Finding qualified leads is one of the biggest business challenges, making an effective lead generation strategy essential for all content marketing campaigns.
The driving force behind effective content marketing is the ability to find quality leads and send them along the sales pipeline, but 61 percent of B2B marketers declared that the biggest challenge of this goal is knowing how to generate those high-quality leads, according to research by IDG Enterprise.
B2B Lead Generation Trends provided by IDG Enterprises
While lead generation can be a challenge for any business, it’s an essential part of your content marketing campaign and the cornerstone for acquiring new customers. An effective content marketing initiative combines lead generating content with effective advertisement and ROI tracking to prime contacts and transform them into sales. Here’s how to do it.
Two marketing concepts you should know about are lead generation and demand generation:
Lead generation gathers information on potential clients and turning them into sales leads. The purpose of this concept is to convert the most qualified leads into buyers, and its success is measured by the contact information you gather from prospects.
Lead generation uses high-value, gated content to collect contact information from prospective buyers that already have an established interest in your product or service. Although this limits your overall contact pool, you can now focus on converting those who are most likely to buy.
Demand generation is all about creating interest in your product and focuses on brand positioning rather than making the sale. The purpose and the result of this marketing is the same: get people hyped about your product or service and make them want to buy.
Unlike lead generation, demand generation uses broad stroke efforts to appeal to large groups and create long term shifts in buyer perceptions of your brand.
While these two marketing goals serve separate purposes and must be approached differently, they can be used in conjunction to drive interest in your offering. Gathered leads that now have an interest in your product or service can be targeted with relevant content to improve the chances of a sale.
How much priority you place on each of these depends on your specific business goals, but utilizing both types of marketing is the best way to bring potential buyers in and start them on the nurturing process.
From there, you can begin more aggressive content marketing strategies with targeted efforts aimed at scoring and priming leads until they’re ready for your sales team to jump in.
Get Your Content Out There
Having effective content is great, but you also have to make sure that customers in your demographic see it for it to be effective.
You can help advertise your content with channels such as email campaigns, social media initiatives and paid promotions. You can also increase the number of viewers with these strategies:
- Paid search marketing such as Google Adwords
- Gathering media and press attention to help spread the word and link to your content
- Linking to your landing page from other areas of your website to generate more traffic
- Social media promotion on Facebook, Twitter, or other high-traffic user base
Of course, many of these campaigns will require financial investment on your end, so be sure to track your ROI to guarantee that your strategy is effective.
Measuring Your Marketing
All of the content marketing in the world won’t help your business efforts if your content isn’t reaching your demographic. To understand how effective your marketing efforts are, you must know who accesses your content, where your content is shared and how it works to generate new contacts for you. Without keeping track of these metrics, all of your marketing efforts may be going to waste.
Tracking these analytics can help you hone your message and create something that gives more value to your consumers. If you’re still lacking the traffic you want or your ROI isn’t meeting your goals, your message may not be reaching your audience.
One of the best ways to increase your outreach is offering content in a variety of formats, such as:
- Audio files
- White papers
- Blog posts
People learn in different ways, and providing the same message repackaged in various formats can help ensure that you meet the needs of each learning style.
Approach your content with the same mindset as your lead generation and content marketing efforts. Your readers aren’t interested in advertisements; they want to know how you can help them.In addition to developing your brand image, you’ll need to target your most qualified leads to get them moving through the sales funnel swiftly. Finally, be sure to build yourself a powerhouse of varied, regular content to keep your leads coming back for more.
What other techniques have you used to generate leads with your content marketing? Add to the discussion in the comments below!