“If lead generation is the engine that drives your business, then content marketing is the premium grade gasoline you use to fill that engine.” Credit to Sam Oh for that awesome quote in his article on Entrepreneur.com, 6 Super Simple Content Marketing Hacks to Double Your Lead Generation.
It’s no secret that, in the world of B2B marketing, it is rich, relevant content that drives these four critical strategies:
- Lead generation. Definitely, absolutely, “always on” lead generation. Your content, for better or worse, attracts exactly the quantity and type of prospect you’re seeking. If the quantity of leads is low and poorly suited to your business, then an immediate analysis of the content you’re producing (or not producing) is in order.
- Getting found. Although a subset of lead generation, “getting found” deserves a few words on its own. Search engines love fresh, original content that readers like, share, and engage with (and the easiest way to that goal is your blog posts). Just remember to create content for people, not just content loaded with keywords designed to hack the search engines. Yes, you want to get found in that vast universe called the Internet but, at the end of the day, its people that will write the check for your product or service, not a search engine.
- Lead conversion. No sense spending time and money generating leads if your content – or lack thereof – isn’t converting them into qualified prospects/opportunities. Use your interesting content – including webinars – as a way to nurture. Sam Oh claims that “webinars are hands down one of the single most effective lead generation and marketing tactics available to the modern entrepreneur” but you also have to promote them correctly.
- Ongoing nurture. Sales cycles can be long in the ERP and CRM vertical and attention spans are short. I saw a statistic today that the average adult’s attention span is about 8 seconds – about that of a goldfish! Therefore, your ability to build a relationship often depends upon the quality and consistency of the content you deliver during the nurturing phase.
How do you get from here to there?
You might be saying that’s all well and good, but how do I get enough content? And how much is enough? Here are a few simple ideas:
- Take a look at your blog. How often is it updated with new content? Is the content focused on the products and services you sell? Or on the needs of your ideal prospects? Most of the blog posts I review for ERP and CRM reseller clients tend to focus on very technical processes such as “trade discount configuration options.” That’s great information for a customer that already owns the product, but will a prospect even know what that means?
- Concentrate on building an arsenal of industry/vertical-specific content such as eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, social posts, and more. For example, if your target market is craft beer brewers in MN, you would likely want to align with local associations such as the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and ask them about ways to engage with their membership.
- Better yet, take it a step further and deliver role-specific content that addresses unique pains such as that of the CFO, which is often different from the challenges the CEO wrestles with.
- Lastly, partner with a marketing agency such as The Partner Marketing Group who specializes in working with software and technology resellers and ISVs. Off-load some of the content creation, especially if you struggle with the messaging around industry and role-specific content, and get that premium grade gasoline into your engine.
P.S. Download the infographic, Content Marketing – Rockin’ the World of B2B, to learn more about the importance of great content in your (soon-to-be) wildly successful lead generation efforts!