The Power of Playing the Long Game: Content x Demand Gen

Is it just us, or does lead gen not seem to flow the way it used to? Sales cycles are getting longer, and there’s nothing more disheartening than being ghosted or having big decisions sit with the higher-ups.

If this sounds painfully familiar, you’re not alone; studies show this struggle is widespread across B2B. According to the Content Marketing Institute, a whopping 85% of B2B businesses see lead generation as their top marketing priority. And a separate survey by APSIS found that 68% of all businesses report struggling with lead gen. Yep, the pressure is definitely on.

But here’s the thing – while we can’t directly control the market conditions, we can absolutely influence how many businesses know, like, and trust us. And those are the people who’ll come knocking when they have a budget in hand and a deadline looming. Those sales cycles tend to be much shorter, because the need is already identified and the contract is ready to be signed.

So how do we cultivate those ready-made customers?

The short answer? Raise awareness, build trust, and make your brand’s value proposition crystal clear. There’s no room for ambiguous messaging here friends.

Now, the easiest trap to fall into is letting content programs fizzle out or relegating SEO to the back burner. Maybe it’s a lack of time, budget, or internal resources – or, let’s be real, probably a combination of all three. But a stop-start approach to content and SEO is a surefire path to disappointment and wasted spend. Too many businesses lose faith and end up chasing those quick wins, neglecting the very foundations that could carry them through tough times.

"Over half of B2B businesses said SEO had the biggest impact on their lead gen efforts."

Invest in your future success

But consider this – Marketing Charts found that over half of B2B businesses said SEO had the biggest impact on their lead gen efforts. So why are so many still overlooking it? Probably because the long game isn’t always the most comfortable.

Demand gen is a long game, but it keeps those inquiries flowing even in challenging times. After all, clients will come to you when they have a genuine need for your products or services. And generating a healthy pipeline of leads is crucial if you don’t want to be living hand-to-mouth or staring down an empty sales funnel.

Become the brand your future customers want/need/can’t wait to work with

Research from Google suggests that a buyer needs around 7 hours of interaction, across 11 touch points, in 4 separate locations before they make a purchase. In other words, you need to make yourself bingeable.

And according to Marketo, companies that run their own blog generate 67% more leads than those without. So if you don’t have one set up yet, that’s a great place to start – check out our blog on the importance of blogging if you need some more encouragement!

From there, take a close look at your existing content and see what you can repurpose or re-optimise. We’ve got a handy blog and webinar that walks through that content clear-down process to help you out.

And of course, put together a documented content strategy with a realistic, consistent execution plan. Track your metrics to gauge effectiveness, and most importantly – keep going! The consistency is key.

Stop-start commitment just doesn't work

Ultimately, it all comes down to getting a solid content program off the ground. Because that need for instant gratification is decimating content and SEO efforts left and right. Stop-start commitment just doesn’t work – it wastes budget and reinforces the idea that “content doesn’t work,” which only further strangles your lead flow.

In our experience, a baseline content strategy for a B2B business should include (at minimum) every month:

Want to get started?

A well thought out content strategy may not deliver those instant results you crave, but trust us – your future self will thank you for laying that foundation.
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