I recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking respondents what they believe should be the #1 priority in 2012 for generating leads in B2B firms. The poll was promoted throughout LinkedIn Groups; a mix of b2b marketing and sales groups that I am a member of. I received 172 votes and the results were quite interesting. The poll also supports my message of how content marketing and lead generation go hand-in-hand.

Results in detail:

Improving content marketing strategy took nearly 40% of the vote. I was surprised by the amount of votes content received. However, the importance of content strategy to lead generation cannot be understated. Consider:

  • If you’re advertising or implementing direct mail; it’s the message that drives engagement.
  • Paid search for lead generation success relies on good content to attract clicks; and good content to convert clicks into web form conversions.
  • Your website’s content is the key to keeping website visitors on your site and persuading those visitors to engage.
  • Great downloadable content that solves business problems generates leads; that simple.
  • Great nurturing content that tells a compelling story with the goal to shorten sales cycles is the key to increased sales opportunities.
  • Great content is the fuel to social media messaging, sharing, and engagement.
  • The key to SEO results is content; the right keywords; the right meta descriptions, and the right keywords in your site.

In essence, great content marketing encompasses all of the other choices in the poll.

Marketing Automation doesn’t work properly without a well-thought out lead nurturing strategy and content map. Search Engine Optimization is all about content; and content written in buyer’s language. Remember, with SEO, it’s not about what you do, rather it’s about what your buyer’s queries are in search engines to find your solutions. Pipeline Conversion rate optimization; from landing pages to the follow-up sales process, all work better when content is being distributed on an ongoing basis to your prospects. Social Media Engagement is all about content- your trust and credibility via social media channels is what drives your social media effectiveness.

What do you think of the results above? Do you agree? What would you vote for and why?

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