Are Your Leads Really Prospects for Sales?

Are Your Leads Really Prospects for Sales?. Even though there are still some that are creating content for content’s sake, the marketers who are successful are the ones who approach it with a strategy. Marketers, especially those of the B2B variety, have always focused on generating leads for their sales counterparts. This was lead generation in a trade magazine, and it let buyers express their interest in products and services. Welcome, content marketing. Marketers now have the ability to talk to prospects before they are in market for a solution. Content makes the connection, and content builds the relationship. They can now get in front of prospects that they could not market to before, with a variety of content distribution methods. Lead scoring is one way to qualify these form-fillers, but it starts with creating the right content. If you can create content that does that, then you are well on your way to real lead generation, not just form completion.

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Content marketing is not really the new kid on the block anymore. It’s something nearly all marketers claim to practice. Even though there are still some that are creating content for content’s sake, the marketers who are successful are the ones who approach it with a strategy.

This is no different than any other kind of marketing. You need to know what you are trying to achieve, how you are going to accomplish that, and how you are going to measure a successful outcome. That’s a pretty succinct way to thing about marketing strategy. You can certainly add more detail, but at the highest level, it works.

So what do all those strategic content marketers want to accomplish? In a recent survey by Ascend2, 58 percent of content marketers indicated that they want to increase lead generation.1

Are Your Leads Really Prospects for Sales?

Sounds reasonable. Marketers, especially those of the B2B variety, have always focused on generating leads for their sales counterparts. There’s no reason to think that would change with content marketing—and I would argue that it has gotten easier.

How Content Marketing Transformed Lead Generation

Grab your time machine, and let’s take a trip back to Ye Olde Marketing Shoppe. Think of the days before most marketing had gone digital. Anyone remember reader reply cards? This was lead generation in a trade magazine, and it let buyers express their interest in products and services. It was top-of-funnel activity driven by advertising.

We’ve all collected leads at trade shows, and we still do. But this is focused on buyers who have a specific need in mind. They are “in market,” as they say, for what you are selling. This makes it easy to connect with them, but this is small pool of prospects.

Welcome, content marketing. Marketers now have the ability to talk to prospects…

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