95% of the B2B service/product buyers admit they view content as a trustworthy marker when evaluating a business. Only this fact would be enough to understand why different types of content are imperative for B2B marketing success.
However, we will introduce the 5 main reasons below and show how the blog, video, audio content help with generating leads. Let’s start with the reasons:
#1 Generates demand
When researching their problems on Google, Awareness stage users aren’t aware of what solutions exist in the market. They are looking for informational articles, how-to’s, and trying to find answers.
Though Awareness stage users aren’t sales-ready, they will be willing to provide their contact info in return for a comprehensive answer to their question. And the “answer” can be your free content that will educate the user, information about your solution, and ultimately generate demand for your product/service.
#2 Builds trust and relations
The searchers might not be interested in your product/service at that moment. But your content makes them trust you and get connected to your brand. Your website will be the destination when they are looking for educational content and tips. At some point, when they need a product/service similar to yours, you will be the one they’d like to spend money with.
#3 Gets shared
Have you shared promotional ads and sales pitches with your friends and colleagues? Probably not. However, you have likely shared a blog post, statistics, or video that teaches something valuable or guides you through a process. Free and valuable content gets shared with the right people and more and more relevant users will learn about your product/service.
#4 Brings traffic
Blog posts with 2,000 words or more outperform the ones with 1,000 words or less. That’s why long-form blog posts are the top way for ranking on search engines, driving organic traffic, and generating leads.
#5 Builds a community and increases retention
You probably know tens of B2B companies who have private Facebook groups or who send emails only to an exclusive group of recipients. No one will stay in your email list or group if you are sending ads and sales pitches all the time. But you will build a community of fans and brand advocates if you share value and solutions.
Here we talked about the theoretical benefits of content marketing. Below we will get more practical and discuss why three content types – blog posts, videos, and audio are crucial for B2B lead generation.
HOW BLOG POSTS, VIDEO, AND AUDIO CONTENT GENERATE LEADS AND WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN THEM TOO?
- 93% of B2B buying processes begin with an online search.
- 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
- 71% of B2B buyers consume blog content during their buyer journey. They may come across your blog when they are in the Awareness, Consideration, or Decision stage.
These stats are more than enough for your company to start a blog or invest more resources in creating your posts.
Though many businesses prefer to use their blog for brand awareness and lead nurturing, any professional B2B lead generation company knows that it’s a perfect asset for acquiring leads as well. To that end, your blog content shouldn’t cover only top-of-the-funnel educational topics.
Here are a few aspects you should pay attention to while creating your blog content:
- Write a Q&A article and answer your service/product/pricing-related questions in a comprehensive, conversational way. It will also increase your chances in ranking for voice search results.
- Interview other authors, business owners, marketers and publish their quotes. Contributors will be happy to share your content as they have been featured there.
- Share success stories and show how you have helped your previous or current clients. Unique stories are always interesting to read.
No matter in what format you write a blog post, find the right context, use relevant anchor texts, and add backlinks to your landing pages. Here’s an example from a B2B company.
Packhelp is a custom packaging company and runs a blog on eCommerce, packaging design, and marketing.
In their blog posts, they add CTA banners that encourage readers to get a quote and start using their services.
You can use blog posts to redirect readers not only to your Service pages but educational lead magnets as well. Since Google is full of beginner’s guides and how-tos, you can create lead magnets that will stand out and make users download them. Some unique lead magnet ideas include:
- List of tools to succeed at something.
- List of resource sites.
- Client success stories.
- Questions and answers.
- Educational email series.
- 74% of B2B marketers say video converts better than any other type of content.
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
- 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than reading text.
Videos aren’t only about promotional ads on Facebook or LinkedIn. They may be in the form of:
- Educational webinars.
- Client testimonials.
- product demos.
- Live Q&As, etc.
Besides, you can repurpose your videos and share them on multiple platforms – from Youtube to Instagram stories and LinkedIn to your website.
Let’s have a look at a real-life example from a company that uses Youtube marketing for lead generation:
Octopus is a LinkedIn automation software. Their Youtube videos have thousands of views and all of them contain a clear CTA – Start your free trial. The link redirects users to the website homepage where the free trial offer is available.
Facebook is another social network that you can use for B2B lead generation.
- Facebook’s 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day.
- The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 6.01%.
- Facebook captured 24.5% of all video ad spending in the US in 2018.
The Events feature allows you to get people interested in your upcoming webinar/Q&A and make sure they will attend your event.
Podcasts are the most common types of audio content that people get value from.
- The number of podcast listeners in the USA was about 88 million in 2019.
- Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023 (source).
- 55% of people in the US have listened to a podcast, at least once.
With audio content being a popular pastime in American and Western European countries, you can find your way of turning podcast listeners into leads. Here’s an example:
ComplianceLine is a B2B company and offers business and corporate compliance solutions. They have a Podcasts section on their website and also publish the episodes on Simplecast, a podcast hosting platform.
In the episode notes, they add a relevant link(s) to their lead magnets, e.g. webinars, eBooks, or encourage viewers to send them an email. In this example, they are featuring their webinar that talks about the 2020 benchmark report.
Simplecast isn’t the only platform to host your podcasts. There are many free options you can choose from.
For example, Buzzsprout allows you to upload up to 2 hours per month, gain access to stats, and have unlimited team members. With this tool, you can upload 30-minute podcasts every week for free and it is definitely worth your efforts.