Lead generation is already a challenging task. Now, add on top of that no face-to-face networking or conferences and trade shows in the near future, and it becomes an infuriating task as well.
How do marketers, BD staff, or sales teams, generate the number of leads they need to grow their firms or companies?
One secret that is getting out is by leveraging B2B licensed content.
What is B2B Content Licensing?
B2B content licensing is the leasing of or renting of a specific piece of existing content – guide, research study, book, etc. — for a specific period of time. An example may be licensing Hinge Research Institute’s Inside the Buyer’s Brain – Accounting and Financial Services Edition for 12 months to help you reach and engage with accounting and financial services firms through various campaigns. (See Figure 1. Inside the Buyer’s Brain: Accounting & Financial Services Edition.)
Why Leverage B2B Content Licensing—Especially Research Licensing?
Here are four reasons.
- As shown in Figure 2., our research consistently shows that companies and firms that leverage frequent research (at least quarterly) grow significantly more than other organizations.
- As shown in Figure 3., our research consistently shows that companies and firms that leverage frequent research (at least quarterly) are more profitable than other organizations.
- Licensing existing research is less expensive than commissioning custom research. Since research is proven to help organizations grow and be more profitable, licensed existing research may be a great way to “dip your toe in the water” and prove effectiveness. Moreover, you can start using the research right away — there is no waiting for results and analysis.
- Licensed existing research generates leads. Like I mentioned before, face-to-face networking, conferences, and trade shows are sidelined right now, so techniques such as licensing existing research have to step up and fill the gaps. Licensed research is up for the task. It enables your firm or company’s reputation to be strengthened as a subject matter expert or thought leader by association. More importantly, it builds a bridge of trust. In these unsettling and unpredictable times, trust is at an all-time low. You used to be able to gain trust by speaking to people in person at conferences or events. Now it is harder to build trust through the written word. But since research is not buying, but rather educating, your audiences will accept it and lower defenses faster.
How to Use B2B Content Licensing
Let’s say you license the High Growth Study: Consulting Firm Edition from Hinge Research Institute (Figure 4.) for 12 months. It makes sense because your company sells to consulting and what consulting firm doesn’t want to grow more or faster? Now that you have the research study, how do you use it to generate visibility and leads?
First of all, you might want to come up with four themes that you can use over the next four quarters such as: Current marketing priorities of high-growth consulting firms, marketing and business development skills of high-growth consulting firms, digital transformation processes of high-growth consulting firms, and priorities of the future of high-growth consulting firms. Once you have those quarterly themes solidified, then you can start mapping out how to leverage the research study to support those themes.
Seven Ways to Maximize Your Licensed B2B Content or Research
- Host a co-branded webinar: This is one of the fastest ways to start showing a return from your licensed content. Team up with the provider that licensed your content and host a webinar. Make the licensed content the focus of the webinar. Both organizations will promote the event and you will get a list of registrants and attendees – new names to add to your database. Some of the attendees will ask follow-up questions, will want to meet with you, and will become leads and sales opportunities. You can also create an archived version of the webinar that you can use in future marketing campaigns. You could roll out a webinar every three months to support the new quarter’s theme.
- Write a series of blogs: Take snippets of the content and create an on-going conversation. Better yet, tie the blogs to relevant keywords and develop a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign that will drive leads to you as you rise in Google rankings.
- Take your blogs and convert them into a series of short videos: Videos get a lot of engagement on social media and are a great way of expanding your audience. Videos can be made with smart phones these days – you do not need high production video equipment.
- Post on social media: LinkedIn and Twitter: Especially if you have licensed existing research, social media postings are a great way to build visibility, trust, and followers. Research study charts and graphs go a long way on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Be sure to repost several times as the shelf life of social media posts is very short.
- Incorporate in sales presentations and collateral: As mentioned earlier, trust is at an all-time low. By leveraging findings and insights from a given piece of research, you give your sales presentations and collateral more credibility and validation.
- Leverage social influencers and journalists: Scale your efforts by getting social influencers and journalists to mention or use your licensed research in articles, podcasts, and other channels.
- Use in client engagements: Licensed research in the form of validation points, analysis, and benchmarks can be very useful to move engagement forward or even obtain new business with existing clients.
A Challenge to You
If you have not licensed B2B content or research before, you owe it to yourself and your firm or company to try it. Licensing existing research may be the fastest way show a return on investment. Find research topics that are broad but are compelling and relevant. If you can then go deeper and find an interesting topic focused on one or more of your target audiences, all the better. I truly believe if you accept this challenge and apply some of the ways to maximize licensed research as content, you will be able to fill some of your lead generation voids. If you are looking to reach and engage with professional services industries, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] and I will walk you through the research and content that we offer at The Hinge Research Institute. I will also answer any questions you may have around the subject of B2B content and research licensing. Take your lead generation to new levels in the months ahead.