Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Provocative Content Works Best for Acquiring Leads

Consistently acquiring enough new leads has become a major challenge for many B2B companies. Business buyers now have access to a wealth of online information, and they can easily perform research and gather information about products and services whenever they want, on their own terms. Therefore, they are less likely to respond to lead generation campaigns.

It's now clear that compelling marketing content is essential for successful B2B lead acquisition. Offering access to a content resource (a white paper, an e-book, etc.) is quickly becoming the go-to tactic for lead acquisition. So, what kind of content is most effective for acquiring new leads?

Content performs three basic functions in B2B marketing.
  • It educates potential buyers about the problems and issues they're facing and about how those problems and issues can be addressed.
  • It explains how your solution works and describes the benefits your solution provides.
  • It reassures potential buyers by alleviating the fears that always surround major purchase decisions.
The diagram below (based on the six B2B buying stages developed by SiriusDecisions) illustrates that the primary function of content depends on where a potential buyer is in the buying process.
  • Educational content is most relevant for prospects who are in the early stages of the process.
  • Content that explains your product or service becomes most important for prospects in the middle stages.
  • Reassurance content takes the leading role in the later stages of the process.

Most of the potential buyers who receive lead acquisition offers are not "active" buyers, and of those that are, most will be in the early stages of the buying process. Therefore, educational content is usually the best type of content to use for lead acquisition.

But there's a catch. Not all educational content is equally effective for lead acquisition. The best kind of content for acquiring leads is content that is both educational and provocative. No, we aren't talking here about content that includes scantily-clad models or outrageous political statements. What I mean is content that provokes new thinking.

The essence of provocative content is insight that teaches prospects something new about issues that are important to the future of their business. Provocative content can provide new insight by:
  • Describing problems or issues that prospects are not aware of
  • Making the full ramifications or consequences of problems or issues visible to prospects
  • Introducing prospects to new solutions for known problems or issues
The second defining characteristic of provocative content is that is speaks in a "strong" voice. Provocative content is intended to give prospects a mental "poke in the ribs" that will capture their attention and make them think about their business in new, and not always comfortable, ways. In grammatical terms, the language of provocative content is more "imperative" than "descriptive" or "explanatory."

Successful lead acquisition comes down to making prospects curious enough to respond to your offers. Provocative content creates that necessary curiosity by presenting new and valuable insights in a powerful and unequivocal way.

1 comment:

  1. Well honestly speaking thank you so much for share awesome information..