Ready to ramp up your lead generation efforts? As more of your marketing strategy moves online, it’s more important than ever to create downloadable, education-oriented content that can deliver more early funnel leads into your pipeline.
How and When to Gate Your Content
One of the questions we hear frequently is when should content be gated, and when should it be freely accessed? Creating long-form content, like whitepapers, user guides, and informational pieces, can help you establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Since these pieces often contain lots of information and are pretty time consuming to create, it’s fair for you to ask your target audience to “pay” for this content by providing their email address and contact information. Blog posts, on the other hand, are typically shorter and more informal by nature. They are great for SEO goals and for providing high-level content, and thus aren’t quite worth the value of requiring contact information in exchange for access.
We recommend a successful content strategy that incorporates both blog posts—for early interest and for SEO—and content downloads designed to drive more leads into your nurture funnel.
Converting Downloaders into Leads
As you make a plan for content downloads, the first—and most important—question you’ll want to address is where will these downloaders live? This conversation is best captured by discussing how your sales and marketing departments want to track Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) versus Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). MQLs are often early funnel leads who are in a nurture state—you have their contact information and they have demonstrated some level of interest (e.g., by downloading a whitepaper), but they aren’t quite ready to have a conversation with a member of your sales team. SQLs, on the other hand, are sales-ready leads. They have filled out a “contact us” form or reached out directly to say that they would like to have a conversation about what you sell.
In some organizations, the sales and marketing departments may choose to integrate everyone, including MQLs, into Microsoft Dynamics. Other organizations prefer to keep MQLs in their marketing automation platform until the MQL either reaches a predefined contact score or demonstrates intent. How you choose to track this is important—if you don’t have this conversation ahead of time, you could wind up with MQLs getting contacted by a member of the sales team well before they’re ready to talk.
Setting Up Your Campaigns with Marketing Automation
Building the content and the landing page to gate it is just the beginning! Don’t forget to set up an automated email and a nurture campaign to work that downloader into a sales-ready state. On the Microsoft Dynamics side, use your integration to your marketing automation platform to create a notification to members of your sales team in the event that a Lead or Contact they own downloads your content. Also, be sure to create a Campaign to help you track the overall success and budget of your downloadable campaigns.
Watch How We Build a Nurture Campaign
Want to see what we recommend for whitepaper download campaigns and nurture strategies? Watch our three-minute video here: