Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Content Marketing and Lead Generation

Are lead generation and content marketing compatible?

Often when discussing 'lead generation' we fall into the trap of thinking that it is about driving traffic to a form.   That is certainly one aspect, but in the grander scheme of things there are other aspects of lead generation.   The following illustrates one way to break down lead generation into various segments based on the business goal and focus. 
There are two possible goals: lead origination or lead conversion.  For each there are two possible ways to view the marketing focus.  We can strive for quantity or quality of new leads. We can strive for leads that require nurturing or those that close fast. 

And yes clients will want it all - "lots of well qualified leads that close fast because they have a connection with the company."  

The reality is that any company will have prospects in all four segments because of the different stages of demand that they are in.   Content plays different roles in each of the possible group.
  • Quantity:  broadcast enticing offers with a sense of excitement
  • Quality:  target exclusive offers with an opportunity to further qualify, e.g. survey
  • Nurture: respond to each touch with relevant content based on previous stream
  • Close Fast: convey a sense of missing out if action not taken
Direct response was built on the Quantity - Close Fast combination: "If you order now, we'll double the order."

However, in many categories where prospects need to consider their next step in the choice process the Quality - Nurture combination may be a better approach.   High value contacts deserve and respond to high value content.  Content marketing of a different form is required for this type of lead generation. 

As content marketing matures we will be segmenting the lead generation pool according to their needs and developing content accordingly.

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