Content has become the most powerful marketing channel today. 91% of brands publish at least some forms of content.
So many, however, struggle to generate any results with it.
And often, it’s not a lack of a strategy or inconsistency that cause it but using wrong content types.
With that in mind, in this post, we’ve decided to show you what content you should use to generate leads and drive your business forward.
So, let’s begin.
The Most Important Lead Generation Channels
You can use a whole range of channels to generate leads – from email to trade shows or networking events to content, social media, SEO and many others.
Not all of them can deliver the same return on your efforts. Hubspot, for example, discovered that, for their users, SEO delivers the most leads.
However, when you consider that content is the backbone of SEO, it becomes clear which channel delivers the leads.
Other sources report similar findings.
DMN, for example, states that 67% of businesses find the biggest lead generation success with content.
Placester’s infographic shows that number to be at 71%.
Finally, according to Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Benchmarks report, for most companies, the effect of content on their lead generation strategies is irrefutable.
And yet, so many companies struggle to generate leads with content.
Why Content Fails to Deliver Results
The answer is because not all content types can generate leads. And brands often use the wrong ones to achieve such result.
Blog posts, for example, perform well in search engines and social media. In turn, they attract visitors to the site and engage them with your brand.
But they rarely help to convert them, at least, not directly.
Another example, long-form content typically ranks higher than other content forms. According to the data from Backlinko, pages with longer content rank better than their shorter counterparts.
Here, take a look.
But again, these pages can rarely generate direct inquiries.
Slideshare presentations offer an incredible opportunity to boost brand visibility and position yourself as an expert in the field. For one, given Slideshare’s domain authority, a presentation can rank even for a highly competitive term.
But even Slideshare realized the challenges with capturing leads through their platform directly and shut down its lead capture feature.
One reason why this content doesn’t generate leads is that users view it mostly to learn.
Typically, these people are at the early stages of the buying cycle. Their goal, therefore, isn’t to engage with an IT company but learn more about their problem.
Blog posts, guides, presentations help them identify its causes, and to discover potential ways to eliminate it.
And so, to convert them into leads with content, you must:
- Target their specific need for information,
- Use content-types that would help engage them with you in the ways they find comfortable.
And here are the best content-types to use.
5 Types of Content to Publish to Generate Leads
Part I. Top of the Funnel
Below you’ll find content types that help attract leads in the early stages of their buying journey.
#1. Email Courses
Most customers won’t fill in a lead form without a strong incentive. And, as you already know, in the case of leads early in the buying process is knowledge.
Most of these people want to learn more about their problem. Many will also want to discover a solution they could try implementing themselves.
That’s why many companies offer email courses in exchange for lead information.
Email courses are multi-part email series sent to a person who signed up for them at regular intervals. These emails can help guide a person through understanding their problem to introducing a solution. In the process, however, they often also position the company as an alternative solution.
What do you need to launch an email course?
First of all, a strong content that you could split into individual lessons. Those emails don’t have to be long. However, they should logically guide a person from their problem to a solution.
Secondly, an email marketing software to allow you to set up automation to deliver the course to every new lead.
#2. Cheat Sheets or Checklists
Another popular Top of the Funnel lead magnet are checklists or cheat sheets. These publications typically offer short and highly-actionable information.
Your readers could print them out and use them to achieve a specific result – implement a particular solution or solve a problem.
How to Create a Checklist?
You actually have two options, a.) write it from scratch and b.) use software like Beacon to convert old blog posts into a comprehensive checklist.
#3. DIY Kits
DIY Kits often offer a more in-depth insight into a problem and a solution than a checklist. They often contain templates or full worksheets that can help a person overcome a much larger issue or streamline a particular process.
CoSchedule, for example, offers many templates to help readers manage almost the entire aspect of their content marketing.
Once downloaded, the above document includes an Excel file with a complete content marketing template for a small business.
Part II. Middle and Bottom of the Funnel
eBooks and white papers have been the staple of B2B lead generation for a long time. And for a good reason.
For one, the majority of buyers find them influential when making a purchasing decision.
For that reason, eBooks are also the content type many decision-makers read when considering a technology purchase.
And finally, marketers also find them both, the most effective and successful.
This is all for a simple reason. eBooks help educate customers or prospects on more than just the benefits of buying your solution.
An eBook lets you provide a thorough explanation of a person’s problem and walk them through even the most complex solution.
How to Create an eBook?
Just like with checklists, the simplest way is to use software like Beacon to repurpose old blog posts into a comprehensive eBook.
Many visitors evaluating your company will want to learn more about your processes, and other aspects of service delivery. However, they mightn’t be ready to discuss that in a formal sales setting.
A demo gives them a chance to see you in action without the fear of having to make a buying decision yet. As a result, they may be more likely to sign up for a demo presentation, rather than a sales call.
Many companies deliver their presentations online, even to local customers. This also minimizes the risk and requires minor investment from clients, increasing their chances of signing up for it.
Not every content you publish can generate leads. Some content types help attract traffic instead. And so, to build your list and convert more visitors successfully, you need to focus on publishing assets that guarantee such results.
In this post, we’ve showed you 5 of the most popular content types for generating leads. All that’s left is to pick the ones you’d feel the most comfortable creating, and start publishing.