10 Tips to Plan B2B Content Marketing and Maximize Lead Generation


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10 Tips to Plan B2B Content Marketing and Maximize Lead GenerationAs we come close to wrapping up this year, much has been said and done (again) about the importance and usefulness of content marketing. “Content is King”, “Content is Queen”, “Content is the Oxygen for Digital Marketing”, and so on. So here is a fairly obvious statistic from the B2B 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs: 70% of B2B marketers are producing more content this year than last year. What’s interesting is that only 21% say they are successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing campaigns.

Whether you have a documented strategy to follow or a verbal one that evolves as you go along, it is critical to track content ROI; that is fundamental to any form of marketing practice. I find it baffling then, that so many B2B marketers continue to invest precious time, effort and money into running content campaigns that are randomly crafted, loosely implemented and then viciously accused of draining resources!

There are, however, savvy marketers that not only focus on ROI but place a high demand on their content marketing campaigns to generate maximum, high quality, qualified leads for their business. Let’s look at one example of this. A software company called IntelliResponse came up with a content strategy that delivered 100% lead generation through their site. Now that’s ROI! MarketingSherpa offers a detailed case study but here’s a snapshot of the results—since embracing a content marketing strategy in 2010, the company has seen:

  • 400% increase in site traffic in the past two years
  • 100% increase in leads generated through the site in the past year
  • Top 10 strategic keywords ranked organically on the first page of Google search results
  • 1,000% increase in social media followers
  • 35% of monthly leads generated from paid ads promoting infographic and white paper content — up from 5% two years ago

Make Your B2B Content Marketing Drive Greater Lead Generation and ROI—10 Things to Keep in Mind

Based on key takeaways derived from the IntelliResponse case study, here are 10 tips to remember when planning your B2B content marketing campaigns:    

1.  Content must be valuable and relevant for all parts of the sales cycle. Instead of simply recognizing the trend that buyers traverse 70% of the sales cycle researching on their own, the marketing team at IntelliResponse chose to stay ahead of the trend. They did this by making sure that their content has inherent adaptive capabilities serving buyers as they progress through various stages of the sales cycle.

2.  Right time, right place, right person. Many of us forget this tried and tested rule of traditional marketing because digital media allows for instant broadcast communications. In this case study, we see how the company ensures their content is reaching the right people at times that carry the highest engagement and conversion potential. From early stage content for prospects that don’t even know they need a solution to late stage content where buyers need to get comfortable with the features and benefits of their newly acquired / soon to be acquired solution, the campaign addresses all stages suitably.

3.  Content should be served in bite-sized chunks that is shared easily. Instead of using only case studies and whitepapers to deliver in-depth, analytical content, the company effectively uses Infographics. While these graphical content pieces are a quick read, they are certainly not lacking in depth of content. On the contrary, because the information is presented in a visually appealing and compelling manner, the facts are more easily understood, retained, and best of all, shared. Here is a quick refresher on how to build a sustainable social content strategy and accelerate lead generation.

4.  Open the gates. Gone are the days when ‘hard-to-get’ was synonymous with ‘valuable’. Today, it’s all about simplicity, accessibility and shareability. IntelliResponse keeps it simple for buyers to access and view their content. Infographics are posted on their site, linked on their blog and distributed through social media channels. There are no “gates” in the early stages such as forms to fill out and conditions to accept in exchange for these content bites.

5.  Simple videos work wonders. Along with text-based content and Infographics, video has a powerful role to play in your content marketing campaigns. We are not advocating big budget, high-end, movie theatre quality videos; you don’t need those. Think short, simple, uncomplicated videos that are customized to various industries and personas that your target audience represents. That’s exactly what IntelliResponse offers on their site.

6.  Remarketing is intelligent, intuitive advertising. Based on what type of information and which industries buyers are researching on the company’s website, video remarketing ads on YouTube are used by IntelliResponse to drive those buyers back to the site. This is an excellent example of a campaign where every tool employed is complementing other tools to ensure the overall effectiveness of an integrated content marketing strategy.

7.  Late-stage content must have stronger nurturing power. Once you have caught your audience’s attention and engaged them to some extent, you need to step up the nurturing activities to move them ahead towards conversion. This is where bigger content pieces such as whitepapers are useful. By this late stage of the content campaign, your buyers are more open to giving up information about themselves in order to get access to your bigger, juicier content. Remember though, that your online forms need to be short, quick and easy to fill out. Narrow the form fields down to only the most critical information your sales team needs in order to call/meet with the client. Anything else can be gathered on direct contact rather than filled out in a form.

8.  Know where your audience is and repurpose effectively. Blog posts, email pieces, LinkedIn updates and ads, paid search ads, etc. are all used in tandem to drive organic and paid traffic to the company’s site, blog and social properties. We all know the dangers of trying to do everything, everywhere, all the time. So rather than waste time creating new and separate content for each channel, IntelliResponse very cleverly engages in content repurposing to reach a wider audience. Remember, all content does not have to be created in-house. Refer to my earlier three-part series on Content Curation.

9.  Sales and Marketing must hold hands. Still the toughest challenge for many B2B organizations! IntelliResponse realized that alignment of these two functions was crucial to the success of their lead generation activities. Working closely, the departments study feedback and data to determine what content is working, what’s not. This allows the company to nurture qualified leads with the most powerful content rather than fritter away resources producing large volumes of content that is not likely to deliver the right results.

10.  Show buyers how to make the right decision. For buyers, the downside of doing so much research independently is that it becomes more difficult to make the purchasing decision. For B2B buyers, this decision is even more difficult than it is in the case of B2C because the purchase affects not any one individual but an entire organization. Your content needs to help buyers make a decision that is right for their company. Of course, you want them to buy your product or service, but only if you are 100% sure it will serve their goals and deliver ROI. If you are not sure of this, then you need to prepare to face an unhappy customer who will soon spread the word—so beware!              

Have questions about B2B content marketing? Need more ideas? Join this exclusive, B2B LinkedIn Group and exchange notes with some great minds in the industry.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


  1. For B2B content marketing – it’s important to make it easy for your potential buyer to make a purchase. Always include a link to either a free trial or demo. Your content shouldn’t be pushing a sale. Rather the focus should be on building the relationship with your lead, so that you create trust so that they are more likely they’ll buy from you than your competitor.

  2. It is not something that ought to be running close by your “primary” promoting crusade; rather, substance advertising ought to be coordinated into your general showcasing method!

  3. A B2B marketing is powerful marketing solutions that upgrade our business from a locality store to a reputed brand & Really the key to successful B2B marketing is in creating valuable content, targeting the right people and spending time focusing on opportunities that yield a high ROI. Plan our B2B marketing strategy around these three philosophies and we’re sure to be set up for a great year.Thanks for sharing a wonderful post with good Insights . i would like to share this article with my marketing team. Thank You!

    Samtaa Jain


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