Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the B2B Marketing Summit in London on behalf of BuyerZone’s sister company, emedia. Like BuyerZone, emedia is a B2B lead generation company. They help thousands of clients generate leads through content syndication – mainly though targeted email bulletins. I’m not here, however, to pitch you on their services, but rather to share some really sound advice based on their tremendous experience with content lead generation. After all, emedia generates nearly 500,000 leads a year with content, so they have a lot of advice to offer.
For emedia, content lead generation is about information plus delivery. Put simply, it’s offering the right type of content at the right time in the right format. We here that phrase a lot – in many contexts – but it’s especially true in content marketing. Seeing success with content is so much about understanding what you’re trying to accomplish.
The graphic below illustrates the usual sales cycle (from realization [pardon their Queens' English!] – meaning early stage – down to the decision or purchase phase, very much at the end of the cycle. What you should notice is the types of content that really resonate at the various stages of the sales cycle are quite different. And it makes sense if you think about it. Those very early in their process aren’t ready for in-depth, highly technical pieces of content. Rather, they want content like infographics, articles or even a blog post that’s informal and can let them dip their toes in slowly. As a buyer moves down the funnel, the types of content become more involved. Whitepapers work best when you’re definitely interested but narrowing down options (we call that the consideration phase). And then naturally, once you’ve chosen a vendor (or shortlisted a few), you’re going to want information on pricing, case studies, testimonials and the like.