Creating great content is top of mind for an increasing number of companies looking to expand market share, and with that new content marketing plans are popping up like wildfire. It’s one thing to take great content, design a strategy and build an editorial calendar with countless activities – but quite another to position content that directly influences, and may even guarantee, a conversion. Because lead generation is a critical activity for all businesses (in fact, their livelihood), and many recent resources have been allocated to content strategy, businesses are putting all their lead-gen eggs in the content marketing basket.

There are countless platforms to reach customers, however, the question arises – what works best to reach (and resonate with) business generating leads?

White Papers/Thought Leadership

White papers positioned as premium content often succeeds in generating some of the most conversion prone  leads. While it is free, companies that do well with white papers usually sell prospects on the contents of it as if it was a valuable product the prospect would normally pay for. These reports also tend to be highly shareable if they contain valuable, useful or groundbreaking content. The white paper in of itself is not a tool designed to sell prospects but rather inform. The reader should ideally walk away thinking that they’ve learned something valuable and they can use the white paper to make a purchase decision. The key to accomplishing this is the content combined with strong and clear communication.

Personalization

The ideal personalization strategy approach to content can bring many benefits to both the user and brand it is supporting. Driving higher conversion, the content provided to the user is highly useful and aids in saving the user time in searching for products or information they need. Apps, interactive interfaces, community building and surveys can be built and delivered to users to better understand their tailored likes, needs and preferences.

Webinars

With a true value added cache and monetization opportunities, webinars can prove to be an ideal lead-gen platform to position a brand as a leader in the market. Webinars have gained great traction across multiple industries with professionals seeking to enrich and inform themselves on a wide range of topics. Bringing a more personal face to the content is an amazing tool for marketers. Focusing on a specific topic relative to the target audience is a powerful segmentation tool. If orchestrated well with the right mix of content and presenter, webinars bring an already engaged audience closer to conversion.

It’s important to note that these activities should all be supported by secondary platforms to drive their importance – such as email marketing, social media, sales follow up and customer testimonials/case studies. What will work for one company and target market may not work for another, so taking a trial-and-error approach to these relatively low cost lead generation implementations is recommended. If not already in place, work with a creative content team to develop a rock solid content strategy and marketing approach to leverage the brands vision and turn content into dollars.