How to Generate B2B Leads from Your Content
June 15, 2022
As Goose is to Maverick, content marketing has long been a faithful wing man to B2B marketers and an essential part of their strategic playbook. And the latest intel shows this is unlikely to change any time soon. While budgets are still lagging behind pre-pandemic spending, thanks to economic and geopolitical uncertainty, content is bucking the trend and remaining a priority within B2B marketing strategies. In fact, 42% of marketers expect to increase their content budget this year.
So, why is content sheltered from the storm? It may have something to do with its potential to generate B2B leads. According to Semrush’s State of Content Marketing 2022 report, lead generation is one of the top three goals of content marketing for B2B marketers. However, like the legendary Top Gun duo, marketers are also feeling the need for speed when trying to generate enough leads from their content campaigns. Because despite lead gen being a core goal of content marketing, attracting quality leads is also reported to be the hardest thing to do.
If this dilemma sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. Read on to discover tried-and-tested methods to boost your content’s B2B lead generating powers.
Creating a Content Strategy for Lead Generation
We know you’re here for the lead gen tips, but first, you must assess the strength of your content’s foundation. It sounds simple, but before trying to increase the leads generated from your content, ask yourself—do you genuinely have a content marketing strategy in place?
If you answered no, you’re not alone. Despite 97% of marketers using content marketing, only 57% have a documented strategy in place. And of those that do, a pitiful 19% say it’s “very successful.”
We aren’t delving into the nitty-gritty of content strategy creation in this post, but for a simple place to start, check out this article from Copyblogger containing some quickfire questions to help bring focus to your strategy.
Wait! Are Your Landing Pages Ready?
Just one more thing, we promise. Landing pages are integral to lead gen content campaigns and often the final touchpoint for your prospects before they hand over their details and enter your pipeline. However, they’re likely to click the back button faster than you can say MQL if they find themselves on a lousy landing page. Therefore, making your pages convincing is crucial to your lead generation success. We’ve written a whole post about increasing landing page conversions if you’d like to learn more.
5 Methods to Generate B2B Leads from Your Content
Time for the juicy stuff! Once you’ve nailed your basic strategy and cleaned up your landing pages, here are some tactics to take your content’s lead generating abilities from zero to hero.
1. Content Upgrades
You’ve heard of lead magnets before, but what about their lesser-known sibling, content upgrades? Their differences are subtle but important. Both refer to gated content that requires a user to part with contact details in exchange for an asset of some kind—a whitepaper, eBook, or case study, for example. Whereas lead magnets act as standalone assets, content upgrades are add-ons to existing content. We can use this blog post as an example to explain. Imagine that partway through this post, you’re met with a prompt asking if you’d like to download an in-depth PDF guide with step-by-step instructions to create a lead-generating content strategy. This is the content upgrade—an offer of a resource that enriches the content you’re already reading, requiring contact details to download. If you need convincing, the results speak for themselves—marketers have attributed a 185% increase in overall site conversions to content upgrades.
2. Content Syndication
To generate leads from your content, you’ve first got to get people reading and engaging with it. This requires a solid distribution strategy that doesn’t just aim to get as many eyes as possible on your content, but the right eyes. This is where content syndication can be your best friend. According to HubSpot, content syndication is the process of “…republishing the same piece of content—an article, a video, an infographic, etc.—on one or more different websites.” It’s a worthwhile solution that ensures you maximize the value of every asset you create. It’s not limited just to websites either. You can also syndicate content via outbound communication with target prospects, such as email or cold-calling. If you’re wondering where to begin with such a process, there are content syndication vendors out there to help you—including DemandScience!
3 Paid Advertising
If you want to transform your content into a lead-generating mega-machine, paid promotion is non-negotiable. 46% of companies that report their content as performing ‘extremely well’ increased their paid promotion budget in 2021. On the flip side, 31% of companies with unsuccessful content opted for zero paid promotions. Go figure. So, how does paid advertising help generate B2B leads from your content? Like content syndication, paid promotion increases the overall reach of your content. Plus, the extensive targeting options offered by social platforms enable you to determine the exact audiences you’d like to serve your content to—AKA your perfect prospects. It’s a tactic we use here at DemandScience—after a heavy lift such as our benchmark reports, it makes sense to invest in some paid promotion. After all, we want as many people to benefit from these assets as possible, which in turn helps us generate leads.
4. Go Beyond the Blog
Data from our benchmark report shows prospects find webinars, podcasts, and whitepapers to be some of the most valuable content when researching vendors. Therefore, if you’re looking to convince your prospects to enquire, it’s time to add a little variety to your content offerings. To maximize lead generation opportunities, use CTAs as much as possible. If you gate your content, you’ll receive contact details as part of the transaction, but if not, make sure every asset you create has an appropriate CTA. For example, when uploading a video to YouTube, make use of the YouTube cards feature by adding an interactive card to your video that links to another destination—such as a landing page. This could be for content that complements the video, such as an eBook or blog post. Content upgrade alert!
5. Be Human
Converting your prospects into leads isn’t easy, and it rarely happens instantly. It takes time to build trust, with many buyers taking as long as 4 months to reach out to a sales rep. To expedite this process, you must convince your prospects that you truly understand the problems they’re facing. All too often, however, B2B marketers are guilty of empathizing with business needs but neglecting human needs. It’s easily done—our industry is literally called “business-to-business”—but behind each ‘buyer,’ ‘persona,’ and ‘prospect’ is simply a human being. So, when crafting your content, remain hyper-focused on the specific type of person you’re looking to target, and create content personalized to them, content that demonstrates you understand how they’re personally affected by the challenges they’re facing. If you’ve designed a piece for B2B marketers, think about the specific pressures they may be under and address them. This could include difficulty aligning with the sales team or the constant drumbeat of delivering more ROI with less budget, for example. Prospects that feel heard are more likely to convert.
Looking for a Demand Generation Partner You Can Rely On?
We can help you get your B2B lead generation off to a flying start. DemandScience has a range of solutions to ease the pressure on stressed-out marketers who need high-quality, high-intent leads to upgrade their pipeline. If this sounds like something your team would benefit from, feel free to get in touch today.