5 Ways Content Marketing Powers Lead Generation

Content marketing and lead generation are ubiquitous priorities in the business world today — but most companies fall short when it comes to integrating the two so that content directly drives lead conversions. This is undoubtedly part of the reason why 65% of marketers still say lead gen is a top challenge, despite all of the resources at their disposal to power it.

Generating traffic and leads is the top challenge for 65% of marketers.

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In this article, we’re going to connect the dots between content and lead generation so you can optimize both in your strategy. First, we’ll go over why content has become such a central part of lead gen, then cover 5 ways to design content that actually generates leads for your business.

Let’s get started.

Quick Takeaways

  • Content is what makes a brand’s first impression with buyers, who engage with 13+ content assets before making a purchase.
  • Consistent, high-quality content builds brand awareness and can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  • The most direct way content marketing for lead generation makes an impact is by capturing buyer information.
  • Content provides an important channel for ongoing engagement that keeps buyers moving through the pipeline.

Why Content Marketing for Lead Generation is a Must-Have

The answer is simple, really — buyers love content. In both the B2C and B2B sectors, consumers now turn to content more than ever to get answers to their questions, accomplish tasks, vet potential providers, and learn more about products and services. It’s estimated that on average, buyers now engage with 13+ pieces of content before making a purchase decision.

They’re doing it through a number of channels, too, including:

  • Vendor websites (70%)
  • Search (67%)
  • Social Media (53%)
  • Email (41%)
  • Word of Mouth (33%)

This means your buyers know a lot about your business before they ever even talk to your sales team, and they’re likely a significant part of the way through their purchase decision process.

Today, content is what makes a first impression on potential customers and helps them decide whether to pursue a brand or look elsewhere. If you don’t design your content specifically for lead gen, you risk missing out on opportunities or sending high-potential leads to competitors with a more focused strategy.

Ready to level up your approach? Let’s talk about 5 specific ways you can power lead gen with your content:

Build Brand Awareness

Today a staggering 93% of all online experiences start with search. When people need solutions, they’re turning to search engines to help them find the right one. Publishing consistent, high-quality SEO content, then, is a sure way to build brand awareness and drive organic traffic to your website.

Around 93% of all online experiences begin with search.

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To maximize this benefit, be sure all of the content you publish — blogs, social media, and even video and images — is SEO optimized. You can use free and helpful tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to do your own keyword research and focus your efforts, and/or you can hire an agency to help you check all the right boxes consistently.

Establish Brand Authority and Expertise

Content can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry and an expert your buyers can trust. Keep this in mind as you develop your content strategy, and cover topics for which you actually want to be the authority.

Building this type of trust is critical for lead gen because ultimately, buyers care about one thing: finding a provider who can solve their problems or help them accomplish an important goal. When you’ve done the work to establish your brand authority through content marketing, buyers are more likely to recognize and choose your brand when it comes time to make a purchase.

Keep in mind that this is particularly important for B2B sellers and agencies because buyers are looking for providers with expertise that they don’t already have in-house.

Captures Buyer Information

The most direct way that content marketing for lead generation makes an impact is by capturing buyer information. This can happen through first-party channels (like a form that your buyer fills out) or third-party data (using cookies to track browsing behavior).

The latter is slowly but surely fading out as Google and other search engines phase out third party cookies due to new privacy standards. Going forward, the smartest approach for brands will be to focus on collecting first-party data directly from your audience.

There are two main strategies you can use to do it. First, ensure your blog content offers ample opportunities for people to share their contact information. Include compelling CTAs and quick, easy-to-complete interest forms.

Second, consider gating high-value content so that users have to share their information in order to access it. If you’re hesitating about this, don’t — the popularity of ebooks and other lead magnets as well as monthly newsletters and subscription content have all proven that consumers consider sharing their information in exchange for helpful content to be a fair trade.

Provides a Channel for Continued Engagement

In a world before content marketing, it was much harder to continually engage prospects and nurture leads (there used to be a lot of phone calls involved). Content has made this process more seamless, providing channels like email and social media through which we can keep in touch with leads as they move through the buyer journey.

Why does this matter for lead gen? Because the purchase process can be long — months in the B2B world — and half of your leads won’t be ready to buy when they first enter the pipeline. 

Further, half of your sales will take place after you’ve followed up at least 5 times. Content is a non-intrusive and engaging way to stay connected with your leads during this process and until they’re ready to make an actual purchase.

Half of qualified leads are not ready to buy when they enter the pipeline, and half of sales happen after the 5th follow up.

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Delivers Value

We’ve mentioned it a few times in other sections, but it’s worth mentioning on its own as well — the primary reason content marketing is so effective for lead gen is that it delivers value for your buyer outside of the sales process. To potential customers, this makes for a more authentic and meaningful experience.

When you create great content that’s customer-focused, you’re able to build a connection with your audience that eventually makes the actual lead conversion step easier. Why? Because they know and trust you more.

So remember: Content marketing for lead generation is a long game. With commitment and consistency to establishing a strong content foundation, you’ll be able to keep your sales pipeline more full in the long run.

At RevBoss, our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.