Each year, B2B marketers around the world are surveyed about their priorities. Lead generation always stands out as one of the top three. The results of a recent survey by Focus Research and eMarketer are no different: 55 percent of those surveyed ranked lead generation as their No. 1 priority.
So, with the complicated and every-changing landscape of media and marketing, where do you find quality leads?
Content is your most valuable currency online. Your prospects want to solve problems, learn and connect. And, they’ll pay (by filling out a form) for it. Use educational content to make that connection and become a trusted resource. Be the go-to guy to solve their problems.
What type of content? Articles, case studies, white papers and videos — it all works. Now, we wouldn’t recommend you put a form in front of a short, general knowledge article. Save the forms and paid syndication for high-value content. That’s information your prospect will be happy they “paid” for.
Where should you syndicate your content? Start by looking into the publications where you typically advertise. Most trade publications have caught on and now support a robust online presence. They may have a resource section with paid
white paper placements where visitors are asked to fill out a form to download the information.
For example, take a look at Occupational Health & Safety. You can pay per lead or pay for a certain amount of time to be posted. In the best-case scenario you can customize the form (by location, title, industry, etc.) and only pay for A-quality leads. Publications such as New Equipment Digest and EHS Today are even offering content syndication through their e-newsletters.
There are also third-party syndication partners who work with various industry websites to help promote your content. For example, if you’d like to reach the food processing industry, you simply provide them your content, description and form fields, and they go out and seek leads through various online sites. In this case, you may have to pay for a minimum amount of leads, but they work to find leads that meet your requirements for as long as it takes — one week, one month or longer.
From our experience with B2B clients, costs range from $50 to $70 per lead. That’s it! Imagine what you pay for a print ad placement: $3,000, $5,000 or even $10,000.
When’s the last time you could directly attribute a lead to that marketing spend?
If quality lead generation is what you want, syndication is what you need.
(Note: Syndication doesn’t work best alone. It draws in the highest quality leads and conversions when paired with strategic branding and marketing tactics. Brand awareness is crucial to being a trusted resource.)
About the author: Ashley Reppert, Account Executive at Schubert Communications, provides B2B clients with strategic public relations, marketing and interactive support. For more information, visit www.schubert.com.
The latest B2B content marketing research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that social media usage is on the rise. No big surprise, right? What is surprising is how fast B2B companies of all sizes are leveraging content creation as part of their social media programs.
74% of B2B marketers distribute content through Twitter, followed by LinkedIn at 71% and Facebook at 70%. These are significant increases over the 2010 numbers (Twitter 55%, LinkedIn 51% and Facebook 54%). Not to be outdone, the biggest gainer on a percentage basis was YouTube, which grew nearly 50%, rising from 38% in 2010 to 55% in 2011.
The Undiscovered Gem – Slideshare
Slideshare, the YouTube for PowerPoint presentations, came in at a lowly 20% of usage. This is clearly an opportunity for B2B marketers. Why?
- Slideshare is one of the fastest growing B2B search engines
- Slideshare is well indexed by Google, which means that properly tagging a presentation in
- Slideshare can garner your company more attention
For example, this presentation on Web Content Strategy, uploaded two years ago, has more than 40,000 views on Slideshare. In addition, it has been on the first page of Google for the term “web content strategy,” an increasingly popular term, for years as well. Because of this, we’ve been able to generate significant business from companies that found us here, simply because we uploaded the presentation to Slideshare.
The Story is Key
Yes, we are all publishers now, including B2B companies…and more B2B marketers are leveraging social media to distribute their content. But one thing is clear; without valuable, compelling and relevant content, the tools simply won’t work.
According to the same CMI study, 41% of B2B marketers stated that creating compelling content was their most difficult challenge. Since content marketing is a new muscle for most organizations, this makes sense…but the time is now to start organizing your marketing departments around your customer story.
Remember, first we need to figure out our customers’ pain points…then we can develop engaging content that speaks to those pain points. Then, and only then, can we leverage all these fancy social media tools.
About the author: Joe Pulizzi is founder and executive director of the Content Marketing Institute, which includes Chief Content Officer magazine and Content Marketing World, the industry’s largest content marketing event. Joe recently co-authored Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide to Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand. Buy it now at Amazon.com. You can follow Joe on Twitter @juntajoe.
A recent study by HiveFire has found that content marketing has become the channel of choice for B2B marketers. 82% of respondents reported that they currently are using content marketing, more than search marketing (70%), events (68%), public relations (64%), and print, tv, and radio (32%). The dramatic rise of content marketing over the last few years has been closely tied to b2b lead generation.
One of the toughest challenges for many b2b firms is generating high quality leads for their sales teams. With the stagnant economy, sales departments have been trying to partner closer together with marketing to bring more qualified prospects into the sales funnel and increase conversion rates. As a result content marketing’s popularity has skyrocketed.
Content marketing involves the creating and sharing of valuable and relevant content to generate interest and prospects. Frequently this content takes the form of a free whitepaper or webinar. Rather than selling, content marketing aims to educate about a specific purchasing decision. It gives prospects the facts and options for a solution. This delivers value, helping businesses earn trust and credibility.
Strong content alone however isn’t enough to drive lead generation. Almost equally important is an effective strategy to broadcast your content. This can be done externally through a lead generation company or internally. Either way, it ensures your content gets noticed.
So if you’re trying to supercharge your sales engine, consider leveraging content marketing to drive your lead generation funnel.
If any still had doubts that digital advertising was merely a trending fad, a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers washed those reservations away.
According to the study conducted during the first half of 2011, Internet advertising revenue hit record highs. In fact, online ad revenue increased to nearly $15 billion, marking a rise of 23% vs. the prior year.
In its detailed report, the IAB found that after search, the most popular form of online advertising was display, particularly with banner advertisements, accounting for more than $5.5 billion in revenues. In other online advertising formats, dollars spent on lead generation increased 25% over the same period in 2010, again marking strong growth in the online ad world.
With much uncertainty still present in the economy, companies had been slashing their marketing and advertising budgets to cut costs. Interestingly though it seems as though many of those marketing dollars have instead been shifted to digital channels.
Marketers today are constantly on the look out for those strategies that will produce results and a significant ROI. The findings from this study seem to indicate many are finding that success with online advertising.
The IAB says that they attribute this rise in online advertising revenues to marketers looking to the digital arena for brand exposure, instead of the more traditional channels. With almost 7 billion Internet users around the world, online advertising gives marketers an almost unparalleled opportunity to reach audiences on a global level. However in these unsure times, companies are a little more cautious, and only want to invest their money where they know they can get a substantial positive return. The President and CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau confirmed this and emphasized the importance of recent technological advances, saying that “innovations happening in interactive marketing [are] delivering great value to the industry and to the consumer.”
As more and more consumers are going online to conduct their research on products and brands, as well as consulting their friends or other customers of the products on social networks, marketers at many companies are continually turning to digital advertising. While it does take time and energy to identify which channels to use, specific websites to advertise on, and which consumers to target, moving advertising campaigns online has proven to be well worth the investment for many companies.
In response to the report and performance of Internet advertising, a Senior Vice President of the IAB released a profound statement that confirms digital advertising’s place as the fuel of growth and revenue: “It’s a clear signal that all of us in the interactive advertising industry are delivering meaningful results to marketers — and that they are confident in investing in interactive.”