Top 5 Formats for the Top of the B2B Content Marketing Funnel
Content marketing is definitely on the radar for inbound marketing strategies. This is because it generates thrice the leads as outbound marketing strategies at about one-third the cost.
Of course, content marketing is not just about lead generation. One survey shows that 82 percent of marketers use it to create brand awareness. However, brand awareness is not as important for B2B marketers as lead generation. In fact, eighty-five percent of B2B marketers use content marketing primarily to generate leads.
Well-informed people make up the B2B market and they will not be interested in fluff content created in the name of SEO. You have to give them substantial content such as industry updates, insightful articles, practical solutions for specific pain points, and of course plausible reasons for them to reach out to you about your products and services.
Most lead generation starts at the top of the B2B content marketing funnel, or ToFu, also known as the, “Awareness Stage.” You have to capture the attention of your target audience at this early stage if you want to draw them in, and you have to put your efforts into the right formats.
Here are the top five formats for the top of the B2B content marketing funnel:
1. Blog Posts
There are more than 500 million blogs on the internet, and some reports put it closer to 600 million, but no one really has the exact number. With so many sites clamoring for attention, you might think that taking the time to promote your own B2B blog online would be a waste of time.
2. Guest Posts
You cannot rely on just your own blog, however. ToFu is the toughest nut to crack in the funnel, so you need to spread your wings. Guest posts on high authority sites are the best way to do this.
They build credibility and trust among readers, and motivate them to find out more about you and your company. Getting backlinks from these sites is just a bonus. What you really want are leads.
People are visual creatures. They process visual content 60,000 times faster than text, so if you want to catch their attention, you have to invest in visuals.
Infographics are one form of visual content that combines images with information in an easily digestible format. Good quality infographics take time to make, but they can help you direct more ToFu leads.
4. Social Media Posts
Marketers love social media because there are millions of active users. You can promote your content on social media by sharing it on multiple channels, and you will not even have to create new content for each one.
You might want to focus more on Facebook and LinkedIn, as these are the two top platforms for B2B companies and professionals.
Videos combine both visual and auditory content, and can have a big impact on engaging an audience if you do it right. The top distribution channels for videos are YouTube and Facebook. Videos are most effective at the ToFu stage, creating 54 percent of the demand for a certain product or service.
The B2B content marketing funnel is a long process, but it begins with making people aware of your company. The top of the funnel, or Awareness Stage, is where you need to concentrate your resources, and create content in these top five formats to generate leads.
Get more information on how to create and optimize a B2B content marketing funnels from this infographic created by UTM.io.