October 26, 2018
The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision, according to Forrester.
Clearly, content matters for the sales process. Content marketing can help give context, or it can show thought leadership. It can be the difference between choosing one vendor and a competitor. So many marketers are creating pieces of content, but are these really helping turn sales leads into customers? The answer isn’t clear for many businesses.
Fortunately, some best practices will position your content marketing for the sales leads you want to reach. Read on for tips to optimize your downloadable B2B content.
There’s a really good reason why you don’t give your content away for free: You want something in return! Content is best served up after capturing lead information. And the best thing you can do is try and understand who your leads are, as much as possible.
Beyond identifiable info like job title and company, you also want to ask personal questions to understand your lead. For example, what is their biggest pain point and daily goal? Which topics are they interested in? And finally, what do they want from your company?
When you gate your B2B content behind a form or a chat box, ask good questions right away.
These questions help you target existing and future content. For example, you can find out intrinsic motivations or concerns that your sales leads have, and answer them with content. Not only does this help you with new ideas, but it helps your sales team be super relevant in their first outreach email or phone call.
Some tips for creating questions:
[Pullquote] 71 percent of readers say they were turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch, according to NewsCred.
So there’s a good reason why many companies are moving to create content that reads more like education. It’s a good move, especially to attract people earlier in their buying decision.
However, even if your content offer isn’t as explicit as a video demo or a case study, don’t miss a chance to pitch your company.
Introduce your company on a separate page or paragraph of its own. This can read like the “authorship” credits, in which you talk about yourself and why you’re qualified as a company to be educating someone on this topic.
In a dedicated section, show:
When done thoughtfully, this section will let sales leads know that you are a thought leader, and give them something reliable to take back to their decision-making team.
[pullquote] Content has a significant impact on purchase decisions, say three out of four business buyers according to DemandGen.
One of the most compelling aspects of content is hard evidence. This can take many forms, like custom research, customer testimonials and/or statistical data.
Here are some tips for including hard evidence in your content offers:
Make your content offers a living breathing document with calls to action. CTAs are buttons or text links that interactive, meaning you can click them. A good CTA does the following:
Add CTAs liberally in your content offers and definitely include one at the end when people are done reading. They will turn your static PDF into an interactive experience and keep the momentum going.
Tip: You can add CTAs into videos, too! A tool like Wistia lets you add forms and CTAs, so you can optimize your video content, too.
Promotion can be an overlooked step in content creation. But promotion helps you get the most impact out of your B2B content. What’s more, sales leads need a very personalized type of promotion.
Here are some tips for promoting your content for sales leads specifically:
To recap, ask the right questions to help target and tailor your content, and optimize your content pieces for more engagement. You’ll be in the successful group of businesses who use content to drive more sales leads to become customers!
Forrester, “Brief: Marketing And Media Efficiency Outcomes Drive Content Marketing,” September 2015
Newscred, citing Economist Group’s “Missed the Mark” Report, March 2018
DemandGen, Cited by Newscred, March 2018
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