Congratulations, you are a B2B content marketer.
You have created a great industry blog and library of premium content. You promote your content through search, social, emails, newsletters, even banners.
You are seeing strong traffic, engagement with your blog content and a steady increase in registrations for your premium content.
There’s just one little problem: the leads are crap.
Ok, there are a few good opportunities mixed in, but most are not the decision makers you need to reach or they are from businesses that are too small. Others simply aren’t interested.
Education Is About Aspiration
Your content doesn’t tell people how to buy from you or why they should buy from you. It educates and informs. It focuses on their pains, priorities and opportunities, not yours. As it should.
Somewhere along the line, marketers forgot that people get an education because of who they want to become, not who they are today.
So why do you expect the people who register for your educational content will be appropriate prospects today?
Embrace the Bad Leads
No, of course you don’t want to focus on just getting more leads that aren’t in your market. But embrace the fact your content draws an audience looking for the information you are offering!
- Take a long term view. If you are just looking at the immediate results from your program, you are overlooking much of the value your content marketing program is creating.
- Segment and nurture responders. Some contacts will be appropriate for immediate followup or a nurture program built around an active buyers journey. Others should be added to a slow drip that continues to educate and provide additional stage zero content.
An all too common mistake is to focus on content that is only useful to immediate prospects. Unfortunately, this approach generally drops your content into the tactical weeds. Here are two (barely) fictitious examples: How SolutionX Integrates With Oracle or Migrating Your Email Program to ProviderY.
When someone is interested in this content, they are already seriously investigating a change and perspectives from your competitors, not you, have shaped their view of that change.
For mid-market and large companies looking to be leaders in their market, you cannot afford to leave that educational and stage zero content to your competitors.
So embrace the aspirations of the people drawn to your content and the opportunity you have to continue educating them.
Have you embraced educating your marketplace with your content, including those that aspire to be in your market one day? If not, why not? I’d love to hear your view in the comments below, on Twitter (@wittlake) or on Google+.