15 content tactics to grow your organic leads for free

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Content, if used right and marketed well, is a powerful tool for business owners. If you are looking to increase your reach and queries, why not first try these 15 content tactics to grow your organic leads for free.

These are good times for DIY entrepreneurship.

An inexhaustible array of free online tools, information and learning resources are enabling entrepreneurs to accomplish myriad aspects of their business at an unprecedented scale. Whether it is for lead generation, building websites, design and branding, content creation or even bookkeeping, most can DIY just about anything they have an aptitude for.

But then inevitably, it all boils down to effective marketing. Your awesome product or service lies around, waiting to be discovered by the larger world. Without a constant stream of leads heading towards a business, 75% of all startups fail. For businesses with limited marketing budgets, this is where we get creative.

While potential prospects can be acquired by advertising on digital channels, organic leads occur naturally – when your audience finds you through search engines, social media references or even links on other sites.

How do you get and increase organic traffic for free?

Check out these 15 content tactics to grow your organic leads for free

These creative and cost-effective ways to sure to drive organic leads, brand visibility, traffic and ultimately business growth.

1. Optimize your website

Before you even optimize for SEO, focus on user experience. Your entire site needs to be welcoming and easy for visitors to use and navigate. Make a great first impression and keep visitors on your website longer by having a design that is user friendly and loads quickly.

2. Create lead magnets to build your email list

Gated lead magnets aka opt-ins that inspire a website visitor to part with their email in exchange for value are important lead generation tools. However, in a recent survey, several entrepreneurs cited copywriting & content as their biggest roadblock for creating opt-ins or lead magnets. The simple workaround here is to offer content upgrades on your best content as a lead magnet too.

We took our popular blog post on best practices for lead magnets and offered the a gated printable checklist to create strong lead magnets.

Even better are lead magnets that serve as content upgrades. Specific to a blog post, they are extensions of the content your reader is already engaging with. Our blog post on designing a small business website that your customers love, includes a content upgrade to a free, detailed step by step webinar by the author, to enable you to evaluate and design your website from a user’s perspective.

Lead Magnets with a dedicated landing page ensure that your viewers focus on completing one task and not get distracted by anything else. 

List your digital products on Maroon Oak Marketplace - become a Pro Member

Get visibility, reach and traffic for your lead magnets and opt-ins – become a Pro Member

3. Get yourself in the right places

Let’s say you want to build backlinks to your website. One way to do this is to get included in a round-up on topics of your expertise. Use free search tools like Pinterest, BuzzSumo or Ubersuggest to find out the top shared articles. Or look for bloggers writing about that particular topic and contact them with a request to get included.

Want more online leads from top platforms? Check out these 23 sites to list your business for free!

4. Consider long form content to attract prospects

Search engines rank long-form content (>3,000 words), a big forecasted trend in content marketing, much higher than short-form. It generates more business leads and social shares for a greater period of time, because it’s likely that the article will attract backlinks and gain organic traffic from Google. Whatever length of content you decide to write, make it valuable, skimmable and easily digestible by adding great visuals and breaking it into smaller paragraphs with subheadings for faster takeaways.

To create beautiful visual content that boosts your brand, grab our Free must-have Guide for 21 Best Free Stock Photo Sites.

5. Repurpose and recycle content

Take any one of your good performing content that resonated with your audience and modify the ways to convey your message as per the channel and audience. Repurpose your content across all your distribution channels and don’t limit yourself. i.e the same article made into a video for Youtube, a lead magnet for capturing emails, an infographic for pinterest, a gif for your website sidebar, socially shareable images, shorter video clips etc.

Stuck for ideas? Read our popular blog on How to generate awesome content!

This not only gives you multiple ways to convey your message, you also show up in different types of search results, like images and videos.

How to use content to gain Traffic, Leads and Repeat Customers!

Free Webinar – How to use content for traffic and leads!

6. Focus on guest blogging/podcasting

Writing a guest blog or appearing as a podcast guest give you access to a brand new audience and important backlinks to your website. To leverage these interactions to maximum potential, don’t make the buck stop there. Invest in thoughtful promotions before and after the experience, tagging those involved in the process.

Make it a priority to respond to, and engage with the comments and audience on the website and social media too.

Guest bloggers share expertise and earn backlinks!

7. Stay away from internal keyword cannibalization

Simply put, multiple pages on your website should not have similar content, competing for the same keywords. It makes Google weigh your pages against each other and choose which ones it thinks suits the matching keywords best. Instead, one authoritative page would probably rank higher and convert better.

8. Harness the power of good photography, imagery and icons

How well are you marketing your visual content? Good, relevant images increase connect better with your audience, allowing them to get a feel of your product or service. Unfortunately, low resolution, non contextual and sub quality images have the reverse effect. Trim copy and instead add high quality visuals or icons. This helps your audience quickly get an idea of your business proposition, especially when they are skimming.

Want free tools to design better social media graphics? Grab this free ebook!

Free ebook to help you design easily!

9. Get creative with Newsletters

Newsletters that surprise and delight are a constant, iterative process. The question to ask is – does my content serve the customer or only the company?

Focus on making the larger part of your emails about providing value.

Include great visuals, GiFs, Videos and importantly, take inspiration rather than reinventing the wheel. Really Good Emails is one such place that curates emails sent by other companies for you to see what works. In fact, you can even submit your own awesome email for consideration and ultimately more brand visibility.

Want to grow your email list? Check out these 31 amazing content ideas for your newsletter.

10. Invest in a Keyword strategy

Think keywords before creating any piece of content. Think with buyer intent – what would you search for if you were the customer?

The more specific your keywords (i.e search phrases), the warmer the audience will be. Include relevant keywords and use them in subheadings, page copy, meta description, url and image alt tags. Do not overstuff, instead follow a natural writing style.

Before you deep dive into Keyword Analytics, even a basic Google search can be your first level advisor.

Question-based keywords can be used for many different mediums, including blog posts, videos and FAQ sections on ecommerce product pages. Not to mention, they are the most common types of queries that trigger featured snippet and get you to rank on top of search results. Begin your answers with terms like, “Start by”, “The first step is” etc. The reason – Google tends to prefer featured snippet content that begin logically as an answer would. In fact, that’s exactly how we started the pointers in this blog. ‘Start with these creative……’

Balancing content with keywords paid off in this example in the image below. Not only has this article ranked first, it has also featured as a Rich Snippet.

Use content and keywords to rank higher in searches.

11. Magnetize your Headlines

You will spend lots of time and effort in generating the body of your content, but don’t overlook the headline and post titles. While 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, only 2 out of 10 people will read the rest of your post.

An exceptional post title can get your article shared on social media, even before its read. Invest time in writing compelling, magnetic, persuasive copy.

In this video the title offers a fresh twist to what Moms do, with both humor and curiosity. It got great engagement on Facebook and Youtube.

12. Do expert (or product) roundups

Roundups are curated answers on a particular topic, offered by influencers or experts in that niche. Whether you seek the answers on social media, via platforms like HARO or through direct email outreach, not only does it provide you with free content, but also free promotion and increased visibility. The featured entrepreneurs happily share and promote your content, exposing it to new audiences and boosting engagement and traffic.

With this blog post, not only did we answer the frequently asked questions from our members on the best business books to read, but we sought the recommendations from the experts themselves, who even shared the final blog with their audience.

13. Reuse your lives, how-tos, insta videos on YouTube

It’s great that you’re investing your efforts into Facebook lives and Instagram videos, but don’t forget the other channels too. Start with downloading your Facebook Live video and then upload on Youtube, Vimeo, embed in a blog and even share via newsletter. With the same video, each new channel is a source of new leads.

14. Write Actionable CTAs  

Compel your users to take action – frame your Calls to Action for visual impact and it’s sense of urgency. E.g: Instead of Sign up now, how about get 40% off now. A good idea to decide copy for your CTA is to ask yourself, does the CTA end the story of your content with a ‘What to do now?’

15. Newsjack your way to visibility

Newsjacking is a way to join or use an online conversation in your content, while it’s still hot & trending. In other words, it’s using current news stories to expand your overall brand visibility.

You can create content that piggybacks on breaking news or capitalizes on the flavor of the season. Either way, newsjacking can be used in your content marketing mix to drive interest and leads.

Anything from a well-timed social media post to a blog can be effective as long as it stays on brand.

Maroon Oak’s 4th of July Campaign emphasizing professional independence for women.

Getting organic leads for free requires a multi-pronged approach. While it all starts with good content that offers value, there’s plenty a lean business can DIY to boost organic traffic and leads to their website.

Look out for part II of this article, on leads and traffic generation for free via your customers and new channels.

Contributor-Aditi Tandon
Aditi Tandon

You can’t use up creativity. The more you create, the more you have.

A Designer and Entrepreneur, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.

A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her newest baby, a Bichon named Miltie.

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15 Comments
  1. JOHN MULINDI 3 months ago

    I have implemented Call To Action on my blog, and it really bring in results. Your tips are on point. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Kristine Nicole Alessandra 3 months ago

    I have not been minding my blog for a week now, as I have been busy with family matters. Soon as things settle down, I will apply your tips.

  3. Jana 3 months ago

    These are great tips to organic traffic! I am saving your page, so I can come back and review them later!

  4. corey 5 months ago

    What an insightful blog to help me understand and implement when creating my blogs and newsletters. Starting my e-mail newsletters for 2019 and I’m so excited!

  5. Audrey Ko 5 months ago

    Really great ideas! Hopefully I can implement a few of these in the new year!

  6. Julie 5 months ago

    This article on growing organic leads is great! Thanks so much for sharing these tips!

  7. Clare Aaker 5 months ago

    so helpful! thank you!

  8. Aarika 5 months ago

    This article contains really helpful info. Thank you! I need to work on checking my internal keyword cannibalization. =) Great tips!

  9. Bridget 5 months ago

    These are great tips! One of my goals for the new year is to write more guest posts, they’re such an awesome way to get in front of a new audience!

  10. Candace Moczarski 5 months ago

    Im so doing this I always need more traffic thanks for sharing

  11. Kara 5 months ago

    Great info, I realize I have so much to learn.

  12. Leanne 5 months ago

    This was an incredibly in-depth and comprehensive article! Absolutely agree with point 2 on creating awesome lead magnets and good copy for conversions.

    • Aditi T Author
      Aditi T 3 months ago

      Thanks Leanne. Copy that reflects your brand and solves the customers problems always wins!
      Have you checked out our awesome marketplace where women entrepreneurs are sharing their lead magnets and digital tools?

  13. Liz Bayardelle 5 months ago

    This was an absolutely fabulous article! So many good tips! I definitely bookmarked it to come back to as I made progress!

    • Aditi T Author
      Aditi T 3 months ago

      Thanks Liz and I’m glad you bookmarked it!
      It is our mission at Maroon Oak to build the best resource library for women business owners looking for answers to entrepreneurship. We hope you check out the other articles in our Blog and our new Business Tools Marketplace where we are curating digital tools offered by women entrepreneurs and subject matter experts on everything business.

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