Virtual events and webinars were all the buzz in B2B marketing last year – and many marketers continued emphasis on those tactics well into 2021. However, our recent survey of tech sales pros deemed content marketing – not online events – as a more effective form of driving MQLs and SQLs. In fact, Demand Metric found that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating roughly 3x as many leads.
But content marketing is a broad subject, encompassing blogs, tutorials, videos, podcasts and so much more, so we wanted to dive deeper to find out what specific types of content drive the most conversions. Surprisingly, we couldn’t find existing research that goes beyond the value of content marketing as a whole (perhaps a topic for our 2022 data report?). Instead, we looked at a few examples from our own clients to see what’s working best. Here’s what we found.
- Data reports – Our own 2019 data report found that press releases covering data reports were the most effective at generating website traffic, and were high converting as well. So it’s no surprise that they also rank as one of the top lead generating content types. And if that’s not enough of a reason to create a data report, my colleague Anna Ruth recently explored even more.
- Playbooks – Action-oriented playbooks also rank well when it comes to generating qualified leads. Unlike whitepapers or e-books, playbooks typically give readers a game plan for solving a common challenge, making them a good choice for B2B tech brands to show they understand – and can help solve – their target audiences’ unique pain points. Combining data reports (uncovering the challenges) with playbooks (solving the challenge) can pack a great 1-2 punch for both driving leads and moving them down the funnel.
- Case studies – While we don’t recommend gating case studies, as B2B tech marketers should want these success stories on full display, case studies are still among the top performers in generating SQLs and helping to convert leads into customers. Such real-world examples of technology in action are one of the most common requests we hear from prospects, sales teams and reporters alike.
I know it’s cliche, but content IS king for a reason. It helps B2B tech brands show their understanding of buyers’ needs and pain points, differentiate their expertise and solutions from the competition, and drive conversations with prospects. If these data reports, playbooks and case studies aren’t already a part of your marketing mix, add them to your content calendar now. Trust me, your sales team AND prospects will thank you.
And to hear about what your sales leaders and tech buyers are looking for from marketing, check out our data report, Post-Pandemic B2B Sales: IT Buyers and Software Sales Teams Weigh in on the New Landscape. (see what I did there?)