Marketing Strategy Blog

How to Build a Lead-Generating B2B Content Marketing Strategy

how to build a content marketing strategy

Publishing five or even 15 pieces of content a month may keep your website fresh, but it won’t necessarily move the needle.

Each content asset you create needs to serve a purpose. Every blog post, every ebook, and every webinar should work together to guide prospects through the buyer’s journey and nurture them toward a sale.

The most effective B2B content strategies focus on the end goal: driving high-quality leads into the pipeline and converting them into customers.

In this article, we’ll explore lead generation tactics to help you create a content plan that nurtures them at every stage of the buying process.

What is B2B Lead Generation?

B2B lead generation is the marketing process of capturing interest in your business’s products or services to develop a sales pipeline. In other words, it’s how you attract and convert strangers and prospects into leads, and then nurture them until they’re ready to buy.

B2B lead gen often involves multiple touchpoints across different channels over time. Marketing and sales teams work together to move leads through the funnel.

  • Channels for B2B lead generation include:
  • Content marketing (like blogs, ebooks, webinars)
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Events and tradeshows
  • Referral marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • The most impactful B2B lead gen strategies often use multiple channels working together.

How Does Content Marketing Fit into the Equation?

Today’s buyers do extensive research before engaging with sales. 61% of B2B buyers consume 3-7 pieces of content before ever speaking to a salesperson.

This means your content is often the first touchpoint. It needs to make a strong impression, build trust, and guide them into your lead funnel.

However, 63% of marketers say their #1 challenge is generating traffic and leads.

To succeed, marketing teams need to rethink their targeting and get creative with their content strategies.

Content marketing supports lead generation in multiple ways by:

  • Attracting inbound traffic through search-optimized blog posts, articles, and web pages
  • Capturing lead information through gated content assets like ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars
  • Nurturing leads through personalized content journeys based on their interests and behaviors
  • Providing sales teams with content assets to use in their outreach and follow-up

At each stage, content positions your business as a trusted advisor and keeps you top of mind. It bridges the gap between initial interest and sales-readiness.

In short, content marketing builds relationships.

It’s less about selling, and more about helping. Less about you, and more about them.

The best content is relevant, valuable, and aligned with each stage of your customer’s journey. Get this right, and content marketing will become a major driver of high-quality B2B leads.

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9 Content Marketing-Focused Lead Generation Strategies

Explore nine content marketing strategies designed to boost your B2B lead generation. These practical tips will help you attract and nurture leads more effectively.

1. Create Enterprise Profiles Before Creating Buyer Personas

While most B2B marketers understand the importance of buyer personas, one often overlooked aspect is qualification.

What’s the point of targeting, say, sales managers, if their company isn’t a good fit for your business?

For example, Stratabeat is a B2B content marketing agency – meaning, we focus on marketers at B2B companies, primarily in the SaaS space. It wouldn’t make sense for us to target sales managers at B2B companies that don’t partner with agencies or don’t have the budget for us.

Gartner suggests focusing on the larger picture of the enterprise. This helps you better understand whether a prospect organization is ideal, acceptable, or a poor fit as a B2B lead.

An enterprise profile also provides valuable information for building relationships and influencing decisions within the buying group.

According to Gartner, a comprehensive enterprise profile covers six key aspects:

  1. Firmographics: Basic info like location, industry, company size. Is the company in your target geography and sector?
  2. Technographics: The relevant technologies the business uses. Are they compatible with your offering?
  3. Psychographics: How the organization thinks and makes purchase decisions. Are they innovators or laggards? How large are the buying groups?
  4. Business situation: The organization’s needs, challenges and goals. Do your solutions address their pain points?
  5. Business model: How the company operates (pricing, partnerships, etc). Is there alignment with how you do business?
  6. Resources: Budget-related factors like price sensitivity. Can they afford your products/services?

By building out these enterprise-level personas, you gain a clearer picture of your ideal prospects. You can then use this intel to guide your targeting and tailor your messaging.

The result?

Higher-quality leads that are more likely to convert.

So before getting granular with individual personas, take a step back. Make sure you’re fishing in the right pond to begin with.

2. Create and Deliver Personalized Content

It’s becoming more common for buyers to self-direct their purchases and engage with sales representatives much later in the process. To stay top-of-mind and build relationships with key accounts, savvy marketers are turning to account-based marketing (ABM).

ABM enables teams to deliver targeted, personalized content at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Personalized content fosters engagement and trust from the very first touchpoint.

So how exactly are marketers creating this custom content? Let’s take a look:

five content formats by graph

But one format stands out above the rest: case studies with testimonials. The same study from Demand Gen highlights that 83% of marketers consider this the most effective type of ABM content.

And it’s not hard to see why. Case studies provide powerful social proof. They allow prospects to envision their own potential success through the lens of a relatable story.

CRM platform HubSpot’s case studies page is a prime example of personalization in action. Visitors can filter case studies by industry to find examples that match their own context.

hubspot hear more from companies CTA

For example, a healthcare company can find stories about other healthcare companies that succeeded.

This tailored approach builds credibility and trust by showing success in the prospect’s space. It helps them see your solution as a good fit.

Investing in targeted, account-specific content engages buyers on their terms. You’ll build deeper relationships and stay top-of-mind, even when sales isn’t directly involved.

3. Focus on Value Over Pitching

A cardinal sin of B2B content creation is being too salesy. In fact, 51% of B2B buyers complain the content assets they encounter are overly biased or read too much like a blatant sales pitch.

Instead, focus on delivering genuine value, not just pushing your product. That means creating content that addresses their real-world challenges, provides actionable insights, and showcases your solution in an authentic, helpful way.

Three fundamentals of doing this:

Topics catering to their specific pain points and needs

Your content should focus on the issues that keep your target buyers up at night. It should focus on their specific challenges and provide tangible solutions.

Semrush, for example, does this well with its content hubs tailored to specific marketing roles and goals.

semrush keyword optimization

Its SEO content hub covers topics like link building, technical SEO, and keyword research—all key pain points for search marketers.

For Semrush’s target audience, these niche topics provide immense value.

Thought leadership presented by experts and their peers

B2B buyers want to learn from recognized experts and leaders in their field. They want to know what’s worked for other companies like theirs and hear insights from people they trust.

Semrush uses this in their webinars and interviews with well-known industry figures.

list of semrush webinars library

Hearing from respected peers lends credibility and weight to the insights being shared. It taps into the power of social proof and positions Semrush as a trusted connector in the space.

Product-led content that actually showcases the product in action

While you don’t want content to be a thinly-veiled sales pitch, you also can’t shy away from featuring your product altogether. The key is to do so in a way that’s useful and applicable.

Semrush strikes this balance with content like detailed guides on how to use their tools to solve specific marketing challenges.

semrush blog understand your audience

Using real use cases, they demonstrate the product’s value without sounding salesy. The content leads with the problem being solved, not the product itself.

It’s about being genuinely helpful first and foremost. Lead with the customer’s needs, not your sales targets.

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4. Make Content Easy to Consume

B2B buyers are increasingly selective about the content they choose to engage with. With so much noise competing for their attention, marketing teams need to adapt their content strategies to make every asset as accessible and valuable as possible.

One key consideration is whether to gate content behind a form. While gating captures leads, it also creates friction. Unless an asset offers exclusive insights that can’t be found elsewhere, many buyers won’t bother filling out a form.

For example, gating an ebook makes little sense if your competitors offer blogs on the same topic without any barriers. The payoff just isn’t there for time-pressed readers.

At the same time, you don’t want to invest in content where the return over time spent is minimal.

For example: if your webinar drones on for an hour without providing any substantive takeaways, attendees will tune out quickly. They’ll be frustrated that they wasted their time and will be less likely to engage with your brand’s content in the future.

That’s why it’s so crucial to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to content creation. Every asset you produce should be laser-focused on providing tangible value to your target audience. And make it interactive.

B2B buyers currently love these content types:

b2b buyers content types

Some best practices to maximize content consumption:

  • Focus on scannable layouts with bulleted lists, brief paragraphs, pull quotes, and sidebar summaries to enable skimming.
  • Use strong visuals like infographics, charts, images, and videos to convey information at a glance.
  • Keep the copy concise and cut to the chase quickly. Buyers don’t have the patience for fluff.
  • Ensure content is mobile-friendly and fast-loading for on-the-go access.
  • Provide added context with jump links, hover-over definitions, or content hubs that connect related assets.

The takeaway for marketers? Prioritize ungated content in the formats your audience gravitates to most. Make it as effortless as possible for buyers to access and digest your insights.

5. Align Content Types with the Buyer’s Journey

One size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to creating content.

Buyers have very different informational needs and priorities depending on where they are in their decision-making process.

Here’s the dead-simple truth: your buyers are completing jobs and you need to create content that matches those jobs.

The key throughout the journey is to provide the right information at the right time in the formats your buyers prefer. Mapping your content to each stage creates a seamless, supportive buying experience that builds trust and drives conversions.

The graphic below from one of our content writers, Kiran Shahid, summarizes the content types you can create based on your buyer’s current activities.

align content types with b2b customer journey

It really isn’t as complicated. Here are five tips for executing this:

  • Develop detailed buyer personas to understand the unique needs and preferences of your target audience at each stage.
  • Conduct keyword research to identify the specific terms and questions buyers are searching for at each phase.
  • Create content hubs or resource centers that organize assets by buying stage, making it easy for buyers to self-serve.
  • Use marketing automation to deliver stage-specific content to buyers based on their behaviors and engagement levels.
  • Continuously gather feedback and analytics to refine your content marketing strategy over time.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide a helpful, tailored content experience that empowers buyers to make confident decisions. Be intentional about the types of content you create and when you deliver them.

6. Invest in Original Research

Research reports are in-depth analyses based on original data, often from surveys, that provide new insights or benchmarks on a particular topic.

For example, Sprout Social’s “The 2024 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report” shares original data and trends about the current state and best practices of influencer marketing.

2024 influencer marketing benchmarks report

The Content Marketing Institute highlights that 43% of B2B marketers consider research reports the most effective type of content.

Why? Because original research builds thought leadership and credibility in a way that other content can’t. It positions your brand as a leading expert by sharing new, authoritative information.

Plus, 52% of B2B buyers are more likely to share content that’s packed with shareable stats and quick-hitting facts.

The main hesitation with investing in original research, though, is often the significant time, effort, and budget required. Conducting a major research project isn’t easy or cheap.

However, Michelle Linn, founder of Mantis Research, highlights that a single research study can fuel many different initiatives. You can repurpose the same findings into sales assets, PR talking points, blog posts, guest articles, social content, and more.

Michelle Lin reasons to use original research

So while original research requires upfront investment, it can pay off in multiple ways. Not only does it elevate your brand authority, but it also becomes an asset that keeps providing value over time.

If it aligns with your goals and resources, original research can be a powerful differentiator for your content marketing. It’s a credibility-builder that keeps on giving.

7. Engage in Social Selling on LinkedIn

Social selling involves using social media platforms to find, connect with, and nurture potential customers. It’s about meeting buyers where they are and engaging them with relevant, high-quality content and conversations.

On platforms like LinkedIn, social selling involves:

  • Optimizing your profile to showcase your expertise and build credibility
  • Sharing helpful, educational content that addresses your target audience’s needs
  • Engaging in conversations and building relationships with potential buyers
  • Using your network for warm introductions and referrals
  • Monitoring key accounts’ activity and engaging with their content

Why is social selling so important? Because it works. LinkedIn’s research shows that social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota than those who don’t embrace this approach.

The benefits are clear:

  • Increased brand awareness and reach within your target market
  • More high-quality leads are generated through genuine, trusted relationships
  • Higher conversion rates as leads are nurtured with personalized, relevant content
  • More organic traffic driven to your website and other owned channels
  • Deeper insights into your buyers’ needs, challenges, and interests

Ultimately, social selling allows you to build a pipeline of qualified leads who know and trust your brand before they ever talk to a salesperson.

A great example of social selling in action is our team at Stratabeat. Most of us—including our founder, Tom Shapiro, and Chief Growth Officer, Alexis Trammell, are active on LinkedIn.

Tom Shapiro LinkedIn post

Alexis Trammell LinkedIn post

We share thought-provoking posts on industry topics, engage in conversations with potential customers, and showcase our unique approach through educational content. This helps us build brand awareness, establish thought leadership, and attract high-quality leads.

By having multiple voices from the company engaged on LinkedIn, we create more touchpoints and opportunities to connect with potential buyers. This way, we become a familiar, trusted presence in our prospects’ feeds.

It’s less about pitching and more about positioning yourself as a trusted partner. Share content that educates and inspires. Join conversations where you can lend unique insights. Build real, human connections.

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8. Optimize Your Content to Increase Conversions

You could have the most brilliant, insightful content in the world, but if it doesn’t drive readers to take action, it’s not fulfilling its potential.

Every piece of content should have a clear purpose and desired outcome. Whether it’s signing up for a free trial, downloading a whitepaper, or booking a demo, your content should guide readers toward that goal with relevant, compelling calls-to-action (CTAs).

Hotjar, a user behavior analytics tool, provides a great example of this in action. Their blog post on using heatmaps to improve UX ends with a natural CTA encouraging readers to set up a heatmap using Hotjar.

hotjar heatmap

Other ways to optimize content for conversions include:

  • Placing CTAs throughout the content, not just at the end. This captures readers at different stages of engagement.
  • Using action-oriented language that creates a sense of urgency, like “Sign up now” or “Get your free template”.
  • Offering content-specific offers or resources, like a related ebook or tool, to provide additional value and capture lead info.
  • A/B testing different CTA placements, wordings, and designs to optimize performance over time.

Another way to capture leads is through gated content.

Yes, we’ve cautioned against gating for gating’s sake. But there’s still a place for high-value, exclusive content that justifies the “price” of providing contact information.

Using their Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator, influencer marketing platform Modash illustrates this well.

instagram engagment rate calculator

To access this unique users need to sign up. The calculator’s exclusivity and utility make the information exchange worthwhile.

Similarly, resources like templates, checklists, and original research reports can be excellent lead magnets. These high-value assets are often difficult to find elsewhere, so subscribers are more willing to “pay” for access with their email address.

Every element of your content should work together towards that goal—the insights you provide, the CTAs you include, the design and user experience.

9. Repurpose Content for Different Distribution Channels

B2B buyers consume content across a wide range of platforms—from social media channels to podcasts to email newsletters.

Reaching decision-makers requires meeting them where they are.

Why is this multi-channel approach so important? Because it provides multiple touchpoints for potential customers to discover and connect with your brand.

The more times they discover your helpful, relevant content, the more likely they are to remember you when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.

However, simply copy-pasting the same content across every channel won’t work. Each platform has its own unique audience, format, and best practices.

You need to create platform-native content that fits into their feed and consumption habits.

Superpath, a content marketing community, provides a great example of this with their podcast, “Content, Briefly.” To promote the latest episode, co-founder Jimmy Daly didn’t just share a link to the podcast.

Instead, he posted a short video snippet from the episode on LinkedIn, accompanied by a text summary. Then, he dropped the full podcast link in the comments for those who wanted to dive deeper.

Visual, easily digestible format catches LinkedIn scrollers’ attention. This multi-format approach allows Superpath to engage LinkedIn users in the way they prefer, while still driving traffic back to the core podcast content.

Other examples of repurposing content for different channels include:

Turning a blog post into an X thread: Break down the key points into short, punchy posts that potential leads can share and engage with.

Adapting a whitepaper into a LinkedIn carousel post: Distill the main insights into a slideshow format that’s native to LinkedIn.

Creating short video content for TikTok or Instagram Reels: Showcase quick tips or highlights from longer-form content in a snappy, attention-grabbing way.

Repurposing webinar content into an email drip campaign: Break the key lessons into a series of emails that provide value and drive registrations for the full webinar recording.

Turning customer interviews into case study blog posts: Adapt the conversation into a narrative that showcases your product’s value and impact.

Think about how to repackage your core content themes and messages that work for each specific platform.

Repurposing content across channels maximizes your reach and impact without starting from scratch each time. You’ll provide a cohesive brand experience while still tailoring your approach to each unique audience.

Attract Your Ideal Customers with an Integrated Approach

Your content isn’t just supposed to attract leads—it’s supposed to nurture them. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

First, audit the lead generation content you’ve already published to assess what’s performing well and what isn’t. Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement, especially in how well content aligns with different stages of the buyer’s journey. Update whatever you can and ensure each piece is optimized for both engagement and conversion.

Of course, if you need help with any of this, we can lend a hand. We’re a B2B SaaS content marketing agency that can help you implement a powerful marketing strategy that works. Our team of content strategists and marketing experts specializes in crafting bespoke B2B content strategies. Get in touch today and let’s figure out how to drive more qualified leads.

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