Generating B2B Leads Through Great Content
If content is king, quality content can be viewed as the all-powerful digital emperor. Of course, we have all been bombarded with why bespoke material is important when appealing to the average online customer. It is therefore rather strange that relatively few pieces have addressed the role of this very same content in relation to B2B leads. This is perhaps due to the fact that many online gurus are solely concerned with the end sale. However, such a methodology has essentially placed the horse before the carriage as every successful sale begins and ends with properly nurtured leads. This is just as true when referring to a telemarketing call as it is within the world of online business-to-business relationships. Let us therefore begin by gaining a greater appreciation of why great content is synonymous with B2B success before moving on to discuss how such material can be used to engage with an increasingly discriminating audience.
The Danger of the Sales Pitch
Anyone who has ever been involved with lead generation has likely been taught that a great pitch results in a firm sale. While this may have been true during the days before the rise of the Internet, such concepts are outdated and simply wrong. Recent studies have shown that a daunting 71 per cent of consumers who felt as if they were being sold a product became immediately repulsed by what was being offered. Thus, overt sales pitches have no place within quality content and they should be avoided at all costs.
A Numbers Game?
Some websites churn out content at a level that would cause the Twitter profile of Donald Trump to become jealous. They have adopted the “more is better” approach to B2B lead generation. If enough jam is thrown upon a wall, the chances are high that some will stick. Not only does this approach lack any semblance of focus, but a great deal of energy will be wasted during the entire process. The truth of the matter is that quality content should be able to resonate with the majority of businesses, regardless of how many or how few are approached. The ability to hone the material contained within to a polished point is one of the primary hallmarks of quality. Otherwise, any marketing campaign can be likened to playing a game of darts while wearing a blindfold.
Learn How to Define “Quality”
Anyone who performs an online search employing the phrase “what is quality content?” will be bombarded with a milieu of results. However, most articles tend to follow some basic guidelines such as:
- Evergreen (timeless)
- Material intended for users as opposed to search engines
- Content that is regularly updated
However, there are plenty of low-quality web pages that follow these very same guidelines to no avail. The main question is how you can adapt the concept of quality in order to suit your unique B2B requirements. This brings us to the next (and the most important) section.
What TRULY Defines Quality B2B Content?
A full 95 per cent of all business-to-business buyers feel that the content associated with an organisation is equally as important as the products themselves. Once again, this is a rather broad observation. What is truly important involves identifying the intent of the user and moulding the associated content around this desire.
Always remember that one of the main purposes of generated content is to shape the experience of the end user. In terms of B2C marketing, this normally results in engagement and a subsequent purchase. When referring to B2B lead generation, we are stressing the ability to generate interest as opposed to immediately closing a sale. To put this another way, end-user sales can be likened to reeling in a fish on the end of a line. Lead generation is more focused around grabbing the attention of the fish; the proverbial “close” will come at a later date. Identifying and resonating with the intent of the user is therefore the true definition of quality content.
Important B2B-Related Questions to Ask Yourself
One of the best ways to determine if your content will appeal to the B2B base is to ask a series of questions that have been specifically recommended by the central blog of Google Webmaster. While the list is quite long, there are a handful of areas which are specific to lead generation. These include:
- If you were the reader, would you be able to trust the content being presented?
- Does it feel as if the piece has been written by an industry expert?
- How well does the content blend with your perception of the company?
- Is the associated material of interest or does it instead appear to be rather generic in nature?
- Is the information original or has it simply been rehashed from another source?
- Above all, would you feel comfortable providing your personal (or financial) details to this site after reading the article?
You might be interested to learn that these are a handful of the very same topics which Google coding experts cover when creating new algorithms for the end user. If the answers to any of these questions are unclear, it is best to backtrack and rethink your approach.
The Technical Side
We would be remiss if the most technical aspects of B2B lead generation were not covered. While these are generally the same as those associated with standard marketing techniques, repetition often equates to success. Always be sure to follow these tried-and-tested rules when creating quality content:
- Pay attention to keyword placement and frequency.
- Always check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Add in HTML tags when required.
- Break the information up into easily digestible sections.
Always remember that you are not necessarily marketing a specific product when engaging in this type of lead generation campaign. You are rather providing a digital “face” to the company in question through curated content. This is why the written material should match the overall style and tone of the website. Such a synergy might be difficult to achieve at first glance, so never be afraid of creating more than one rough draft before deciding upon the finished product.
Putting it All Together
Generating solid B2B leads with the help of great content is not rocket science, but it does require a significant amount of insight and clarity if you hope to attract the right customers at the right times. If there is one takeaway point from this article, it is understanding the intent of the reader and using the tools at your disposal to capture his or her attention. There is no doubt that the online community is now more competitive than ever before. This is why procuring quality business-to-business leads is one of the most essential components of success. A bit of focused effort can certainly go a long way!