Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always on the hunt for new leads, and increasingly, content marketing is how they are finding those prospective customers. According to a May 2013 survey from Business.com, three-quarters of US SMBs actively worked on lead generation tactics, with a variety of different types of content used for this purpose.
As to which content marketing tactics respondents from SMB companies deemed most effective, nearly all content approaches received fairly high marks. Among the most valuable types of lead gen-oriented content marketing were white papers, webinars and case studies. More than 60% cited both white papers and webinars as at least somewhat valuable, with white papers especially likely to be considered extremely valuable. Videos were seen as the least valuable type of content marketing tactic. However, a still considerable 56.4% of respondents thought it was at least reasonably valuable.
But lead generation is not simply a matter of creating content that will catch the eye of a prospect. Marketers need more robust information to really put lead gen to work. The most valuable piece of lead gen data, according to respondents, was information on the purchasing time horizon of a prospect, with more than half of respondents saying this was extremely valuable. Knowing the number of employees at a prospect’s company, the industry and the person’s job title were also useful elements.
These data points can all be used to ultimately create a lead score for prospects, so that sales and marketing can know how close the individual really is to buying, and how they should be approached. Half of respondents also said lead scoring was extremely valuable.