Let’s cut to the chase shall we. B2B marketers want leads. In fact 70% say it is the top priority.

In social media we have the opportunity. Our buyers are there. Global Web Index shows that over 60% of B2B buyers go online to research for work. Online, where the leading influence for decision making is “conversations with people from the company on a social network”.

But content creates those valuable conversations

We need great content to have great conversations. The trouble is that content requires investment. Either time or money.

And if resource and investment weren’t the only issues. Every B2B brand has woken up to content. We are deluged with videos, white papers, case studies and a general slush pile of information.

How can you focus on squeezing every lead you can from your content investment?

Producing content specifically for lead generation takes great concentration and determination. You also have to be a quick learner, as becoming more aware of purchase signals and buyer behaviour will remove speculation and uncertainty from your activity. Obtaining value from social content requires planning and forward thinking. And make sure you always focus on these 3 essential fundamentals:

1.     Planning to ensure your content resonates and delivers results 

Right up front, your planning requires deliberation. A social audience is not like any other, we must reach buyers by understanding what interests them and encourages them to purchase. Consider different behaviours and motivations for a wide range of social users. Not only will this give you the opportunity to meet buyers at the right time and place, but you will also be ready with the right message!

Analyse conversations, get into the nitty gritty and create a taxonomy of topics and sales triggers. Consider different customer paths, isolate motivations from the chatter, and plan integration.

2.     Social content is part of the exchange  

In an earlier post, Kate showed that 80% of marketers think that custom content needs to be central to marketing activity. In social, content should always have a purpose. And when it comes to lead generation, you need to be very clear about what you want from the reader. How you will initiate an exchange of information, capture contact details and progress the marketing qualified lead to a sales lead.

Consider CTAs, capture forms, copy on landing pages, CRM integration, advertising and focussing a campaign to drive messages.

3.     Social media optimisation is the key to smart lead generation

With 9 years of experience in social media I feel confident in letting the cat out of the bag…no one knows what content will work for each B2B business, at first! Experimenting, benchmarking and evaluating are mandatory. So be smart about it; record and analyse as you go. Then go one step further and

  • Isolate combinations of copy and visual content that perform best
  • Use multivariate testing to isolate what works best
  • Measure metrics across the sales funnel and start to plot your attribution model

Sure, it’s a structured approach. And, yes, it requires using your head. But the results speak volumes. This approach will focus your content on lead generation and save you investing in content that bleeds resources and money. Plus, it has a way of keeping everybody in the business happy!

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