Using thought leadership to reduce cost per lead

When promoting high value offers, quality trumps mass appeal

Published on 30th September, 2020

We often assume the bigger the audience, the better: maximise clicks to maximise leads.

Is this always true? Broad brand awareness certainly does no harm. But for companies with high value offers, the most important interactions are with the small group of people with buying power. Anyone else is not that much use.

Approaches which target genuine potential buyers, rather than the entire world, ensure better leads. Thought leadership can help.

Quality content – fewer clicks, better leads, more sales 

If your gated lead gen content is high quality thought leadership, that has important benefits down the line.

Firstly, if content is well targeted at a specific issue, it will just be downloaded by people to whom your offer is relevant. But if it’s broad and provocative it will just attract lots of vaguely interested parties, eating into your ad spend and increasing the time your marketing department spends sifting through irrelevant leads.

Secondly, if the content theme has accurately identified a truly strategic issue, and promises valuable insights, it will be downloaded by more senior people. That means more senior leads, so salespeople can go straight to the right person.

Thirdly, if the content is genuinely valuable to the person who downloaded it, they will be more receptive to a follow up call, making the conversion process easier. And those not ready to buy yet will remember you as a brand that offered quality insight, not one that tricked them into downloading a disappointing whitepaper.

Investing in quality content pays off in the long run

All three benefits can be delivered by improving quality and relevance of thought leadership content.

Creating quality content takes work upfront. Senior decision makers want evidence and actionable insights to navigate business and technology challenges. Before you decide on the content theme, you need to know these issues well enough to distinguish real strategic challenges from generalist clickbait on well worn topics.

Then you need to work to ensure the content has real value, by asking informed questions of real experts in the company – and outside of it - or scoping out research which asks the questions no one has asked before.

I recently came across a description of thought leadership as taking ‘a new provocative point of view’! When was the last time you warmed to someone because their opinion provoked you? And strategic decision makers are only interested in ‘points of view’ from experts - you shouldn't just take one on a whim. Real thought leadership is well researched and offers genuine strategic value.

Measuring clicks will lead you to think hype and provocation is effective. But if you start judging success on outcomes, it quickly becomes clear that quality content, which attracts and retains the interest of quality leads, is more cost-effective in the long run.

We are not just speculating. Read out case studies for Tessella and Connected Kerb to see how quality content helped them generate high quality leads. 

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