6 Types of Content That Can Help Generate More Leads
Content is a critical component in the success of any marketing strategy. High-quality content helps build relationships and create lasting connections with your target audience. But content should not be created just for the sake of creating content. It should be approached with a strategy and specific goals and objectives, just like any other marketing tactic. One of the most important goals and objectives for any piece of content should be the content’s ability to generate leads.
Not all content, however, is created equal. Some types of content offer better lead generation ability than others. With that in mind, here are 6 types of content that can help you move more qualified leads into your pipeline.
1. Demo videos
Live demos are great, but not everyone wants to schedule a time to speak with one of your representatives right away. Having a pre-recorded demo video available is a great way to show people the value of your product and how it operates. It’s also a great way to collect contact information and move people into the funnel.
Your demo video should be short and to the point, simply aimed at piquing interest in the product while saving your sales team from having to conduct another 30-minute live demo.
Here’s a great example of a simple, 4-minute demo video from Marketo:
With a reputation as one of the most popular lead generation tools, ebooks are a great way to bring qualified leads into your funnel. Your basic contact forms are great for attracting leads from people who’ve already made up their minds, but what about those who are aren’t as far along in their journey?
Ebooks can effectively highlight your company’s expertise in a particular area and build trust with your target audience. By offering your target audience members something of value for free that potentially solves a problem, you make it a lot more enticing to part with some contact info in exchange for your valuable wisdom. Connect the subject matter to something in your product line, and suddenly you have a new lead to send to your sales team.
To drive traffic to your ebook landing page, use your social media channels, email marketing, ad campaigns and other tactics.
Here’s an example of an ebook from SE Healthcare focused on a topic related to one of the company’s software platforms:
As a marketer (or business professional in general) you have enough on your plate without having to create a new layout or template for your next project. You’re already managing marketing across who knows how many channels, and you’re likely swamped with requests from sales and other team members. Not to worry. HubSpot has you covered.
You need a social media calendar? Check.
A new infographic? Check.
Email templates for a new campaign? Check.
Business plan template? Check.
You get the point. They’ve pretty much thought of it all. And any of the above items (and much more) is yours free if you’re simply willing to provide your name and contact info. Seems like a no-brainer. Spend two hours creating a new social media calendar or just download one that’s pre-made and slap your company logo on it? The answer is pretty clear.
Check out this page from the HubSpot website for a ridiculous number of different templates:
4. Email series
You’ve got a list of vetted, high-quality (opted-in) emails, and you’re eager to start communicating with the hopes of driving business. If you just send one email and expect that to turn into significant business, you may just be out of luck. The stats are stacked against you, so a series of sequential emails that build upon one another are key to actually getting recipients to open (and hopefully click links within) your email.
We recommend a series of three emails. The percentage of responses tends to go up as the number of emails increases. The key is to gain that increase without becoming a nuisance, which is one major reason we recommend limiting sending to a series of three emails. You can always pause sending to a particular target and then move them into a new campaign at a later date.
For the best results, try adding something of value rather than just sending three super-salesy messages. Give the recipients something they can use like an ebook or a link to a video. It’s ok to mix in a call-to-action about your products, but keep in mind that you’re much more likely to get a response if you give a little something back as well.
If you have a marketing automation platform in place, you can take it a step further and add automated actions based on what the recipient does. For example, those who open and click receive a different second email than those who ignore it altogether. This can help the campaign be more effective as well.
Here are some great examples from HubSpot (yep, there’s that name again):
5. Original research
Research and data are key drivers for decision making in today’s business world. But original research can be very time-consuming. Thankfully, lots of great companies are conducting valuable research for you, and there’s likely already been a quality study done for whatever info you seek.
Content Marketing Institute (CMI), for example, creates a B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report every year that shows the latest trends for how B2B companies are using content marketing. These reports have become very popular within the marketing community, and they are only a sample of the different types of valuable reports CMI produces throughout the year.
To capture leads from the report and build its newsletter list, CMI places a call-to-action at the end of the articles about the report. In the call-to-action, CMI encourages readers to sign up so they “receive research when it’s released.” They can then target subscribers with a variety of content, as well as pitch advertising and other paid opportunities.
Webinars are a very powerful tool for driving leads into your funnel. Not only do they offer an opportunity to collect contact information from prospective clients, but you can also set them up in a format where you can leave room at the end for interaction with participants. This gives you the opportunity to learn more about those in attendance, as well as go beyond what’s in your presentation to answer questions in more depth. There are lots of great tools and tactics to host a great webinar.
Salesforce is always top of mind when thinking about companies that utilize webinars effectively. At any given time, you can visit the company’s webinar page and sign up for 10 or more upcoming webinars, as well as register to view recordings of past webinars.
Once you sign in, Salesforce has your info and you move into their marketing flow. This way, they can send you additional marketing material, like links to future webinars, to keep you in communication and hopefully lead you down the funnel, ultimately converting you to a customer.
Check out this page to see how Salesforce utilizes webinars as a lead generation tool:
The power of content
When used properly, content is a powerful tool for marketers. From brand recognition to thought leadership to lead generation, content can really help businesses grow. The types of content listed in this article are just a few of the great types of content available to acquire leads and drive other desired results.
Before you create any piece of content, however, think about its ability to generate leads, how the content will connect with your audience, whether it adds value for those looking at it and what value it adds for your brand as well. If you craft content with the answers to these questions in mind, the content you create can truly ignite business growth.
Anthony serves in the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Granite Creative Group. He is a storyteller, a strategist and eternally a student of marketing. Most recently, he served in leadership roles for a global content marketing agency, a highly regarding institute of higher education, a software company and in the legal world.