Elevating thought leadership is one of the many benefits of content marketing, but perhaps the most valuable for your B2B business is lead generation. New customers are essential for the growth of any company and you have all the tools to get them. Conducting research utilizing your customer personas and keyword research provides the audience while publishing the right content turns audience viewers/readers into potential customers. As the old adage goes, content is king.
What is Your Ideal Lead?
The definition may vary depending on the organization, but in its simplest form, a lead is someone who has expressed interest in your B2B business or services. For many people, hiring a B2B company involves some research and depending on where they are in the process, they could be an information-qualified lead, marketing-qualified lead or sales-qualified lead.
- Information-qualified lead – This is a company that has expressed initial interest. They could have answered a questionnaire, signed up for your newsletter or even followed one of your social media accounts.
- Marketing-qualified lead – An information-qualified lead continuing to express interest in your company becomes a marketing-qualified lead. Whether they’ve reached out with an inquiry or contacted an employee directly, this company is seeking more information as they consider a business partnership.
- Sales-qualified lead – By this point, your lead is ready to discuss pricing and hire your business. Mission accomplished.
How Are You Generating Leads?
As any B2B marketer knows, not every lead will eventually become a customer. It’s a numbers game and the goal is to attract as many people from your target audience as possible. More interested people will become more leads, which will generate more new customers for your company.
Think of it like a raffle with the grand prize being a new customer. Of course, it’s technically possible that one ticket, or lead in this case, will be enough to win the prize. However, the odds of winning become increasingly higher with the addition of each ticket. Speaking engagements and advertisements are beneficial, but consistent and relevant content is the most effective and cost-efficient way for your business to generate leads.
Content to Put Behind Landing Pages
Every B2B business needs a good website. It’s your first introduction to your target audience and making a good impression is vital to building and maintaining those relationships. Including all background information about your employees and service areas as well as content such as a blog or podcast, this homepage is the centralized hub for your company, but for the purpose of lead generation, landing pages are equally important.
While your website likely includes multiple tabs and sections with a library of information, a landing page is a standalone web page with a single call to action. There’s no need for additional clicks on a landing page as the primary goal is to turn visitors into leads. Just as blog posts and social media messages can drive traffic to your website, content is the key to generating leads through a landing page and there are a number of types for your B2B business to consider.
- Webinars – A virtual presentation gives your company an opportunity to establish credibility and trust with an interested and engaged audience.
- eBooks – You know the questions your prospective customers are asking. Answering them in the form of an eBook gives your business authority and status as a leader in your industry.
- Host events – Even with the convenience of technology, face-to-face interaction still has a prominent place in business. A live event is your company’s ticket to forming a deep connection with your audience.
- Case studies – This is where your expertise can really shine and your work can be differentiated from the competition. With detailed explanations of past successes, your B2B business can provide evidence of its potential to prospective customers.
- White papers and guides – With content that is informative rather than sales-focused, your company can position itself as a valuable resource, strengthening the relationship with members of your audience.
Storing and distributing this content on a landing page is a win-win for your B2B business and the leads you generate. They receive valuable information for their decision-making process, while you get a chance to connect with someone who has expressed interest in hiring your company and showcase what you have to offer. Be sure to gather contact information on your landing page so your B2B company can reach out to visitors individually for any follow-up discussions to continue the conversion from lead to a new customer.