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B2B Lead Generation Agencies Agency Leadership

We ask marketers: What types of lead-generation content actually work for agencies?

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By Sam Anderson, Network Editor

March 11, 2024 | 8 min read

Whitepapers, reports, blogs, case studies, infographics, webinars, online talks… The list of levers that a new business person can pull in 2024 is long. But what works best? We asked six smart marketers.

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What's actually working in content marketing and lead gen in 2024? / Jakub Żerdzicki via Unsplash

There’s a bewildering array of suppliers, technologies, and potential partners offering to help brands and agencies alike level up their new business strategies. But working out what actually works – and where to invest your time and money – isn’t straightforward.

Meanwhile, thinking about best practices is hardly static. One era of new business people will focus on converting every lead; the next will take a softer approach. So: what’s actually working for marketers right now? How are new business people managing to cut through all the content and connect with future customers? We asked 6 leading experts from The Drum Network.

Stuart Roberts, head of content strategy, Transmission: Brand: ‘Turns out this huge challenge we’ve laid out can be solved by you giving us money.’

“No reader ever: ‘No shit. Please tell me more about how amazing you are.’

“This is a bit boring, but the types of lead gen content that are working in B2B right now are assets that help our audience solve a specific problem they have – or at least provide unique insights that help them in their day-to-day. The format is simply the delivery mechanism. Saying ‘Podcasts work better than whitepapers’ misses the point; you need to have a clear idea of the value your audience will get out of the content first. It should be laser-focused on their pain points.

“Unless your business is at the forefront of B2B innovation or changing the very fabric of your industry, stop dressing up a sales pitch as thought leadership. Inform, entertain, inspire, educate. Just stop wanging on about yourself and understand your audience better.”

Wes Morton, chief executive and founder, Creativ Strategies: “The best lead-generating content provides your leads value in exchange for requesting their information. For a video game, this could be in-game rewards, or a free season pass for downloading. For B2B enterprise leads, a great research report that delivers insight into the specific industry is always well received. For a publisher, entering your information to attend a panel, webinar, or special event provides new leads for newsletters, subscriptions, and grows your audience. To get something, give something first.”

Francesca Bennett, director of business development & marketing, Radley Yeldar: “There’s a lot of noise in the market, and if we’re all honest with ourselves there’s a lot of repetition. But, once in a while, a piece of long-form content pops its head above the parapet and really cuts through. For us, the most successful example of this is our report Words that Work. We found that stock sustainability continues to run rife – and that the majority of brands’ sustainability communications are cliched and therefore lack impact. Why did it work? Reciprocity. The report ends with 10 guiding principles for standing out from the rest. Importantly, no RY sales materials were included.”

Ryan Dunlop, strategy partner, Jack Ryan: “In a shift from traditional business marketing tactics, we’ve embraced a more personal approach, focusing on face-to-face interactions and the exchange of ideas. Recognizing that brands are increasingly wary of direct sales pitches, we’ve found success in hosting workshops and idea-sharing sessions directly from our offices. The impact of this strategy is evident in deepened relationships and increased interest, without a traditional sales pitch in sight. Engaging directly with our team and our ideas, I think, sets us apart – and has led to more meaningful and productive collaborations.”

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Carli Pring, marketing manager, Redpill: “LinkedIn remains the social media powerhouse for lead gen, with some agencies attributing up to 80% of their B2B leads to the platform. One particularly useful feature is LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms, which can give high-quality leads from ads. Unlike boosted organic content, these include calls-to-action that fuel conversation and track cost-per-lead. We A/B test with creative messaging and content, creating content that grabs viewers’ attention to ultimately drive impact (and intent to complete those lead gen forms). It’s important to know your audience, budget appropriately, create engaging content, and consider your post-campaign strategy to build relationships with leads and convert them into briefs, following up promptly.”

Polly Astill, head of marketing, Impression: “For lead-gen content to work, the value it provides the audience needs to be clear, unique and relevant. At the end of each year, we survey 1,000 marketers to understand what the marketing landscape might look like in the year ahead. Responses are gathered from across seniority levels, sectors, and business size. The resulting gated report is, to date, our most downloaded asset. It’s popular because it offers reassurance that others are facing similar challenges, and it presents them with new opportunities to explore. We add context to the data and provide advice to help marketers understand what the findings mean for them and the next steps to take.”

B2B Lead Generation Agencies Agency Leadership

Content created with:

Transmission

Transmission is the world’s largest independent global B2B marketing agency.

Their award-winning full-service offering enables their teams to work seamlessly...

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Creativ Strategies

Creativ Strategies is a full-service marketing consultancy and studio for media, entertainment, and tech brands. Challenges welcome.

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Radley Yeldar

Radley Yeldar is an award-winning, independent, London and Birmingham-based creative consultancy. Our 200-strong team of specialists has been helping to create a...

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JACK RYAN

Imagine a world where your brand isn’t just seen but felt, where campaigns don’t just talk but dance, engage audiences, and spark action. That’s the essence...

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redpill

Meet redpill, the original integrated influencer marketing agency that always goes deeper. We’ve been revolutionising the industry for over 15 years. Leading the...

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Impression

We are Digital Growth Specialists helping ambitious brands push boundaries and drive impact. We define and deliver integrated digital strategies that transform our...

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