Last week I attended an online webinar by eMarketer on B2B Lead Generation: Best Practices in social, content marketing and video.
One thing that really stood out to me was the power and effectiveness that content marketing can have for lead generation when done correctly; by establishing your business as a trustworthy and knowledgeable leader, you can attract customers and generate new leads.
If you’re unfamiliar with content marketing, it’s a branch of marketing that involves creating and sharing valuable content to a defined industry as a way of acquiring new clients. The content that is being created can take many forms such as infographics, whitepapers, how-to guides & videos, articles etc, all with the purpose of sharing pertinent knowledge.
Below are some content marketing best practices to keep in mind when incorporating it into your business’s marketing efforts.
1. First and Foremost… It’s Not About Self-Promotion
As a content marketer, your goal is to help others to do their job better by providing them with information that they can benefit from. It’s not about advertising your firm or your products and services. For example, if you’re a PR firm, as a content marketing best practice talk about what makes effective PR, tips for writing a good press release, or the basics of handling an online crisis – not why you’re the best PR firm. All of these example posts represent useful content that would help interested parties do their jobs better.
2. Think Like Your Customer: What Do They Want to Know?
What do you do, who are your customers, and what would they want to know? For example, if you’re an IT recruiter, you might share content on good hiring practices, what makes for a good developer, what to look for and pay attention to in an interview, how to write a good job description, or something else that someone looking for IT hiring help would want to know.
Your content could take the form of a weekly blog post, a short video where you can talk to directly to your target audience, or even a visual infographic that helps your prospect in their decision making process. But always make sure your content is adding value to your prospects. Ask yourself, does this content help them answer a question they have or a problem they may face? If it does, it can become an effective lead generation tactic.
3. Five Content Marketing Best Practices
Now that you understand what content marketing is for and why it can be an effective B2B lead generation tool, here’s a few actionable content marketing best practices to keep in mind:
- Trust: Content marketing is about establishing yourself as a trusted resource that supplies valuable content
- Engage: Cultivate an “always-on” conversation with your readers where they can ask you their follow-up questions
- Be consistent: Create a content marketing schedule and stick to it, allowing your audience to know what to expect and when (make sure you can handle your commitment)
- Keep the content coming: Content marketing isn’t a one and done thing, it should be a continuous project
- Share: Promote your content on your website and social channels so that your audience can easily access it
Still unsure of the value that content marketing can bring your lead generation efforts? Remember the following…
“Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Nobody wants to invite themselves into a sales pitch.” – Maribeth Ross, Vice-President of Marketing, NetProspex.
This is where content marketing really differs. It’s not about selling, it’s about helping. If you’re looking for more information on content marketing, download one of our helpful whitepapers available here.