and watch
Blacktop Banter podcasts by visiting