Anyone who wants to stay in business needs to know how to keep up with modern marketing, and that means learning how to generate leads online. The Internet changed advertising forever, but that doesn’t mean that many of the old lessons of reaching out don’t apply to the new way of doing things. However, if you’re not up on how content marketing can capture targeted online leads and customers ready to spend money, then you are way behind every one of your competitors who use this online marketing tactic.

Advertising online changes frequently, but one thing always stays the same: visitors love high-quality content and they love getting value. This is one of the several reasons that content marketing works well for generating leads. Content marketing in its simplest form is creating useful information that can be given to potential customers for free.

Companies can build trust for their brand by providing valuable content which is especially important to younger generations like Generation X and Millennials. Offering actual value and proving your worth ahead of time goes a long way to building a brand loyalty so they will come back to your website again and again. This value can include free reports, information on how to use your product, or how to get the best deal.

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Basically, don’t think of the content as another place to sell. Content marketing gets leads because you’re showing yourself as an expert. You’re offering information or solutions to a specific problem to show you know your field and you know your stuff. Then at the end, you will provide information on how to contact you both on and offline.

The truth is that customers will remember the good value and they will remember when you keep offering them help. They are willing to follow you to your sales site or to your business pitch if you give them a reason to trust what you have to say.

Other methods of advertising are struggling. Banner ads straight out don’t work anymore while pay per click ads that go to a sales letter or main website are mostly unreliable.

Reaching out with content marketing is simple. Create a report or a series of reports that you give away in exchange for an e-mail address. It’s critical that you make sure these reports are very high quality both in how they’re written as well as the level of information that is provided.

Offer these free reports everywhere. They can come at the end of podcasts, on a Facebook page, or make an advertising campaign on Twitter or Google to get people funneled to the free report. The follow-up e-mails you send should be mostly informational with a few sales pitches or promotions worked in.

Here you can have them contact you online or even call directly. This is the time where the high-quality content pays off because you have helped lead potential customers to the point where they’re ready to trust you and ready to spend money for your products or services.