When working with clients on what their goals and objectives are for a content program, there are three key buzz terms that typically come up: Lead Generation, Thought Leadership, and Brand Awareness. While some people tend to laugh at buzz terms, they are in fact gold in B2B content marketing when listening to a client’s wants and needs.
Most media companies understand that webinars can be a great lead generator for a client — the Content Marketing Institute ranks webinars as the second most-effective content marketing tactic for B2B marketers, trailing only live events. But when promoting webinars, the importance of thought leadership and branding is typically overlooked.
Lead GenerationLead generation describes the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline. (Marketo)
The concept of lead generation is easy. The webinar is gated with a registration form and thus will generate leads for a client, with great content of course. The sweetest part about webinar leads over another solution is that a good amount of them will attend the webinar live, which makes these premium/sales-ready leads. Why? Because if someone is signing up for a webinar in advance, for free, and then attending live, they are clearly engaged and looking for a solution to whatever problem they have. They are taking valuable time out of their day to listen to a webinar on a topic of their choosing. They could be doing a thousand other things, but they chose to attend this webinar. Do not underestimate the value of a live attendee of a webinar.
Thought LeadershipA type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic. (Marketing Insider Group)
Content is king. Let me repeat myself: content is king! It doesn’t matter how many promotions or paid promotions you do, it is all about content and proving that the information you’re providing is relevant to the audience. Users are smart, they know when they are being spoon fed a product pitch vs. high quality content that is relevant, engaging, and intriguing to their business and industry.
The most successful webinars for a client are ones that are co-created with the editorial team from the media company and/or ones that bring in an industry expert on the topic. Leading off with thoughtful and engaging content to help solve some kind of problem or education on a new trend helps position a client/sponsor as thinking ahead, or, dare I say, the thought leader in this industry for being proactive with a problem and how to solve it.
Brand AwarenessBrand awareness is the level of consumer consciousness a company possesses. It measures a potential customer’s ability to not only recognize a brand image, but to also associate it with a certain company’s product or service. (TrackMaven)
Brand awareness almost goes hand-in-hand with thought leadership. The higher quality the content, the more positive thoughts in the customer’s head of the logo that brought them such a great webinar and information. It is also important to co-brand the webinar to show collaboration between the media company and the sponsor. This helps build credibility for the sponsor, because readers trust the media brand, which in turn means they will begin to trust the sponsor since the media brand is co-presenting with them. There is a lot of power in co-branding content, and underestimating it would be a grave mistake.
Webinars can be the trifecta of content marketing — if done right. There is no doubt there have been product pitches which have caused a webinar or any other type of content solution to bomb out. Always make sure to provide quality thought leadership and that will help take care of bringing credibility to the branding of the solution and deliver high quality leads for clients. Trifecta!
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou