The State of B2B Marketing
For businesses operating in the B2B space, generating leads can be difficult. There are so many avenues and approaches businesses can take with their marketing, and it can be hard to know which will drive the level of impact needed.
One area that many businesses struggle with is content. In a survey by London Research, 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say that content has affected a purchasing decision. As a result, it’s important not to treat your business’s assets and content – whether that be whitepapers, webinars or videos – as an afterthought. Used correctly, these can be an important driver of leads for your business.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the key things to consider when developing B2B content with the aim of drawing in new, high-quality leads.
Know your audience
Perhaps the most essential step – and most obvious one – is to know your audience. Without knowing who it is you’re trying to target, all your efforts risk being useless. Knowing your audience is the foundation which you build your marketing strategy on top of.
Once you know which groups you’re trying to target, you need to decide which the best channels are to reach them from. This can vary significantly from industry to industry, though the primary drivers these days seem to be Organic, Email and LinkedIn – and in almost all situations, you should try to have some presence on each of these platforms. B2B businesses require a more diverse channel portfolio than ever before, and it’s likely that each of these platforms will play a different role in your audience funnel.
Finding the right platforms to reach your audience may take some trial and error, but it’s essential for generating quality leads.
Map your content
When generating content for your business with the goal of generating leads, it’s important to map out where it fits in your customer funnel. Is the aim of this article to drive awareness, or to push to reader to take a certain action? What do you expect visitors to walk away and do after viewing this video?
And this isn’t something you should just do for new content; it should be old content as well. In many cases, content can be repurposed to support a new goal. Perhaps those old webinars, hidden at the bottom of resources page, can be set to a new purpose? Assessing your content with a critical lens – and what it’s place should be in your funnel – can also help you to identify any gaps in the customer journey, which can help justify new content.
Creating a detailed funnel and mapping out your content to match it accordingly is essential for creating a clear customer journey. While it’s very unlikely that all leads will follow the exact same journey, it’s important to at least have a solid plan in place. This is something you can then adapt and tweak as you go along.
With any lead generation strategy, measuring the results is essential. If you don’t have the right tracking in place then the rest of your strategy is all in vain.
This will involve defining what a qualified lead is for your business. While it’s easy enough to track simple website interactions – such as form submissions and whitepaper downloads – it’s important to try to link these back to qualified leads. Understanding which customer journeys are generating the types of leads you’re interesting in is essential if you want to keep adapting and improving your strategy. Otherwise, your lead strategy will stay static.
Test and learn
Effective tracking, in turn will allow you to test and learn, helping you to grow your lead strategy and polish it up. You should always be striving to improve.
Once your tracking is in place, you can assess the types of journeys that users are taking on their way to a conversion. Perhaps they’re entering the funnel much lower than you thought? Or maybe a type of content you thought users would resonate with is, in reality, not generating any leads at all?
As with channels, it’s important for B2B businesses to aim to have a diverse content mix. This may include videos, events, whitepapers, webinars, and articles. However, through tracking your leads’ journeys and learning from them, you may find that you need to weigh your focus in one area more than others. No two businesses’ audiences are exactly the same, and so it’s important to adapt to meet the needs of your specific.
Content should be a key part of any B2B business’s marketing strategy, so make sure you aren’t overlooking it. Being strategic with the content you choose to produce – and how you use it – can help your business drive more high quality while saving time.