When marketers advocate for more robust content marketing strategies, there is usually a big emphasis on using content to build brand awareness and show off organizational and executive thought leadership. At its core, though, content that promotes your brand or contributes thought leadership isn’t worth the investment if it doesn’t positively impact lead generation.
According to ZoomInfo, more than 70% of B2B marketers have the data to prove that their content marketing increases their lead generation. Building a content strategy that packs a lead generation punch goes beyond deciding whether or not to start a podcast or picking between designing an eBook or infographic. Each piece of your content marketing stack should increase your organization’s credibility as a leader in your industry and directly speak to the needs of one or more of your buyer personas. Formatting, design, distribution channels, etc. should all support these goals.
Below are five of our top tips to maximize the lead generation power of your content marketing:
1. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity
We’ve all heard this phrase time and time again, “quality over quantity,” but it rings particularly true when it comes to using your content marketing for lead generation efforts. Focusing on optimizing fewer, better quality posts instead of churning out SEO-unfriendly blurbs will get you better traction on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and demonstrates the high-quality work you would also produce for a client.
Favor well-researched, data-driven posts to target your exec-level buyer personas and assess what topics will be most valuable to them. What are their pain points and how does your organization’s content marketing offer a solution?
A quality content marketing strategy will start with a thorough content marketing calendar. Address what topics will be of most value to your audience, and within those topics, what your organization excels at. Determine a realistic posting schedule and stick to it!
For more tips on improving the quality of your content, check out this guide to better content marketing.
- Favor well-researched, data-driven, well-written posts
- Focus on content that targets your most important personas
- Determine a realistic posting schedule and stick to it
2. Evaluate resources for research, writing, design, syndication, etc.
The key to writing good content that drives lead generation is expertise, and it’s likely that your organization has subject matter experts elsewhere than the marketing team. Evaluate your resources, including people—maybe your software engineer isn’t the best writer, but does he have a ton of project management experience? Get someone from your marketing team to interview him or pick his brain for content ideas.
Need a little more guidance when it comes to planning content? These 5 content planning tools will help you plan smarter.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated copyeditor, it’s important to create a solid editing and proofing process. Maximize free or inexpensive tools for writing, editing and grammar checks. Online tools can be your saving grace, but make sure you’re using one that is reputable and trustworthy.
Reputable editing tools include:
- Look beyond marketing team for content input
- Build a manageable editing and proofreading process
- Maximize free (or inexpensive) tools for writing, editing and grammar
3. Incorporate gated content downloads into ungated offerings
Just because something is ungated does not mean that you shouldn’t invest careful planning, research and editing into its creation. Ungated content is a key driver of lead generation, and popular blog posts, articles and web pages are usually in the top search results.
If you’d like to capture better lead information from ungated content, consider building “content waterfalls” that include gated assets. If you have a gated asset about marketing automation, for example, include CTAs that lead to that asset in your marketing automation blog posts, infographics or YouTube video descriptions.
Effective landing pages that load quickly and have clear directions are key to driving conversions. Lead generation lags when landing pages frustrate potential customers—according to Kissmetrics, 40% of web users will leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Check page load speed with Google PageSpeed Insights and optimize any elements that slow it down. Neil Patel talks about the importance of good landing pages in his guide to generating leads with content marketing, as well as other important elements to consider.
- Build good faith by offering high quality ungated content
- Create a “content waterfall” by including enticing, meatier gated assets as CTAs
- Ensure landing pages are interactive, effective and not misleading
4. Repurpose and revise content to appeal to multiple personas
“Reuse, reduce and recycle” isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for lead generation! Creating high quality content that your potential customers love is difficult and takes time, so why replicate the entire process over and over?
Most marketing topics have both strategic and tactical approaches. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily need to tell your CEO about all the features and functionalities of your marketing automation platform if they just need to know what kind of ROI it will have on lead generation. That tactical information may be helpful, though, for your marketing manager, who needs to be able to train new hires quickly. Therefore, you may create two blog posts, one that focuses on the positive impact automation has on a company’s bottom line and one that focuses on the most important things to consider when learning how to use a marketing automation platform.
Did you put together an informative Powerpoint for a meeting? Turn it into a blog! Did you record a webinar? Transcribe it and use the content for a white paper! Did you design an eBook? Turn individual pages into social media posts! The possibilities are endless, and different channels will appeal more to different parts of your audience.
- Identify assets that can be re-envisioned into new formats and different communication styles
- Update old blog posts with new info and republish to appeal to current trends
- Think about both the strategic way and tactical way to approach a topic and write both
5. Consider paid campaigns for high-value content
It’s common knowledge that organic social reach for business pages is in the toilet, and has been for a long time, but expensive, low-ROI paid social campaigns don’t always make sense.
For high-value content, liked a well-researched gated industry report, low-dollar post boosting on strategic social platforms may be effective. You can get started boosting individual posts for just a few dollars and see if you notice a significant increase in traffic or form conversions.
You can also leverage retargeting on social media and browsers to push high-value content to people who have visited your website. Visiting your website will “cookie” your potential lead and show them ads for your eBook, report, video series, etc. Also, be sure to check out these five costly mistakes for B2B paid search to ensure your paid marketing efforts are fullly optimized.
Paid syndication efforts in impactful publications might make sense depending on your industry. If there is a specific, widely read and trusted website, journal or other media source that you know many of your potential leads access on a regular basis, it may be worth investing more with them to syndicate content that you’ve optimized for lead generation. This may look like a sponsored email, a paid advertising campaign on a website, a fee for publishing a report in a quarterly journal, etc.
- Experiment with low-dollar post boosting on strategic social platforms
- Build retargeting campaigns around high-performing content
- Paid syndication efforts may make sense depending on your industry and audience