I walked into the office today thinking about how good content can impact the lead generation process. And not just by generating more and better leads, but also by helping to manage demand through skillful nurturing and closing the loop with sales.
We here at PWMG often attack the initial lead generation process with PR (with great success), yet many clients and prospects still struggle with the idea of embracing the multitude of new media channels, from custom publishing to blogs, discussion groups, social networks and even Twitter.
Putting hard-earned resources into some of these newer media channels is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of companies today, despite the obvious writing on the wall: traditional media has fallen on hard times.
However, most traditional media outlets have embraced key components of social media, that is the peer-to-peer connection, by allowing their readers, listeners and viewers to immediately comment on nearly all published articles and broadcast segments.
We happened to secure an article for our client, Prime Advantage, in today’s Wall Street Journal, accomplished through our own skillful process of ‘nurturing and closing’ one of our targets – an editor at the WSJ. This article about United Airlines requesting bids on 150 new airplanes addressed the fact that today’s economy makes it a good time for United and other manufacturers to get their suppliers to commit to new orders at low prices. Here is a link to the piece: “United Plans Huge Jet Order“.
And in addition to thrilling our customer, we are also able to see how readers react to the story in real-time.
Is this real-time feedback providing our client with qualified leads? That is unlikely. But it does validate that people who participate in peer-to-peer communities most likely prefer educational content and unvarnished opinions over a straight sales pitch. And it puts the pressure on marketers like us to figure out how to best use social media for sales conversion.
In the meantime, we will bask in the glow of this success for our client and for our firm. After all, it’s not every day that a boutique agency can get its client on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.