What’s Trending: Following the B2B Lead

October 5, 2018

What’s the most important outcome a B2B marketing strategy can produce?

Ask five members of an organization and you might get five different answers. But if you’re asking someone in sales, there’s a good chance it’ll be this:

Leads. Qualified, actionable leads.

Lead generation is on the minds of B2B marketers everywhere. It’s on ours too. Recently, we at LinkedIn took a step toward helping advertisers further improve the quality of leads through Sponsored Content with a couple of subtle tweaks that will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

In our continuing mission to help marketers create and measure concrete business results, we’re leading with leads in our latest rundown of the web’s most popular content.

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most This Week:

1. Defining the Marketing Qualified Lead in the B2B Context

Not all leads are made the same. We’d agree with author David Cunningham that “marketing teams need to recognize the importance of lead quality over lead quantity in the modern world of B2B marketing.” Here he looks at specific indicators that can differentiate qualified leads from weaker ones.

2. B2B Content Types that Produce the Highest Number of Leads

Which formats help drive results for today’s B2B businesses? At Smart Insights, Nadine Burzler breaks down the data, which shows research reports, video, and social media content leading the way.

3. New LinkedIn Ads Features

The aforementioned updates to Sponsored Content are among new features discussed here by the Social Media Examiner team, along with improvements to the Groups experience and Dynamic Ads. These changes are largely about helping marketers improve lead quality and demonstrably impact revenue.

4. How to Define an Actionable Social Media ROI for Your Business

More than half of all social marketers cite measuring ROI as their top challenge, and that’s troubling here in 2018. Luckily, Brent Barnhart has some helpful tips for clearly assessing and improving your ROI with social campaigns. A key point here: make your goals campaign-specific.

5. A Guide for Content Marketing Metrics: The 37 Most (and Least) Useful Metrics

Staying on the topic of sophisticated measurement, this is a really strong piece from Andy Crestodina on shifting toward more meaningful metrics in content marketing. “If the metric is easy to see, you’re probably putting too much importance on it.”

6. 6 Simple Ways to Drive ROI With User Generated Content

One method of capturing ROI with your marketing is through UGC, writes Adela Belin.  She lists six ways you can incorporate this technique for authentic, credible, and relatable content marketing.

7. Using Empathy and Connection to Craft More Powerful Content

Some excellent wisdom for writers shared here by Sonia Simone, who puts a different spin on the CEO title. “When you write content and copy, your most important job is that of Chief Empathy Officer for your audience.”

8. Brands Often Overlook This Superhero of Storytelling

Marketers everywhere are recognizing the tremendous value of visual content. At Content Marketing Institute, Jonathan Crossfield suggests a format you might not have considered.

9. Power Pages and Best Answer Content: Should You Go Long or Short Form?

Is long-form or short-form content more effective for satisfying users in search of answers? How do we balance the desire for comprehensive information against dwindling attention spans? Lee Odden takes a shot at tackling this classic conundrum, and his post includes this poignant insight: it’s not length we should be focused on so much as depth.

10. The Great Debate: Why Experimentation Matters to Branding

We’ve talked a lot about lead generation today, but branding certainly should not be overlooked in the B2B marketing equation. In this respect, Carla Johnson argues that experimentation is vital, pointing to examples of it in action.

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