How does Content Marketing Create Leads?
B2B content marketing can make or break your lead generation results. Find out more about how it can revolutionise your marketing strategy right here.
Published: 28 Dec 2015
5 minutes read
In B2C, a purchasing decision is quick, transactional... and done. However, for B2B businesses, before a prospect becomes a lead, nurturing has to take place. This is where an effective B2B content marketing strategy can either reward your business with a flurry of new clients, or stop your lead generation cold.
1. Get found
In the age of the internet, the start of the buyer’s journey is entirely dependent on getting found by prospects. In order to achieve this, your content needs to be visible in search engine results. Google algorithms favour new, original content and so a frequent and consistent content marketing strategy helps catapult the visibility of your website. However, content needs to be of a high quality and relevant to prospect search terms, or your business will experience a high bounce rate. To ensure that your content is displayed in appropriate search results, use relevant keywords which are optimised to the topic of your blog post or web page.
However, search engines aren’t the only way businesses can get their content found by prospects in 2015. Social media has transformed the marketing landscape for both B2B and B2C businesses, offering a new platform for two-way communication. Of course, due to the nature of social media, prospects dislike businesses who appear salesy or overly-promotional. Simply put, social media isn’t the place for that. A common and successful tactic many B2B businesses use is promoting educational blog posts through their social media channels. This helps encourage discussion around key topics and issues raised, as well as click-throughs and additional social media sharing.
Once prospects have discovered your content through search engine optimisation tactics and social media promotion, your next point of duty is to nurture them with educational content. When prospects first visit your website, chances are they are not ready to buy straight away. This is because, during the initial stages of the buyer’s journey, prospects are looking for clarity and advice for problems they are experiencing and are unlikely to be ready to compare potential vendors.
Instead, content marketing at this stage needs to help solve your prospect pains and encourage them to proceed with their buyer’s journey.
Educational content that helps prospects achieve their goals and conquer their pains, helps to install trust in your business, which in turn increases the likelihood of them carrying on their buyer's journey with your business.
In the final stages of the buyer's journey, content marketing is used to convert prospects into leads. After you have helped prospects successfully identify their pains, downloadable guides, assets and other more in-depth content formats can be supplied to prospects in exchange for their personal details, for future email nurturing.
These assets should be promoted in the form of CTAs at the bottom of a blog post. Typically, they should expand on the pain discussed in the blog post, offering readers a detailed solution.
However, after downloading and reading your asset, the majority of prospects will still not be ready to convert into customers. Nurturing emails should be used to direct prospects to more bottom funnel content, such as free trials and demonstrations.
Prospects will be much more receptive to this content at later stages of their buyer's journey, as they will have identified their pain, decided on a defined solution and are now actively engaged with choosing a service provider.
However, it's important to realise that if your content fails to excite and engage readers, your lead generation is likely to suffer. To help B2B marketers create authentic and interesting content, we've created a handy guide. Download your copy by clicking on the banner below!