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8
minute read
March 22, 2021

How to Use Your Content for Lead Generation (Tactics, Best Practices, Tips)

Written by
Mike Haberman

Taking Advantage of Content Lead Generation

If you’re creating content regularly, you want it to drive results for your business. Content is an incredible way to generate new leads. Why? The modern B2B buying process relies heavily on independent research.

Your buyers spend almost one-third of the buying process reading content and information online before approaching you. If your content can be a valuable tool in their research efforts, helping answer pressing questions and removing knowledge barriers, you’ll have more conversations with sales-ready buyers and convert more into customers.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of turning your content production and distribution process into a lead-generating machine. We’ll cover the types of content you should be creating, how to identify opportunities for lead generation with your content, and how to distribute your content to generate more leads with it.

The Importance of Audience Research

The best content strategies don’t rely on complex keyword research, hiring the most expensive writers, or spending hours every day looking at your traffic data. Content strategies that move the needle for your business do so because you fundamentally understand your audience.

Creating Customer-Centric Content

Start by learning all you can about your customers’

  1. Pain points
  2. Desires
  3. Goals

From there, you can start to map out content ideas that will address these, and drive leads into your sales process. If you have an existing customer base, you can run a survey or hold customer interviews to uncover these insights. People will be happy to answer if you let them know you’ll use the information to create content that’s genuinely useful for them.

Talk to Your Team

Great content answers real questions. Make sure you talk to your customer-facing teams, such as your customer support and sales reps as they are the best source for regular questions your leads have. Then, create content around those topics. You can direct people to those content pieces, or, people will find them during their early research phase.

Learning from Data

Unfortunately, not everything can be learned from talking to your existing customers and teams. There might still be blind spots that you missed. To uncover those, use tools like BuzzSumo to discover trending topics in your industry. It will show you up-and-coming topics that your customers and leads are likely to start asking you about in the future.

Use tools like BuzzSumo to find content your audience enjoys

Using these three methods, you can craft a content strategy backed by research and data. It will ensure your strategy is customer centric and answers real pain points your buyers have.

How to Create a Content Strategy That Drives Leads

Now, let’s get into the details. Here are proven steps you can follow to ensure your content turns into a lead generation machine.

1. Create Content Targeting Buyer Intent Keywords

Blog posts are a fundamental part of any content strategy. If your blog posts show up highly in search queries, they’re a perfect way to educate your buyers, build awareness for your solution, and guide their decision-making.

But you can’t target broad, generic search terms and expect results. If you want your blog posts to convert, you need to ensure part of your strategy is based around buyer intent keywords. We discuss the topic of buyer intent keywords more in this article, but to summarise, they’re keywords that people use when they’re preparing to make a purchase decision.

Keywords like:

  1. Best link building agencies for B2B brands
  2. Alternatives to Intercom
  3. Asana vs. ClickUp

Find keywords with high purchase intent that relate to your product or service, and create content around them. You’ll be helping people in the final steps of their decision-making process and get in front of buyers you already know have a problem that you can solve.

Base your blog strategy around data-backed keyword research using tools like Ahrefs or Semrush and you’ll be able to consistently generate traffic and show up for queries your future customers are searching for in Google.

2. Capture Contact Details with Valuable Lead Magnets

If your blog posts are generating traffic but aren’t generating sales, there’s a problem. If people matching your ICP are visiting your site, but are never contacting you, it's a missed opportunity. To ensure your content generates leads for you, add lead magnets to your blog.

For example:

  1. Offer content upgrades (checklists, extra resources)
  2. Let readers download content as a PDF to read later
  3. Make your most valuable content (whitepapers, webinars, industry reports) available in exchange for contact details

Over time, you’ll build a qualified list of people interested in your content. Your team can then reach out to anyone engaging with your content and nurture them towards a purchase or educate them on the problem you solve with a targeted, personalized series of emails.

3. Turn Your Best Content into an Email Series

Your best content can be repurposed to improve it’s reach and engagement levels. As Derek Halpern of Social Triggers says, “You don’t have to create content, day in, and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have in the hands of more people.

If you’re creating content such as:

  1. Blog posts
  2. Whitepapers
  3. Webinars

You have endless opportunities to repurpose your content.

Arguably the simplest - and one of the most effective - methods is to turn content into an email series. In practice, this would mean you take one of your popular content pieces and break it down into short, valuable takeaways that fit into an email. Then, add a call-to-action on your website that tells your audience they can get this information as a short email course.

For example: “Join our free 5-day email course on [topic]”.

Because the offer is valuable and relevant to the pain points they are experiencing, people will be happy to provide their email address in exchange for your email course. The great thing about leads captured in this manner is that they are drawn further down into the funnel and are better primed to convert into buying customers.

4. Show Off Success Stories with Case Studies

Case studies are instrumental to converting leads into customers. Research has found that for higher-priced products, adding social proof in the form of case studies and happy customer reviews increases conversion rate by an incredible 380%. B2B buyers are always skeptical of big claims on your landing pages if you can’t back it up with proof.

Case studies are the perfect way to show off your biggest success stories and build trust with prospects before you even get on a call with them. As you build up a library of case studies, they'll become invaluable lead generation assets.

5. Educate Qualified Leads with Whitepapers

Whitepapers are long-form, in-depth guides on a particular topic. In most cases, they will require you to conduct your own unique research into a specific industry problem. Due to that, they are an incredible way to build authority as a trusted source among your buyers.

On top of that, 76% of B2B buyers say they’re more likely to share them with their colleagues than any other type of content. When your buyers see you as a trusted authority, choosing your company over competitors will be easy.

6. Nurture Leads with Webinars

Webinars are a powerful lead generation tool — if people show up. To encourage your customers to attend, make webinars a fundamental part of their customer journey. Create a dedicated area on your website for them and make it clear that you regularly host them.

Make sure your webinars address common industry tactics, contain unique insights, and aren’t just your existing blog posts re-purposed into a video. If someone reads one of your blog posts, then decides to attend a webinar, they’ll be disappointed if it’s the same content.

Through a well-crafted webinar, you’ll build trust, prove that you’re an expert while also being able to answer questions on your product/service.

The Importance of Content Distribution for Lead Generation

As we’ve seen, content on your website is an excellent way to generate leads. If you want to increase your content’s reach, however, you need to invest in content distribution. Here are some of the most powerful ways to distribute your content to ensure it helps your business generate more leads.

1. Syndicate Content to Key Decision-Makers

Content syndication is the process of distributing your content in ways that puts it in front of key influencers and decision-makers. For example, you could send carefully targeted outreach emails to people in your target accounts with content that will help them on their buying journey.

If you want to make this process even more effective, enrich it with intent data. Find out who is actively searching for problems that you can solve, then reach out to them with your content. They’ll be glad you reached out, as long as your content is useful and relevant. When they have other questions, they’ll trust you to help them.

If you need advice on using intent data to target key decision-makers in your sales and marketing campaigns, Internal Results can help - get in touch with us here.

2. Run Targeted Paid Promotion

Paid promotion is another effective way to get your content in front of your target audience and ensure it drives leads for your business. One simple way to do this is to promote your content as part of a retargeting campaign to your website visitors.

If someone visited your services pages, viewed your pricing, or engaged with specific content, you can add them to an audience inside LinkedIn or Facebook Ads. Then, whenever you publish new content you can promote it to those already-interested audiences.

If you were advertising to a cold audience, you may struggle to generate that much engagement. With this method, you can guarantee the people seeing your ads are already aware and/or interested in your product/service and will be more likely to engage.

Depending on your audience, the best platform for running your ads will vary. If you’re targeting a B2B audience, LinkedIn is always a reliable choice, as 50% of B2B buyers indicate LinkedIn as a key research channel for vendor content.

3. Run a Multi-Channel Content Promotion Campaign with Internal Results

If you need to generate more leads from your content, Internal Results can help. We help B2B brands run multi-channel content syndication campaigns, allowing you to target key influencers and decision-makers across social media, email, and even over the phone.

Internal Results Content Promotion Strategy

What sets us apart is our commitment to dependable first-party data gathered, verified, and checked by our local in-house teams. The former is a promise of quality that we proudly guarantee. The latter is critical as it ensures that the vetting process is done by those who know the culture, the language, and unique needs of your target audience. What you get from us are leads that need what you offer, possess the budget and authority to make a purchase decision, and are in the market to either learn more or to pull the trigger.

Closing Thoughts

Your content can be a fantastic lead generation tool. But it won’t happen without careful planning and a smart approach. Ensure the content you create is genuinely useful for your audience and helps them solve real problems in their business.

Encourage readers to give you their contact details in exchange for you providing them value in the form of blog content, lead magnets, whitepapers, or webinars. Whatever you do, make sure your content matches your audience expectations. This will help your business build authority in your space and improves the trust your audience has in you.

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