5 Ways to Optimize Your Downloadable B2B Content for Sales Leads

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.

Lead generation for sales: Optimize Your Downloadable B2B Content for Sales Leads

Ask Progressive Questions When Capturing Leads

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:

  • All questions should be standardized, so you can filter leads in your CRM easily
  • Use progressive profiling to gradually ask more in-depth questions over time, with multiple conversions
  • Always include an “opt out” answer, like “none of the above,” so you can also disqualify bad leads

Showcase Your Business

[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:

  • Your notable clients and customers
  • Your differentiators
  • Your value (not experience) as relates to the content offer topic

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.

Include Hard Evidence

[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:

  • Include statistics, pie charts, graphs and other graphic depictions of your impact liberally in your content marketing
  • Invest in custom research, which tends to really get the attention of high-value leads and decision-makers (and also sets you up for free press!)
  • Seek out testimonials frequently from your happiest customers/clients
  • Brand your methods and processes so you can use them as evidence of your value and differentiation

Add Calls to Action (CTA)

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:

  • Stands out clearly on the page
  • Includes very specific action language
  • Use a trackable URL so you can measure clicks
  • Directs people to a place they can take another action, like request a demo

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.

Repurpose and Promote Wisely

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:

  • Send 1-to-1 emails that are personalized to the lead
  • “Slice and dice” your content into different pieces that are tailored to segments of sales lead — for example, those with a particular job title
  • Run targeted campaigns for your content in paid remarketing channels; This will help keep you top of mind through cross-channel marketing

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!

Sources

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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