Content Marketing for Lead Generation

I’ve been thinking lately about how to better connect the dots between content marketing programs and lead generation. According to the B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmark report, 83% of marketers use content marketing for lead generation, but only 38% feel proficient at this discipline.

I recently came across an interesting report published by Act-On, called Attraction 101: 3 Essential Ways to Use Content Marketing for Generating Top-of-Funnel Leads that delves further into how content marketing supports lead generation activities.

A couple of interesting stats from the report to start the discussion:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3X as many leads (Source: Demand Metric)
  • The most effective lead-generation assets cited for “getting the name” (or getting people to register) are: webinars – 77%, eBooks – 74% and white papers – 70%. (Source: DemandGen)

Act-On offers the following six tips to get started with your lead generation content marketing program:

  1. Determine your business goals: Make sure you know how many leads you need to attract and what the cost per lead usually is.
  2. Understand who you want to attract: What does your ideal customer look like?
  3. Create a content matrix: Conduct an audit of your existing content and where it fits on the sales funnel. Use this process to identify any gaps that you need to fill.
  4. Understand the type of content that works best for lead gen for your company: At the top of the funnel, content needs to be intriguing and educational.  Save detailed product information for later.
  5. Set up a campaign calendar: Identify each piece of marketing content that is needed, the timing and any outside costs.
  6. Develop a process for measuring and reporting: Act-on suggests the following metrics as a place to start – ROI and contribution to leads/sales, but they also suggest that marketers consider metrics like savings from reused content and social engagement as less obvious metrics.

The report then dives further into three different approaches for content marketing: search, social media and email. The report offers some great tips such as:

  • Write for your medium and provide a mix of content
  • Use calls to action to show the prospective lead what to do next if they are interested in learning more
  • Require registration for high-value content
  • If you’re just getting started with social, look to LinkedIn first.  According to CMI, 94% of B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn to share content – and 63% of marketers believe it is the best social tool for response and conversion.

If you’re interested in improving your content marketing skills, this report is worth a read.  As a bonus, there are lots of links to other resources and templates.