I just took a peek at the schedule so far for SIPA 2017, the 41 st Annual SIPA Conference: Growth Now, June 5-7, here in Washington, D.C., and I see more than one session focused on strong content. "Attracting and Incentivizing Content Creators," "Copywriting Secrets of the Pros," "Practical Tools for Writing SEO-Friendly Web Copy," Monetizing Archived Content."
It makes sense. I was just looking for information on lead generation and came across this quote from a recent report by Connectiv member Randall Reilly: "Remember, targeting, layering and filtering your audience is all for naught if you don't give people a reason to care or click! Your content has to be compelling enough to inspire people to act, and motivate them to raise their hand in some way." (The report, Overcoming 4 Common B2B Lead Generation Mistakes, can be downloaded here.)
They also advise publishers to "find the two or three channels or platforms that work for you." According to Blue Nile Research, 76% of B2B buyers use three or more channels to gather information when researching a purpose. "So it's unwise to commit to just one channel. Try to decipher how (and where) people are most likely to find you."
That goes with an article I saw this morning on Business 2 Community about the best content formats for lead generation. Let's go over their findings.
It's still about video. "A report from Forrester states that including a video in an email increases the click-through rate by 200 to 300%, while Unbounce found that embedding a video in a website landing page increases conversions by 80%. Videos are also commonly shared. Ryan King of new member Informz reminded us on the SIPA Forum this week that just including images will substantially help your click rate. "It is reported that our eyes can process images 60,000 times faster than words," he wrote.
Keep up the webcasts. "According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), webcasts and webinars are the second most effective B2B tactic, with only in-person events proving more effective." As for best webinar habits, Ken Molay on The Webinar Blog reminds us to: make the slides available; email when the recording is uploaded; follow up on any unanswered questions; allow the speaker to answer further questions; and promote the next webinar. Also, if possible, provide a transcript. It seems more realistic that a customer would come back to quickly go through a transcript vs. listening to the whole webcast.
Generate blog posts. "WebDAM found that B2B marketers who blog regularly generate an average of 67% more leads than marketers who do not blog." Given the editorial emphasis at SIPA 2017, that would be a great place to learn how to build a better blog post.
Ebooks, case studies and white papers can all make a big impact on lead gen. "It's great to include testimonials on your website... but also offer a downloadable case study to generate leads that focus on one particular client," suggests Jessica Kandler, writing for MySiteAuditor. "Great case studies include specific examples, results supported by metrics, and testimonials from your client." According to CMI, white papers are the fourth-most effective B2B content marketing tactic.
Of course, like everything else today, data is impacting lead generation, and that will only increase. Rajeev Kapur, CEO of 1105 Media, told us at BIMS in November that "traditional lead generation with batch-and-blast databases... will be things of the past." He has tasked his team with creating a new lead gen model that can deliver not just names but intent and predictive-based leads with high probability of purchase.
"You're going to see lead gen become a greater extension of the sales team," he continued. "Our customers are looking for ways to cut costs, and they want us to start appointment setting and doing the first level of sales. That's not the business we're going to get in; we don't do that well. What we can do is get deeper in the funnel, be stickier in that relationship."
Stay tuned, or more apt, stay sticky.