The Education Paradox
It may seem like a strange paradox. Your business has spent several years building valuable and presumably expensive expertise in your chosen field - and the best way to generate leads is to give the information away. Remember, you’re not giving away everything you know, the tricks of the trade, or highly valuable knowledge. You’re providing insights but you’re not telling your customers ‘the how’ of what you do. Achieving the delicate balance of providing useful information but not making your company obsolete is the content marketing ‘sweet spot.’
Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia demonstrates this in his book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook’ saying:
“….my entire business philosophy pretty much revolves around the jab jab jab right hook method. Jabs are the value you provide your customers with: the content you put out, the good things you do to convey your appreciation. And the right hook is the ask: it’s when you go in for the sale, ask for a subscription, ask for a donation.”
In essence, giving before you receive is often a very successful lead generation strategy. By offering in-depth information to your clients and potential clients, your company will play the role of an expert in the field, immediately gaining trust and respect. Additionally, by delivering this knowledge through various channels, it is more likely for users to notice your name or brand - and associate it with what they have learned, leading to enquiries and sales down the line.
There are also SEO benefits to creating content or digital assets designed to educate your target audience on your website. Doing so will boost the topical authority of your site and in turn, increase rankings for your core search terms resulting in lead generation.
When it comes down to showing your expertise, educating your audience, and continuing to generate leads, there are many strategies you can put in place including the following:
Informative and Useful Blog Posts
If you are a B2B company, you have a website. And, if you have a website, you can have a blog. Showing your expertise and delivering knowledge through useful blog posts is often the most accessible and low-risk form of content creation. After all, all you will need to do is dedicate some of your time to put your expertise on paper!
Blog posts also offer an important side benefit that you can’t forget about. When used wisely, you can leverage SEO to rank better on search engines and improve your company’s visibility and brand awareness. Aside from smartly using keywords and creating easily readable blog posts, the fact that they are authoritative can help you gain important points when it comes down to ranking better on Google.
The style and voice of your blog posts are up to you to decide, but don’t forget to make them useful and informative. Some excellent ways to do so is to include a table of content, subheadings, how-to instructions, and practical knowledge.
Webinars and CPD (Professional Development)
As we have seen, blog posts can be useful tools. But how do you prove your expertise within audiences of people who are already experts in the field? Webinars and CPD initiatives are a great way to increase the perceived authority of your brand. Whether you are the one leading the seminars or you are partnering with an expert speaker, these initiatives can help you educate your audience and ensure that your company name is associated with a positive and educational experience.
Those who participate in the webinars - or hear of it - might not be directly receptive to your offer just yet, but they are likely to recognise your name when they need your products in the future!
Useful Social Media Posts
Social media is a low-cost, low-risk tool for any business - especially when it comes down to informing others. Depending on the unique features of your products or services (aesthetics, functionalities, goals, and audience targets), you will need to pick your social media platform wisely. In any case, don’t forget to always add references to any study that you might have quoted and cite sources and authors.
While you might be working your way towards becoming a thought leader in your field, social media users are aware of fake news and information that is often circulating on social networks. Make sure your posts don’t fall in this category.
White papers can help you associate your company name to important studies - which are likely to be looked up by your clients when looking to develop their businesses further. Whether you understand research, study, or white paper, you might have to partner with a research institute and ensure all results are published correctly. White papers and research articles might not be the most accessible or straightforward way to deliver education - but they are certainly among the most useful ones.
If you’re a b2b company looking for a content marketing strategy or simply want to learn more about becoming an authority in your chosen field, get in contact with Tiga today.