4 Smart Strategies to Generate More Leads By Extending the Reach of Your Content
If you own or market a B2B tech business, you know that opportunities for growth have never been stronger. You also know that, given the potential return on investment, competition in the tech industry is stiff. Said differently, for those SaaS and other tech companies that succeed, the reward is huge—for those that don't, there are lost investments, frustration, and disappointment.
As Lighter Capital notes, SaaS companies (and, by extension, all tech businesses) are increasingly characterized by a "winner take all" mindset:
"The booming SaaS industry is predicted to increase by 21.2% over the next 4 years. With the barrier to entry at its lowest level and the allure of multi-million dollar acquisitions, SaaS seems like a goldmine for any go-getting entrepreneur with a bright idea. Much like any other startup business however, the failure rate for SaaS startups is high. An estimated 92% of SaaS companies fail within 3 years despite growth and funding."
That analysis begs an important question: what can B2B tech companies like yours do to tip the scales in your favor? What, in other words, can you do to outstrip the competition, demonstrate the value of your services, boost demand and increase the likelihood of success?
DEMAND GENERATION IS KEY
Certainly, there's no silver bullet to ensure success. In order to succeed, your business needs to demonstrate customer value at every stage of the buyer's journey—from awareness to consideration to purchase and beyond. But you can't put prospective customers on that train if you don't first get them on board. Said differently, the very heart of your marketing program is creating demand and the generation of leads.
Savvy marketers understand this, which is one of the reasons marketers across the globe listed lead generation as their top challenge in HubSpot's most recent State of Inbound survey. They know that leads are to the growth of your business what gasoline is to your car—if you don't fuel up (technically, fill the top of your sales funnel), your business is going to stall.
CONTENT IS STILL KING
No doubt you recognize this as the inbound marketing mantra, but there's a reason content as the center of lead generation strategy has stood the test of time, continuing to be arguably the most effective weapon in your demand arsenal. Simply stated, content marketing works.
Why? Here's an example: say you sell CRM software. You know there are prospective customers looking for that product, but they probably have questions and concerns. To answer those questions and address those concerns, they go online, looking for information they can use. They'd be drawn to an article like "How to Buy CRM Software"—but to read that article, they need to give their email address. If they want the information badly enough, they'll be happy to give you their contact information.
In other words, effectively leveraged, content marketing works because it's a win-win scenario. The consumer gets the information he needs—and the business gets a qualified new lead, a lead they can nurture through the buyer's journey—a lead that will help fill your sales funnel and potentially increase sales.
THE CHALLENGE OF CREATING ENOUGH CONTENT
As effective as content marketing is, creating enough content to address the needs of multiple audience segments across multiple marketing channels over time can be challenging. In fact, it's quickly becoming a boondoggle for marketers who want to keep their content relevant, valuable and fresh.
To meet that challenge, marketers can hire more writers (either in-house or through third-party providers) to increase their content production. You can choose between freelancers or a content agency to help you out, but we recommend working with agencies. They often have additional resources that can help with content distribution, backlinking, guest posts and more.
HOW TO BUILD A CONTENT DISTRIBUTION FRAMEWORK
A "content distribution network" is another way of saying creating effective strategies to extend the reach and influence of your content. Among the best content distribution strategies are the following 4:
1. REPURPOSING CONTENT
Repurposing is essentially recycling existing content in different formats. For example, if you have a blog about marketing automation software that's heavy on metrics, you could repurpose it as an infographic, perhaps with updated statistics. Repurposing is a great way of appealing to another audience segment who prefer content in different forms (in this case, those who are visual as opposed to reading/writing learners).
Other examples of repurposing current content are:
- Converting an article into an embedded SlideShare
- Turning a blog into a podcast and sharing it on an audio content site
- Converting guides into pdfs
- Breaking longer articles into shorter, social media posts (perhaps used as teasers to send viewers to the longer article on your website)
2. ADDING OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS
According to Search Engine Land, about 63% of internet searchers sometimes click on Google Ads—which means of course that 37% never do. If you've only distributed your content through a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, improving its organic ranking will expand its audience. The same of course applies to the reverse—if you're getting good results organically, turning that content into a sponsored ad will extend its reach (and the number of leads it generates).
In the same way, you could post an article from your website on Facebook or another social media platform. Prospective customers who haven't visited your site might connect with your business there. In addition, you could include a link in that post to a customized landing page on your website, in this way increasing the lead generation heft of the content.
3. PARTNERING WITH KEY INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS
Yes, influencer marketing can apply to B2B businesses. One of the benefits of reaching out to thought leaders or other influencers in the tech sector is adding value to your content, for example when you quote them in an article or interview them in a podcast. Another is their ability to contribute their audiences to your prospective customer base if they're willing to share your content. This not only exposes content to a new audience; it also adds their considerable stamp of approval to your content, and to your business. Another helpful strategy is to co-create an article or other forms of content with them, in this way adding their name to yours in the by line.
4. GETTING YOUR EMPLOYEES AND SATISFIED CUSTOMERS INVOLVED IN CONTENT CREATION
Employees and current customers are among the most underutilized resources for adding to your content library and to share current content. Satisfied customers of your tech business can write about their positive experiences with your business, creating what is basically extended testimonials endorsing your company. Similarly, employees can talk about the life of your business, adding an emotional connection that will resonate with customers. Whether leveraging employee or user-generated content, it's important to carefully manage the creation and distribution processes, perhaps by suggesting topics that fill gaps in your library.
The competition for new customers in the tech industry can be challenging, but you can increase your odds of success if you create smart lead generation strategies to fill the top of your sales funnel and, of course, implement similarly effective strategies to nurture those leads with valuable content through the entire buyer's journey. In addition, it’s critical that you attribute results from your content marketing accurately, which will allow you to show ROI and earn more buy-in from your team. Among those effective strategies is providing the right audience the right content at precisely the right time.
Doing so requires a comprehensive library of content you can access to reinforce your marketing campaigns. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to do that is by increasing the reach and influence of your content through repurposing, expanding marketing channels, working with industry influencers and thought leaders and leveraging the unique experiences and viewpoints of your employees and current customers.
If you need help with creating a B2B content distribution strategy, contact us by clicking the button below for a free consultation to learn how OpGen Media helps B2B businesses write and promote their content.