How To Generate Leads with Long-Form Content: E-Books, White Papers, Case Studies


Neil Patel, Seth Godin, and other top marketers often return to a common theme: stop bothering people and start helping them. “Marketing” and “advertising” used to be used interchangeably. To market something, you would put an announcement about it somewhere where it would interrupt content that people were interested in, like buying an ad in a newspaper, or later on the radio or on TV. But today’s audiences are saturated with interruptions. People are good at ignoring advertising and they have technology to help, from simple things like the mute button to more complex technology like pop-up blockers. The problem is people don’t like being interrupted. What is the solution? Be smart. Be useful. (Those are core values at Viral Octopus!) If your goal is B2B marketing, producing and publishing great long-form content is a very effective tactic. Don’t push. Pull! Create a lead magnet. Publishing long-form content (between 1,500 and 5,000+ words) like white papers, E-books, and case studies can be a great way to generate leads. Create something useful and publish it as a free download with a required form to collect your prospective customer’s contact information.  

Surveys show the value of marketing with long-form content like E-Books, White Papers and Case Studies

Marketers know it works! Over 90% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing in their overall strategy. And B2B buyers love long-form content. Over three quarters of buyers say they will share contact information in exchange for white papers. In a survey of people in charge of B2B purchases, 76% said they would share their email in exchange for access to a white paper, and 63% said they would give their email for an e-book, and 57% said they would offer their contact information in exchange for a case study.  Another survey of marketing professionals indicated that the top two most effective types of content B2B marketers use for content marketing purposes are ebooks/white papers (50%) and case studies (47%). More than 70% of B2B marketers surveyed said they can demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing has increased their number of leads. According to Demand Gen Report, 30% of B2B marketers say content syndication is their most successful tactic for generating leads. We will talk a little more about this specific approach to publishing long-form content next week.   

Five Best Practices for Long-Form Content For Marketing and Lead Generation

Whether you are publishing an e-book, composing a white paper, or summarizing a case study, these five tips will help you come up with something your prospective customers will love. 1 – Write about something your audience needs to know. B2B buyers are busy, but they have questions. If you provide the answers, they will want to read your content. So find out what specific answers your customers are searching for first. 2 – Know what you are writing about. You have to do the research. If you take a superficial look at a topic and then start writing, your content is not going to impress your readers. Dive in deep and learn before you write.  3 – Break it up. People’s eyes will glaze over if your paragraphs are too long. Break up your ideas into sensible bites. Graphics help too. Viral Octopus has a gig to produce custom long-form content, and we always include graphics. They are important! 4 – Highlight the main idea and explain why it should be important to your readers. Details are crucial. But making the central point clear is also important. Make sure your big takeaway is not lost in the details. Follow the old structural guideline – tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. Make your point in your introduction, fill in the details, and restate it in the conclusion.    5 – Use a lead generation form! Create content that the people that you want to reach really need. Then offer it for free, but require them to complete a lead generation form. For best results, keep it simple. If you feel you need to get some extra information while you collect the lead, break up your form into steps. It’s easier to get the details on a second form page.   

Research Your Customers’ Needs, Create A Powerful Lead Magnet, and Publish

Long-form content is a very effective way to generate leads. Why wait? Get started today. Find out what specific information your customers are looking for and create detailed answers to their questions. Publish it as a free download but require people to fill out a lead capture form to download it. Then watch those leads start rolling in. If you need any help generating content, we have a gig for that. And next week, we will talk about how you syndicate your content to multiply the effect. Stay tuned for more tips.       

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