Factors to Consider when Selecting Lead Gen Campaign Content

Shalen Lowell

Senior Content Marketing Manager

high-quality contentAccording to TechTarget’s Media Consumption & Vendor Engagement Study, 92% of buyers report they are more likely to engage with a tech vendor who has helped educate them on a particular subject or technology concept. And that education relies on delivering high-quality content to your target audience. So, what constitutes high-quality content?

In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating high-quality content or selecting the right pieces for your lead gen campaigns. An effective content mix for lead gen is about appealing to a variety of buyer preferences across format, length, authorship and stage, and focusing on timely, prevalent entry points within your market to align your mix with buyers’ challenges and goals.

While we recognize this task isn’t easy, establishing a sound content marketing strategy is essential because buyers spend much of their research journey consuming content before engaging Sales. During this time, you should aim to continually engage potential prospects with content relevant to their interests in order to keep your brand and message on their minds. In other words, you need to play the long game if you want to make your prospect’s short list!

To help you get started right away and to ensure your content strategy effectively positions your brand in your respective market areas, we boiled down our years of extensive content marketing expertise into this quick-hitting, actionable checklist. We recommend you bookmark it in your browser, save it to your desktop or print it out and display at your desk as a reminder – whatever advances your content strategy conversations!

High-Quality Content Checklist

1. How much content do you need for your go-to-market strategy?

In a previous study, survey respondents reported consuming at least five pieces of content before talking to a sales rep. In a recent study we found that buyers today consume an average of at least 12 pieces of content when researching a purchase. Therefore, we recommend having 12+ pieces of content on your lead gen campaign.

2. What content types?

There is no magic bullet content type when it comes to effectively engaging buyers. The average buyer uses four or more content types (e.g., expert reviews/assessments, product spec sheets, analyst reports, white papers, webinar/virtual event, case study, blog, infographics, etc.) in their research. Strive for balance across longer, in-depth content vs. short-form content, as well as PDF or text-based content vs. streaming/video content to appeal to all buyer learning preferences.

3. How is your content balanced across stages of the buy cycle?

We generally recommend a mix across all buying stages, depending on the maturity of your market. Awareness content that digs into buyers’ pain points and market trends tends to see higher click-through rates and a greater volume of leads overall, so prioritizing this bucket is a sound strategy, but consideration- and decision-stage content still plays a key role in the buyer lifecycle (i.e., pushing audiences down the funnel to sales engagement, identifying quality leads ready to buy).

4. How much of your content is evergreen? What is getting dated?

Content that is considered “evergreen” does not make specific references to a certain year, data or deadline, and it does not heavily rely on research data or statistics. These have a longer shelf life, but your audience is more likely to be highly engaged with time-sensitive pieces if they are up to date. Balance timely pieces with evergreen ones and keep in mind that performance will likely decline for both as market trends change, so frequently audit the timeliness of your mix.

5. Are you addressing a variety of personas?

To reach as many members of the buying team as possible, your campaign and its content needs to cover different themes and entry points that appeal to a variety of personas. On average, buying teams consist of eight or more people across departments, so it’s critical to produce content that has a broad appeal across buying teams rather than focusing on just senior leadership (who tend to be more involved during later stages of the purchase process).

6. How do you gauge the resonance of a topic?

Buyers value up-to-date resources that reflect current market trends and dynamics, especially when a new change agent is introduced that impacts buying dynamics. Carefully watching how trends in your market evolve through reliable and trustworthy news sources, articles and blogs, and checking in on the messaging of your competitors’ website, is an “always on” strategy to identify what topics and content will resonate most with buyers.

The essentials spelled out

Crafting an adaptable and resilient lead generation strategy is an indispensable, yet tricky task for marketers today – the core component of which is knowing which content to select for your lead gen campaign(s). Striking a balance is essential in choosing content, so stick with a diverse mix of content types, stages and high-quality, up-to-date pieces appropriate for your audience. With these six checklist items in your back pocket, and a commitment to educating your readers on relevant, high-traction topics, you will accelerate your path to your prospects’ short list.

As a complement to our most critical content selection advice, check out our blog, How to Create Meaningful Content Every Time, for tips on how to improve your content creation process in lockstep with content selection and promotion.

content marketing, lead generation

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