How Content Marketing Can Boost Your Lead Conversion Efforts

10 Feb How Content Marketing Can Boost Your Lead Conversion Efforts

Bantio_4 of 4DemandWave’s new “2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing” report is out, and it has plenty of information about how B2B digital marketers are using content marketing to drive their lead conversion efforts. According to the DemandWave report, content remains one of the biggest factors in how effective a B2B company’s digital marketing efforts will be.

Most importantly, content marketing has shifted entirely how companies think about converting leads into sales. Using outbound marketing techniques (e.g. display ads), the goal was simply to aggregate as many leads as possible and hope that a tiny proportion of them (typically less than 5%) would convert into sales. It was purely a volume game, and the higher the quantity of leads, the better.

However, inbound marketing techniques such as content marketing have changed that mindset. Instead, the focus is now on delivering high-quality leads that are most likely to convert. Quality is now more important than quantity. And all of the various content marketing efforts are now expected to bring in high-quality traffic. Content that’s designed with the target audience in mind is critical to these efforts.

According to the DemandWave report, 48% of B2B marketers said that “delivering quality leads” was their #1 goal, compared to 23% of B2B marketers who said that “driving more leads” was their #1 goal. Quality is winning out over quantity by a wide margin.

Secondly, there’s been a greater realization that different types of content can perform very differently. There are certain types of content that are just superior for driving lead conversions, and the DemandWave report highlights some of them. It turns out that whitepapers and webinars are still at the top of the list, with case studies, blogs and videos following right behind.

Thus, while much of the current focus of B2B marketers is on how to bring newer forms of content – such as social media and video – to the forefront, you simply can’t ignore the effectiveness of the old war horses like whitepapers and webinars.

And when it comes to distributing all this content, there are also some channels and platforms that perform better than others. According to the DemandWave report, email is still the most effective channel. Following close behind is organic search. And coming in third is social media.

The lesson here is clear – building a strong email subscriber list is the single best way to get content into the hands of prospects and customers. By way of contrast, traditional display ads (all those annoying banner ads on websites) are the worst way to leverage all the content being created by the content marketing team.

In many ways, any content marketing campaign is a work in progress. But, as the latest DemandWave report shows, there are certain basic guiding concepts that can be very helpful: focus on quality rather than quantity of leads, track the metrics of how different types of content perform to see what customers prefer, and never underestimate the power of email to turbo-charge your content marketing efforts.

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Dominic Basulto

Dominic Basulto is a futurist and blogger based in New York City. Prior to working for Bond Strategy, he was the editor of Fortune’s Business Innovation Insider and a founding member of, one of the Web's first blog media companies. He also writes for The Washington Post and the Big Think blog.