Are you looking for ways to generate more leads for your business? If so, you're in luck!
In this blog post, we'll discuss the best types of content to generate leads, no matter the shape and size of your business. We’ll reveal top tips on attracting and converting potential customers through valuable, relevant content marketing. We’ll also explore the different content formats you can use for the earlier stages of the customer journey.
So, let’s not keep those leads waiting. Grab yourself a coffee and prepare to discover the best types of content to generate leads.
What is lead generation content?
Lead generation content is any textual or visual marketing and sales collateral brands use to engage and convert their target audience. Lead generation generally refers to the first stage or stages of the buyer journey. Therefore it needs to be content that creates a strong impact. Perhaps it will introduce the viewer to your brand’s USP. For example, it could be a Facebook ad that compels readers to invest in a platform to create content that’s 100% on-brand. Maybe it will demonstrate that you understand the particular problem or challenge the lead is facing and that you are the brand that can help to solve it.
Effective lead generation content must be based on a robust content marketing strategy and predefined customer personas. Want to find out more about targeting your content to the right people? Our lead gen expert Sean Filidis explains how to create detailed customer personas.
What are the best types of content to generate leads?
There is no single best type of content to generate leads. It depends on several factors, including your brand identity and positioning, your products and/or services, your audience, and the amount of awareness your lead will have with your brand already.
If you are new to the market, it may take a while to understand which formats are working and which aren’t. Pay attention to your marketing analytics and, where possible, talk to your customers to find out what they have found useful.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with content style and format. Stepping outside your comfort zone could be just the thing that gets your lead’s attention and puts your competitors in the shade.
Let’s look at some popular and effective content marketing formats for lead generation and how you can optimize and promote them to get the success your brand deserves.
Why eBooks are great for lead generation
eBooks are one of the best lead generation tools. They provide an ideal platform for explaining your product or service and how it can help users. They also help to demonstrate knowledge and promote thought leadership. Ebooks are great for bringing your brand, offering life, and telling your story. Furthermore, if you choose a great content creation platform like Foleon’s you’ll get a range of useful insights into how people are engaging with the content so you can optimize it over time.
How to make your eBooks stand out.
- Use the right document format. Static PDFs are a thing of the past!
- Include interactive ebook elements such as videos, quizzes, checklists, and animations
- Format your text, so it is scannable and easy to digest
- Segment the content into clearly marked chapters or sections. If the eBook is quite long, consider adding a contents page with links to each part
- Add customer quotes or testimonials
- Include a compelling call to action at the end and contact details.
How to promote eBooks on your website
Your eBooks should be signposted on any webpage that makes sense to the customer journey. You could include prompts on relevant product or service pages, or if the content is about something newsworthy, such as research findings or launching a new product, you could promote it on your home page. As always, keep a close eye on your website analytics to ensure it is found by the people who matter.
Gating your eBook content is another option to consider. Some marketers consider this a risky strategy early on in the customer journey. You don’t want to put your customer off at the first hurdle. But if your gating strategy works, and the content is valuable enough to encourage readers to share a few personal details, it can positively impact your lead gen strategy.
Unsure what’s the best approach for your business? Check out our article on rethinking the content gating strategy.
Templates and Tools
Lead generation, especially in B2B, is about proving your value to your target audience and being useful to them. Providing handy tools and templates is a great way of making people’s lives easier. They can be a great addition to eBooks.
Best types of tools for lead gen
Checklists. A summary of components needed to fulfill a particular action, for example. Or a list of criteria required to meet a specific goal.
Calculator. Who doesn't love a calculator? Especially those that take the leg work out of deciding on the right deal or package for your particular needs.
Quizzes. Quizzes and questionnaires are a fun way of putting your lead in the driving seat when choosing the right product or service. Hint: that’s yours.
Downloadable templates. Setting up spreadsheets and suchlike is a drag. Make your lead’s life easier and save time with an on-brand downloadable template like a handy report or table.
White papers and Reports
White papers and reports are both tried and tested lead generation favorites. Both are about demonstrating thought leadership, so are particularly useful if you are in a sector where having specific technical or academic knowledge is important. For example, financial services, healthcare, IT, and tech or engineering.
However, balancing your knowledge share with providing commercial value to your leads is important. Plus, you must ensure the content is entertaining and engaging to win over those prospective customers.
Here are some tips on getting it right.
- Choose a topic that will resonate with your audience. The subject matter must be relevant, current, and full of helpful, up-to-date information. Think about your lead's challenges and concerns at this stage in their buying process. What questions will they need answering, and what will tackle their barriers to the sale?
- Keep it on-brand. You will instantly lose that thought leadership potential if it isn’t relevant to your products and services.
- Avoid the hard sell. Your lead is here to be educated, not subjected to a sales pitch. A compelling CTA at the end and/or some links for further resources is enough at this stage.
- Make it visually compelling. Whitepapers don’t need to be bland to look authoritative. Some carefully-chosen infographics, interactive tools, charts, and so forth can bring your whitepaper to life and make it more memorable to the reader.
How-to and explainer guides are lead gen gold dust. Like eBooks, they provide the perfect platform for addressing barriers to sale, encouraging uptake, and showing off the features and benefits to your potential customers without being overly sales-driven.
How-to guides are great in both text and video formats. The latter is perhaps more effective for building awareness as it will likely get more social media and email marketing engagement.
Here are a few tips for creating the perfect how-to guide for lead generation.
- Don’t include too much information in one guide. If your product involves several functions or processes, make a guide for each and link between them.
- Keep the content as concise as possible. Use plain language, minimize jargon, keep sentences short and signpost the different sections.
- Include links for further reading on trickier or more complex elements.
- Test the content out on people who are unfamiliar with your products.
- Make it entertaining!
Video has the potential to get really good engagement on social media and email marketing. It helps build awareness and, when produced well, is a valuable addition to your website, eBooks, and guides. Here are a few types of video marketing to consider for lead generation.
Tutorials. As detailed above. A valuable lead gen tool that is shareable and creates immediate impact.
Brand/company video. A brand video can work wonders if there is an interesting story behind your brand or if you want to introduce your team to prospective or current customers. Think carefully about what people want to know about and only use team members who are genuinely comfortable in front of the camera.
You can check out our brand video here.
Testimonials. Case studies and testimonials are some of the best content marketing tools to help build trust with potential customers and help people imagine what it would be like working with you. Look at the ACTIAM & Foleon success story to see how it’s done.
FAQ videos. Most websites benefit from a textual FAQ section, but video FAQs can also be great lead generation tools. They tackle the aforementioned barriers to sale and usage and personalize your brand at this important customer journey stage.
Case studies offer several benefits for content marketers who want to boost lead generation. They provide the ideal platform for showing how your product or service works in practice, particularly if you can align it with how it is used in different environments or sectors. Case studies also allow brands to show off their client base, which builds trust and demonstrates credibility.
Seize this valuable opportunity to encourage your lead to imagine how your product will work for them and how it will make their lives better and/or easier. Keep it fairly concise and focus on how your brand and team helped the client at every stage of the journey. Include a quote or two, a few nice images, or a short video showing how the two companies worked together to achieve goals and objectives.
Check out our case studies page here.
If you’re launching a new product or promoting an offer, landing pages should be high on your list for lead gen content. Alongside providing a shareable, accessible content format, you can get real-time insights into how people consume the content so you can adapt and optimize your content accordingly.
Lead generation landing pages should have some sort of function for information capture, such as a contact form. Naturally, you need to give your lead a compelling reason to offer up a few personal details, and that’s where your special offer steps on. It could be a content download, an exclusive offer, or an invitation. Anything relevant and useful to your lead.
Only ask for the info you need. You don’t want to deter your potential customer at this early stage! Your sales team can fill in the gaps at a later time.
Note: For more content generation tips check out our guide to creating the best B2B content download of your career.
How to use content effectively in lead generation campaigns - dos and don’ts
- Create a lead gen strategy and an actionable plan with objectives, benchmarks, and milestones.
- Develop a lead scoring system to deliver the right content at the right time.
- Integrate your content platforms with your CRM and other systems to ensure a unified approach.
- Make sure the gated content offers genuine value for the lead.
- Keep your messaging simple and clarify what you want the lead to do next.
- Keep the personal information you’re asking for to a minimum; name, email, and areas of interest, for example.
- Include interactive elements to put your viewer in the driving seat.
- Plan your keywords and search terms carefully and monitor your analytics.
- Focus your attention on one marketing channel. Think about the overarching customer journey, what platforms your leads will be using, how and where they are most likely to find you, and so forth.
- Focus too much on the hard sell. Show your value and credibility, and let your product and brand's great features and benefits speak for themselves.
- Underestimate the importance of investing in the right tools for lead generation. Interactive content platforms, for example, can save you a lot of time, and you’ll benefit from deep insights into viewer behavior. All while staying 100% on-brand.
- Be put off if the campaigns don’t perform well at first. Lead gen, especially in B2B is a long game. Learn from your engagement data and any anecdotal evidence. Refine and optimize your campaigns and try again.
Using intelligent content to boost lead generation
As you can see, successful lead generation is all about creating valuable, relevant, memorable, and intelligent content. This is your chance to grab your prospective customer's attention and show that your brand is the right choice for them.
Your timing needs to be right, and the customer journey is mapped out from start to finish. You must build momentum and be able to supply personalized, high-quality content to your sales team right at the moment when they need it most.
Don’t worry if this all sounds a bit overwhelming, we have a helpful guide on which lead generation KPI's you should be working towards achieving. Lead generation requires a fair bit of time and resources, but it is 100% worth it. Plus, some powerful tools on the market can help you attract a larger customer base while saving you and your team precious hours. Find out how Foleon’s content creation platform can help your business boost lead generation or request a demo today.