As potential customers increasingly rely on online research to substantiate purchasing decisions, your content is becoming more crucial to sales growth than ever before—which is why you must efficiently create a high volume of high-quality B2B marketing content to reach your future buyers.
Content Types: Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen
First, let’s establish the types of content you need to fuel your marketing efforts.
Demand Gen Content
Demand generation (demand gen) content is the kind of digital marketing that increases overall brand awareness. This type of content should drive traffic to websites where prospects can learn more about a given brand. With this in mind, demand gen content should be easily accessible and shareable, which means it should not be gated. Your goal is to distribute your content as widely as possible to get more people interested in your brand.
The following are the content types necessary to drive successful demand gen campaigns:
All of these types of content offer relevant information in an engaging and accessible way. They should be entertaining and enlightening at the same time, which requires in-depth research presented with a conversational tone. The most effective demand gen content strikes a careful balance—it is packed with information while still being entertaining to read.
Additionally, content like blogs, infographics, and videos should be shareable, often linking to other content on your website to keep viewers engaged. Remember, the goal at this stage of the process is to generate interest by demonstrating your value to potential customers. Your demand gen content must spark and maintain the viewer’s interest.
Lead Gen Content
After generating interest with your demand gen content, it’s time to turn that interest into action. This is where your lead gen content comes into play. This type of content is used to capture contact information for outbound nurturing, which means it is typically gated. This means that viewers must see the content as valuable enough that they are willing to share their contact information to access it.
However, many potential customers are protective of their personal information. They must be convinced that this piece of content will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of a valuable topic.
Below, we have provided a list of the most important types of lead gen content that you must continually generate to be considered on the shortlist of your potential buyers:
- White papers
- Maturity models
- Solution guides
Generally, these types of content are longer and more detailed than demand gen content, requiring more in-depth research than their attention-grabbing counterparts. At the same time, these articles must be engaging and interesting to read. Additionally, remember that these types of content should be informative—and not just a product pitch.
To summarize, demand gen content is designed to provide small chunks of teaser information in an easily digestible format to catch users’ attention. On the other hand, lead gen content builds on that positioning to bring your product closer to the front of mind—as something to really consider in the short term.
Together, both content types should position your company as a thought leader in your entire ecosystem. This process lays the groundwork for sales growth through your content.
Sales Growth Through Marketing Content
Content is a Product
Now that we’ve established the main types of content fueling your B2B marketing campaign, how can we streamline the content creation process to increase sales growth?
The key is to consistently create fresh content that sparks and maintains potential buyers’ interest. However, maintaining a content cadence that keeps up with the demand of your customers and facilitates sales growth can be both challenging and expensive.
Thankfully, by reframing your perspective on content production, you can increase the speed with which you create and publish content—effectively increasing sales growth in the long run.
Think of it this way: content is essentially a product. Here’s why:
- It can be designed, made, and distributed for mass consumption.
- When completed, it has a significantly greater value than the sum of its parts.
- Although it has a limited shelf-life, it can be stored and distributed on-demand.
- It has a learning curve—those who do it more will learn how to produce it at a lower cost.
- It has an economy of scale—the more you make of it, the less the unit cost.
Knowing this, you can start streamlining content production in the same way that products are manufactured in a factory.
Factories excel at making large quantities of a product at a high level of speed, accuracy, and quality at the lowest price possible. At the same time, factories can make many different products to order using strategies that allow them to make many things out of a small set of fundamental units that can be recombined to make many “products.”
By applying this framework to content production, you can accelerate your demand and lead gen content cadence, drawing in more potential customers in the process.
The Creative Content River
As an example of this idea in action, consider SOMAmetrics’ Creative Content River. The Creative Content River leverages modern manufacturing principles to produce high-quality content at a higher speed and lower cost that is difficult or impossible to match using internal content creation teams.
Through three key phases—designing, making, and delivering—the Creative Content River maximizes content output in a cost-effective fashion, which increases sales growth from marketing in the long term.
Download this white paper for more information about the Creative Content River and how you can drive sales growth through your content.