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Effective Lead Generation Starts with Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

Lauren Heath
Marketing Director

Lead generation takes many shapes and forms. In the B2B world, a lead generation strategy can include a variety of channels and tactics like email marketing, paid media, webinars, content marketing, social media, and so on. The way in which lead generation is executed directly impacts revenue. 

The Goal of Lead Generation 

Regardless of marketing channel or tactic, the end goal is the same: generate leads that drive revenue.  

But how do we effectively generate leads? To answer this question, we must first understand the buyer and the journey they are on. 

A straightforward way of understanding this is through asking questions. Who is the buyer? What are they trying to solve? Where are they looking for information? And how can we help provide a beneficial solution and effective answer to their problem? 

Answering these questions through content at each stage of their journey can unlock the key to effective lead generation. 

The Buyer’s Journey 

The B2B buyer’s journey is fueled by the desire to improve the bottom line. Therefore, it is critical to have relevant and helpful content at each stage of the buyer’s journey to facilitate the next step in the buying process. To put it simply, content is the avenue toward a decision; decision is the destination.  

To help identify what content generates leads and drives purchases, we must first look at the 3 stages of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and decision. Each stage has correlating content that drives specific results. 

Stage 1: Awareness 

The first stage of the marketing funnel is awareness. At this stage, a B2B customer is conducting research and looking for answers. Content should be helpful, educational, and informative. Short-form content performs best, as this provides the audience with an appetizer of information that will lead them to their next course. The goal of awareness content is to attract and engage leads. 

Benefit: Brand recognition, attract leads, casts a wide net 

Content in this stage: Blogs, paid media, social media, news articles, explainer videos, podcasts, how-tos, press releases, SEO content, video interviews (FastChat), webinar key takeaways 

Metrics that matter: Impressions, traffic, views, comments, likes, shares, follower count, number of page views 

Stage 2: Consideration 

The second stage of the marketing funnel is consideration. During this stage, a B2B customer realizes that you offer a solution to their problem. Content should be engaging, solution-based, and focus on value propositions. Interactive content performs best, as this provides the audience with an experience that can lead to action. The goal of consideration content is to get on the prospect’s shortlist of solutions. 

Benefit: Lead generation, establishes trust, customer experience 

Content in this stage: Webinars, infographics, retargeting ads (Audience Extension), FAQs, email campaigns, newsletter, product videos, personalized videos, product guides, eBook, events, landing pages, interactive digital experiences 

Metrics that matter: Form submissions, new contacts (leads), subscribes, clicks, open rate, view-through rates, length of time on page, abandonment rate, event registration, event attendance, event survey submissions, live polling response rate, MQLs 

Stage 3: Decision 

The third stage of the marketing funnel is decision. At this stage, a B2B customer is nearing the end of their purchasing process where understanding ROI is pivotal. Content should be high-value, transactional, and competitive, providing both “sizzle” and “steak”. Data-driven content that provides proof of concept, ROI, specs, and application performs best. The goal of decision content is to provide the prospective buyer with hard facts and assurance that they are making the best decision. 

Impact: Conversion, revenue generation, competitor elimination 

Content in this stage: Case studies, demos, comparison guides, events, testimonials, specs sheets, social proofs, product videos, white papers 

Metrics that matter: Downloads, demo views, number of phone calls, number of meetings, number of RFPs, SQLs 

Effective Lead Generation & Multi-Channel Content 

Prospective customers value a consistent experience throughout their purchasing path. Therefore, it is important to consider a multi-channel content approach for finding the “sweet spot” in effective lead generation. By choosing marketing channels that help a buyer trust a brand and take an immediate action, lead generation can become more efficient and effective overall. 

Take the First Step 

Informa Engage is here to equip you and your clients with effective and measurable lead generation strategies that drive revenue. If you are looking for more ways to partner with your clients, then simply reach out. We’re here to help!