The Role of Content Marketing in Lead Generation

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Content — specifically the quality and promotion of it — plays a critical role in any online lead generation initiative. If executed correctly, content can position your organization as a thought leader, build predisposition and drive quality leads. So why isn’t every company committed to content marketing? Because it’s hard, as a recent survey of B2B marketers published on Marketing Profs by Ayaz Nanji points out.

Of the 270 C-suite leaders, directors and managers surveyed, the majority recognized the criticality of marketing content creation as it relates to inbound marketing efforts — but they also rated it as the most difficult tactic to implement (as seen in the chart below).

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So how can we demystify the process, or at the very least, make it less daunting? Here are three suggestions to consider.

  1. Commit to a sound strategy centered on the customer. Start this process by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. What do they value? What are their pain points and challenges? What industry pressures are they facing? Then define what truly makes your organization different. What’s your differentiator and why does it really matter to prospects? The answers to these questions will be the foundation of the content strategy and will also drive the topics and types of content you will ultimately create.
  2. Focus on tactical integration. At the end of the day, the goal of content marketing is to get prospects to take a next step with your organization — to convert interest into a lead — and this typically happens via your website. So, whether a prospect discovers your content organically or clicks through from a social media post, landing pages, calls-to-action and forms must be clear and intuitive. And once lead information is captured, there should be a clear and efficient hand off to the appropriate sales team member for continued nurturing.
  3. Don’t just measure results, act on them. Pay special attention to the types of content that deliver the most click-throughs or most qualified leads. Shift additional resources to the creation of similar content and away from under-performing content. Track behavior on your website as it directly relates to content marketing and lead capture. If prospects are clicking through to the site, but falling short of completing the lead capture, adjust the landing page, the form itself or even the amount of information that you’re requesting.

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