In the 2016 report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 62% of B2B marketers said that their organization’s content marketing efforts are more successful compared to a year ago. This is an indication that content marketing is more than just an industry buzzword, but an important business strategy that any organization must have.
The same report also revealed that the top content marketing goal of organizations in the following months is lead generation (80% of all surveyed marketers).
If lead generation is an important content marketing goal for B2B marketers, then the next logical question to ask is: what types of content produce quality sales leads? Here are a number of lead-generating content marketing strategies to consider.
1. Produce content that is genuinely useful.
B2B content must not only be interesting and stimulating but also have utility and practicality. Its reader/viewer must be motivated to think how to apply your blog article, video, or white paper in some way to their own business. It should be your priority to become a leading source of useful, engaging, and quality information in your industry.
To compare, the goal of many B2C content is to inspire or entertain. Red Bull, for example, creates either branded content or shares exciting media. This is great for building brand awareness, but not much for targeted lead generation.
2. Know the basics of an effective landing page.
No matter what form of content you are trying to use to generate leads, it all comes down to great landing pages. Econsultancy reported that only 20% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rate; meaning, there are a lot of ineffective landing pages that aren’t building leads or making new business.
- Clear and concise headlines. The landing page headline should not be confusing and compel its target audience to know more.
- Complementing marketing copy. All other copy in the page must complement the headline.
- Call-to-action buttons that stand out. The CTA button must be big and bright. Feel free to use keywords that may interest the target customer such as “buy” or “download now.”
- Trust indicators. Think: money back guarantees, 7-day trial, etc.
Impeccable grammar. Speaking of trust, spelling errors and sloppy grammar don’t help with customer trust.
- All important information above the fold. The viewer must not need to scroll down to get the most basic info. The call-to-action button must also be above the fold.
- Always test. The only way to know if your landing page is being effective is to change the copy, images, and buttons over time and compare the results before and after the optimization. Consider A/B testing as well, which is essentially running two versions of the same landing page at the same time.
3. Write case studies
Case studies may sound bland, but B2B marketers believe that they are the most effective content marketing strategy in terms of lead generation.
With case studies, your organization will be better perceived as an authority in your industry, and the audience you are targeting will trust you more as you have taken the time to study a problem and come out with a positive result.
Write case studies that won’t come off as a hard sell. Tell a story using your write-ups. After all, a good case study is really a “success story.” Include photos, videos, graphs, and charts to make what a boring chunk of text more visually stimulating as well.
4. Publish an e-book
Publishing an e-book is a great way for B2B companies to generate leads. A PwC forecast shows that the total revenue from e-book sales is estimated to reach $8.7 billion by 2018.
Neil Patel said that you may charge for your e-book or not. Regardless, your e-book, even as a free resource, can:
- Provide information to prospect leads. A great e-book will answer questions that your target readers have about a certain topic or issue. This is an excellent way to create that connection between them and your organization.
- Build your reputation and authority. If you want to show your audience (and competition) what you know, e-books are the best way to go. They let you discuss topics in an in-depth manner, which can help build your credibility and authority in the industry.
- Generate leads. This part boils down to your landing page. Make sure it communicates the value they’ll get from reading the e-book and that it’ll be worth their time and them sharing their contact information with you in exchange.
5. Host webinars
Webinars, like all great B2B content, must offer great value for people to willingly share their email address and other information with you. Make sure your invites provide information on what the webinar can give such as the topic, expertise of the speaker, hands-on training, Q&A sessions, etc.
Take advantage, again, of your landing page (in this case, the sign-up page) to get important information from your audience. You may even consider doing a short survey to measure their interest in your product or service or where they currently are in the sales funnel.
While there is no catchall solution to generating leads through B2B content marketing, these strategies are based on advice from experts that you may want to consider applying in your strategy. Think about your industry and your customers first, then generate content that professionals in your field will find useful and applicable.