As a B2B marketer, one of the essential objectives for your specialization is to run lead age drives to fill your pipeline with income driving open doors. Most promoting efforts offer the capacity to target explicit personas via search conduct, geographic district, proficient traits, for example, work level, and so on… From that point, your association’s CRM is typically worked around MLA and SLA necessities that recognize what rules a possibility should meet to be acknowledged as a serviceable lead, yes? In any event, that is the way we work over in the NetLine Promoting Office and that is precisely where advertisers are running into inconvenience.
Lead Generation Targeting
Whether the mandate came from your CMO or President, my speculation is that you like most B2B advertisers mean to arrive at senior administration and C-suite at top associations. They’re the crème de la crème! These experts are probably going to convert into prompt income for your organization and you really want more possibilities very much like them. Isn’t that so? I can see you are focusing on necessities now, ‘I will just acknowledge Supervisor level experts or more.’
Unfortunately, that is not unfamiliar to most advertisers. Truth be told, 53% of advertisers that ran content partnership lead age crusades with NetLine in the year did precisely that. However, what you have neglected to acknowledge is that the most dynamic section of experts consuming long-structure business content is outside those boundaries, precisely 30%. Have you at any point dissected the pool of non-senior level possibilities who finished up a structure to download your substance? I know the response, those individuals are essential as a decent as dead to you. The trash in; trash out. In any case, perhaps, quite possibly, you ought to consider that these possibility apparitions are a greater amount of the giving kind.
Research the Marketplace
Let me explain. Marketers are producing an exorbitant amount of content, with plans to do even more this year. But it seems that many may be operating blindly without an understanding of the personas consuming content—who’s engaged, who’s not. To better understand the marketplace of content consumption and first answer the question ‘who is downloading all this marketing content?’ NetLine conducted a research study. The research examined more than 8 million leads generated by content downloads to extract insights on who the active audience is, where they work, etc….NetLine found that the most active job-level segments are mid-level professionals, including Individual Contributors, Senior Employees, Consultants, and Contractors.
The highest volume of content consumption was reported by Individual Contributors, who produced 20% of total activity. This is an increase of 26% over the prior 12 months. In a comparison of Individual Contributor and Senior Employee activity over senior-level activity, senior-level professionals consumed 35% less content. Additionally, professionals outside the traditional organizational structure, such as Consultants, reported the highest growth. Consultants downloaded 49% more content over the prior 12 months. This is likely an effect of more organizations utilizing Consultants to help grow their business.
Next, the research included a deep dive look into the targeting parameters utilized by hundreds of lead generation campaigns (marketers) run by the world’s largest organizations to startups to better understand the ‘in-demand audience.’ Not only is it valuable to know what the active audience looks like, but it is also super important to understand your competition. How many other marketers are ‘bidding’ on the same audience you are? The idea of bidding is a common thought process when it comes to paid advertising campaigns, but in a sense, it’s just as relevant in content syndication lead generation. However, the most interesting stat we found in this analysis was that while the majority of marketers are seeking the same senior-level professionals; the majority of marketers are ignoring a significant percentage of the available audience. When you add up the numbers, here is the glaring conclusion:
53% of campaigns excluded 30% of the active audience, due to job level filters excluding Individual Contributors, Senior Employees, and Consultants.
That’s a huge miss don’t you think? The most active segment of professionals reading long-form business content is mid-level professionals. These professionals are being ignored by more than half of marketers’ lead-generation campaigns over the past year.
Attack the Influencers
With the majority of marketers neglecting mid-level professionals (Individual Contributors, Senior Employees, and Consultants) it had me thinking, why? These professionals are actually major influencers within an organization. This is a glaring opportunity most marketers have not considered because they have blindly focused their lead generation initiatives on the big C-level fish. Do not continue to make this mistake. Senior-level professionals will remain an important target for lead generation campaigns; however, marketers must realize they do not drive the same level of content consumption activity nor do they make their purchasing decisions in silos.
Pivot focus to the influencers, the diverse profile of professionals within the buying committee, including Managers, Senior Employees, and Individual Contributors—as well as Contractors and Consultants. Build deeper influence within the organization by expanding your target range outside senior leadership and target the professionals that advise them. Deeper influence within the organization will directly build greater credibility, an often underestimated attribute associate to the vendor selection process.
Here’s an advanced targeting tip: when it comes to content syndication lead generation, pivot the target persona for each of your content assets within an initiative to specifically reach professionals known to be aligned with in-market and intent-driven positions. Doing so will allow marketers to translate anonymous personas into further down-the-funnel prospects. If this isn’t easily supported, that means that your content lacks the specificity to attract more niche personas. Think about repositioning your existing asset(s) to speak to these unique audiences in a voice/tone that they will recognize.
Make the Change
The overall demand for long-form business content is increasing, by +36% in the past year. Additionally, 51% of professionals requested more than one piece of content and 20% requested more than five. Marketers need to answer the demand while understanding the realities of the marketplace. I hope you will consider my perspective and more importantly the real data-based research study, 2017 State of Content Consumption and Demand Report for B2B Marketers, with an analysis of real behaviors you need to be aware of.
NetLine’s CEO, Robert Alvin shared his perspective on the research in this post, Optimizing Your Demand Generation Strategy with New Content Research, covering the research from all angles: content, targeting, and lead nurture. I encourage you to check it out. In a prior Marketing Insider Group post, I shared new insight into the Content Consumption Gap with the world. If you have never stopped to think about the complexities of lead follow-up on long-form content, read this article: B2B Marketers: Wrong Way to Make the Right Impression on Your Prospects.
In summary, our research—of real behavior—shows that mid-level professionals are highly engaged with long-form content. B2B marketers have the potential to reach a greater volume of quality professionals that can be highly influential in the future decision-making process. This is a massive lead generation opportunity and one where you can beat your competition (clearly!) Pivot your targeting strategy today.