Let’s address the elephant in the room. You are desperate for leads.
More traffic, more shares, likes, and people talking about your content is good. But are your efforts really converting to something substantial? Is your business benefitting from content marketing?
Do you feel lost? How would lead generation work? Many B2B companies face the same dilemma. That’s why we spoke to some of the most successful content marketing experts to get the juicy tips for you in Part 1 of the seven-part series.
1. Genuine give away advice that prospects can act upon
“Too much lead generation content is truly self-serving and barely disguised self-promotions. If you want your content to REALLY generation leads for your company make certain to add value to the readers. Share a tip, advice or anything that they can use immediately. Drive curiosity and interest y the power of your words and not what you want them to purchase. Prospects aren’t smart. Don’t try to trick them or risk muddying your reputation on and offline.”
Adrian Miller, Business Growth Architect
2. Think about the buyers’ journey
“When you’re looking to use content to generate leads, you’ve got to understand the buyers’ journey with your brand. Too many companies simply publish content on relevant topics without placing it in the journey’s context. If you want to generate leads, you need to sit down and identify the stages that your buyers progress through on their way to becoming customers. Then, make a list of the topics, questions, and concerns that are relevant to each stage of that journey. Once you’ve done that, produce content for every stage of the journey, and integrate content in the journey’s context. As an example, one of our clients uses blog posts to drive people towards webinars, which drives them towards EBooks, which drives them to white-papers and other more technical content, which then drives them to competitive comparisons, which then drives them to schedule a product demonstration. This approach addresses the buyers’ needs at every stage of the funnel, and has proven to be quite effective in generating new B2B leads.”
Rob Boston, President of Risr Marketing & Growth Solutions
3. Getting the basics in place
“We have used 3 tactics to increase conversions:
a) We like to have a call to action at the bottom of the pack and reference to what our brand does.
b) Ask for their information using relevant content. For marketing blogs, we show an eBook and for financial we show a white paper that pops up in the bottom left.
c) We have a chat, allowing our viewers to ask specific questions.”
Matthew Osborn, Senior Marketing Manager for Apruve
4. Not just creating
“If you want to generate leads through content, the audience you hope to reach needs to know that the content is actually out there! You must spend some time (and probably some money) on promoting your blog post, eBook, case study, or whatever through channels that your target market actually pays attention to. Just creating excellent content is not enough!”
Julie Ewald, CEO, Creative Director, and Founder at Impressa Solutions
5. Videos are the future
“With a 5x higher recall than the written word, video is the most engaging media format and most effective in assisting conversions. Mobile search volume has surpassed desktop, so more video is being consumed than ever before. Affordable data plans, improved bandwidth, and widespread Wi-Fi access have reduced the cost and improved the overall mobile video experience. Another factor is the evolution of B2B content marketing, incorporating an increasing amount of video. Video production costs have decreased dramatically, both in terms of the quality of mobile phone video, affordable or embedded editing software, as well as digital SLR and 4K video cameras. Video form factors have evolved as well: Live streaming (on platforms like Facebook), 360-degree video, augmented and virtual reality, and best of all, drones, all make the video capture and viewing experience more dramatic and immersive. Even financial brands are getting into the mix with demos, tutorials, and testimonials. Last but not least, video advertising is exploding and will offer new opportunities for targeting and engagement that display and text ads lack, especially for B2B brands. If your brand isn’t doubling down on video in 2017, you will miss the bus.”
Kent Lewis, President & Founder at Anvil Media
6. User Generated Content
“Open your website up to user-generated content (UGC). There are several benefits to opening your website up to your community and fans. For starters, they will help mitigate the strain on your creative team by constantly producing relevant content for your website. Secondly, it encourages them to share their contributions with their own personal and social networks.”
Bryan Koontz, CEO of Guidefitter
7. No Content Without CTA
“When it comes to content marketing for lead generation, the biggest takeaway I always tell people is to remember to add some sort of call to action (CTA) in everything they do. It does not always have to be a hard sell but something that provides them value that is aligned with the message the content is trying to focus on, always to build the Know, Like, & Trust factor and captures them to be apart of your email list, which is something I strongly recommend as you own it. The more content you provide the easier it will be to generate leads, as long as you remember the CTA!”
Nicole Hoglund, Owner of Honestly Able
8. Give it away for leads
“We use content marketing to assist in lead generation for our B2B and B2C clients all the time. We love to build out giveaways as tools for lead generation. By offering a targeted, high perceived value, on-target products in a giveaway you attract lots of attention. Once you have people’s attention you are able to deliver branded messaging through great content marketing (editorial/photo/video) and take it a step further by requiring a call to action for signup. (Email subscription, tweeting a message, leaving a comment, following a social media account, etc.) We help our clients follow up with their new email subscribers after the giveaway which is an incredible sales tool.”
Jesse, Founder and CEO of Global Yodel Media Group
9. The hidden Pinterest Power
“My most favorite tactic to use for lead generation is to do some keyword research, write a blog, and share the blog post on Pinterest. In a few short months from trying this, my organic web traffic had increased about 300% and the leads I was capturing followed suit. This works so well because when awesome content is “repinned, it creates an exponential snowball effect that gets your content in front of more and more users. From there, Google starts to recognize the volume of traffic going to your site on the given topic, and it will rank both the blog post and the pin itself higher and higher on search results.
This effect then is compounded each time you pin a blog post on Pinterest, and before you know it, you have a traffic machine that keeps growing and never loses value. I’ve never met someone who tried this that didn’t like the results.”
Braxton Wood from Bootstrappers Academy
10. Two great tips
“Customize your content: When establishing a content marketing plan, remember that the content you create should be developed with the interests of your target audience in mind. While drawing inspiration from your marketing calendar or other sales collateral is a great place to start, the content you distribute in hopes of gaining potential customer’s contact information should focus more on giving them something that will help them in their day-to-day, rather than serve as a hard sell.
Keep it simple: Asking your target audience to give up their contact information or insights into their business needs is already a big ask in and of itself. Requiring users to fill out unnecessarily long forms, provide extra information or take multiple steps to download your content can be a major turn off. Remember that content marketing is a two-way street and not every street has a speed bump or stop light slowing people down.”
Kelsey Nelson, Director of Social Influence for FerebeeLane
What’s your B2B lead generation tip for content marketers? Drop it in the comments.