February 03, 2015

Lead Generation and Content Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Do you wish you had a better way of reeling in prospects? If so, you’re not alone, as generating high-quality leads and converting them into actual sales is no easy task, especially in the competitive B2B sector.

According to a recent study from 360 Leads, lead generation is the most important sales and marketing challenge facing 58 percent of companies. And despite the fact that 78.5 percent of companies have engaged in lead-generation programs during the past 12 months, only 17.3 percent are meeting their sales lead-generation targets.

If you fall into this category of frustrated marketers, it might be time to re-evaluate your efforts and embrace content marketing as a core part of your lead-generation strategy. After all, content marketing, or the distribution of custom content to targeted audiences online, is now being used primarily for lead-generation purposes by 83 percent of marketers, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute.

Content marketing and lead generation are a match made in heaven because, together, they can do the following:

Unlock your readers’ hearts, minds … and pockets: The lead-generation process has changed dramatically in recent years. Customers can no longer be easily wooed by a single, impersonal advertisement or short generic commercial. Rather, they want to be approached naturally, through relevant and informative content such as blog posts, white papers and instructional videos.

While each one of these channels has a different purpose, they ultimately serve to drive increased traffic to your site. For example:

  • Blogs: Reach your readers in an informative, pressure-free way through your corporate blog. Blogs are meant to build interest around your products and services, while also providing an educational experience for prospects. 
  • White papers/case studies: This is where you dig in and offer in-depth product reviews, instructions, technical specifications and specific use cases. These resources are typically gated, meaning users must provide their basic contact information to obtain the material.
  • Videos/podcasts: Content creation is more than producing written words. Many customers prefer to watch or listen to material. Videos and podcasts, therefore, appeal to a wider audience.

Show your readers that you continuously care: Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing is not a one-time deal—it’s a long term, ongoing strategy. The goal is to become your prospects’ go-to resource for the latest tips and tricks, statistics and industry news.

What’s the benefit of investing in a long-term content strategy? According to research from Kapost, the longer you invest in content, the less expensive lead generation becomes. In fact, the cost per each lead in content marketing drops an astounding 80 percent after the first five months of a campaign.

Earn the loyalty of your customers: How do you win the battle for your leads’ hearts and keep them dedicated to your brand? You need to form trust with your readers and, in doing so, you will earn their loyalty.

Consider a recent CEB survey which shows that 53 percent of B2B customer loyalty is created by the overall sales experience. Use your content to ensure that any time a customer researches your product—either early in the sales process or late in the game—he or she will walk away from your website with a great feeling about your company. This will ensure that your customers see you as more than just a competitive solution; you want to emerge as a thought leader, too.

Want to learn more about how content marketing can help your business generate quality leads? Click here

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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