Many B2B marketers are getting lots of “likes” and “shares” on their content, but they struggle to get leads to convert into paying customers. People genuinely appreciate their content—it’s helpful, engaging, and interesting. But while engagement is important, it’s not what B2B marketers ultimately need. 85% of B2B marketers say their top goal is lead generation, and 84% say it’s sales. B2B marketing teams are tasked with delivering quality leads that the sales department can convert to paying customers.
So why is all this content that’s delivering engagement not delivering leads or sales?
The logic of providing free, helpful content in order to generate leads and sales relies heavily on the principle of reciprocity: if I do something nice for you, you’ll be motivated (and feel obligated) to do something nice for me (like agree to a conversation with a sales rep). But according to psychologists, reciprocity has an expiration date. The more time that passes, the weaker the draw to reciprocate becomes. So when a prospect downloads your content, files it in his or her “to read” folder, then finally sits down two weeks later to read it, reciprocity really isn’t in play.
We know the problem isn’t content quality or a poor promotion strategy, because many marketers are seeing excellent engagement metrics. The problem is that the content doesn’t motivate prospects to take action on the next step in the funnel.
To move prospects to action, your content needs these three elements:
- Connection to a personal pain or gain
- A reason to act now
- A clear call-to-action that guides prospects to the next stage of the funnel
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