B2B Lead Generation – Using Content Marketing to Acquire New Customers
Content marketing has become a staple in recent search engine optimization techniques and an integral part in B2B lead generation to acquire new customers and funneling existing ones down the conversion path. A recent webinar from eMarketer summarized B2B content marketing with these four steps:
- Building content: Who is it for, what solution does it offer and how should it be packaged?
- Gating content: How does content translate into leads?
- Promoting content: Where will the audience look for content?
- Measuring content: How well did a piece of content translate into leads?
The first step is to have a deep understanding of the audience which will shape the content tone, topic selection and how to package the content. Formats such as blog posts, webinars and white papers are ideal for sharing content and can guide buyers down the path toward conversion. Additional sources of content topics include customer service or sales feedback issues and topics competitors are or are not addressing. You can always repurpose content from other formats too – such as taking an article and making it a PowerPoint presentation or video for additional exposure.
There is a limit to how much information prospects will provide in exchange for content and Marketers must weigh their data collection wants versus their needs. Multistep registration offers a balanced approach to collecting lead information and marketers can also give prospects control to customize future content marketing dialogue.
Social media is a prime channel for sharing content that B2B decision-makers seek and sharing content on social media sites can help to attract—and convert—leads into customers. Companies that engage with their audience in dialogue will have the upper hand come decision time to make a purchase. Keeping in mind the expansive growth of mobile in the past few years, create content that is easily sharable on mobile devices for B2B decision-makers. Before jumping into a content distribution or promotion strategy, make sure to have the metrics to justify the investment.
The metrics for measuring content marketing success are straightforward but the actual measurement process is a bit more complex. The majority of B2B companies worldwide track lead activity with a customer relationship management tool but the minority are integrating their CRM system with a marketing automation tool. Without tools to measure the value of each content marketing asset, marketers can’t expect to prioritize their efforts or grow their programs.
How you package content matters, but what is inside matters more and always write for the prospect first and SEO second. Remember to take time to identify the topics that resonate most with prospects’ pain points or educational and informational needs. Leverage internal expertise and manpower to look to clients, fans and followers for topic inspiration and additional content creation.
Promoting content takes time and effort so it is best to pick a few networks and communities you know prospects frequent. Be respectful when asking for information, and listen to them! Multistep registration allows prospects to ease into a relationship with a brand and as they share more information, make sure to have the tools necessary to tailor content to their individual needs.
For additional information on B2B lead generation and content marketing, continue to read our blog or contact us today.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.