This is how content marketing generates leads

If you’re pitching content marketing to your boss, then this is how you convince them!

In recent years, content marketing has soared in popularity across industries. 88% of B2B businesses now use content marketing as part of their strategy, while 76% of B2C marketers say the same.

Still, it’s tempting to be skeptical. Does simply publishing high-quality content on your website and throughout your digital channels really improve your marketing efforts and grow your business? The statistics say yes, but how?

The key is in understanding the philosophy’s role in lead generation. If you know how content marketing can generate leads, you gain a better understanding of its potential to set up your business for long-term success.

The Basics: Gated Content

The most obvious lead-generating benefit of the concept comes in the form of gated content. If you can create content that is interesting enough for your audience to give up their contact information, you have found the key to reliable lead generation. The reciprocity principle, our innate need to return favors in kind, prompts your audience’s willingness to give you their personal information if they feel they get equal value in return.

Gated content, of course, can come in many forms. Ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars are all popular mechanisms to get your audience interested in what you have to say. Make sure that the information you distribute is both unique and expansive enough to pique your audience’s interest.

Promoting your gated content, of course, is crucial for your lead generating efforts. That starts with a landing page, which highlights the benefits your visitors will get from signing up. Once created, you can link to that landing page in all of your digital marketing efforts (from social media to SEO-focused blogging) to maximize its exposure.

Long-Term Success Through Thought Leadership

Success content marketing, of course, doesn’t just come through gated content. If you can build up a content library compelling enough for your audience to want updated each time you add a new piece to it, lead generation can be a sustainable endeavor independent of new, major pieces.

For example, you can start a blog that publishes highly relevant content in your industry on a regular basis without a gate. If you offer your audience the ability to subscribe for new updates each time you post a new blog, your lead generation will increase over time. The larger your blog audience grows, the more your subscribers will grow along with it.

The same principle applies for email newsletters, which continue to enjoy success across industries. No less than 83% of B2B marketers use email newsletters for that exact reason, and 76% of respondents to a survey found active growth in their subscriber lists thanks to regular newsletters.

Websites like Marketing Land, for example, offer daily newsletters to summarize the industry’s happenings for marketers everywhere. The result, in addition to broadcasting their thought leadership on the subject, is a growing list of leads to whom they can then promote events such as their annual conference.

The Importance of Quality Content

Here’s the simple truth of content marketing: simply publishing a flood of gated or ungated content will not reliably lead to lead generation success and business growth. Only 42% of content marketers consider themselves effective in reaching their marketing goals. If you focus on quality and your efforts fail, don’t blame the concept. Instead, focus on the quality of your published content.

Content marketing, ultimately, lives and dies by its quality. You can only generate leads if your audience actually wants to read what you have to say. Anything else, like promoting the content or maximizing its SEO, is secondary. Know the type of content your audience actually wants to read, and then spend your resources creating original content that they’ll be glad to exchange their contact information for.

That simple truth is exactly why improving and maintaining quality is consistently among the biggest challenges content marketers face. But if you overcome it, your efforts will result in the same type of success that so many of your competitors enjoy.

Going Beyond the Lead

Finally, don’t limit yourself to thinking of content marketing as only beneficial in helping you generate leads. While that’s undoubtedly a large part of the philosophy, it can also help you nurture the same leads and even improve your customer retention as a result.

When you draw in your audience with relevant content, you set their expectations. Don’t disappoint them by focusing your information elsewhere as soon as they enter your database. Instead, continue to publish relevant content that can help them nudge closer to becoming a customer.

And even once they have taken that steps, your content marketing efforts should not be complete. The conversion experts atUnbounce have pinpointed 5 ways in which the concept can improve your retention efforts, helping you maximize your customers’ lifetime value to your company. From onboarding to repeat purchases, quality content can help create a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with each of your customers.

Setting Up Your Content Marketing Strategy For Success

In short, the plethora of studies on the subject don’t lie: content marketing can play a significant part in helping your brand both grow audience awareness and increase its customer base online. A consistent and well-planned content marketing strategy will lead to reliable lead generation, which in turn can help your business succeed.

That last sentence, of course, is key: if you don’t have a strategy set up, your efforts will be much less likely to succeed. For help in both planning your efforts and developing high-quality content that your audience actually wants to read, contact us.

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