Monday, March 19, 2007

Optimizing B2B Leads: High Points, and a Deep Dive

Here's an article from Bryan Eisenberg, the Persuasion Marketing guru, covering the high points of generating business-to-business (B2B) leads on the web:

Optimizing B2B-Demand Generation
http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3625240

From these high points, we at The Content Factor can dive deeper into ways you can optimize your content to make lead generation work--and why the content part of the process is so important.

High Point: Know your audience.

Create personas--not just high-level demographics, but go in depth to "understand their personal and business motivations," as Eisenberg says.

Deep Dive: Discover the messages they will respond to.

For business audiences especially, it's helpful to know what keeps them awake at night, or what part of their jobs are they most worried about. What is the CEO going to pop-quiz them about during a staff meeting? If your business can solve this kind of pain, there's the key to some excellent content that you can deliver to either begin or enhance a sales cycle.

Talking to existing customers, and even looking at competitors' web sites and white papers, are great ways to discover these pain points. When reviewing competitors' materials, remember that if it is boring to you, it is probably even more boring to the intended audience--don't repeat your competitors' mistakes. Instead, look and listen for the most profound pain that you can solve--or ways that your competitors are trying to solve it that you can improve upon.

Your company's differentiators can also be great subjects for content, as long as they are framed to benefit the audience. "We are the premier provider of XYZ software" is a snoozer, but "No other solution is as scalable as ours, and here's why" will turn heads. Make any claims you can make that speak directly to solving pain.

I'll take some more "deep dives" from Eisenberg's article in my next two posts. (Here's #2 about driving traffic to your site.)

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