At Hushly, we have a phrase, “Lead with content, not the form.”

This model has skyrocketed our lead generation numbers through the roof. We built our content-first approach on the idea that we should invest in our visitors before expecting them to invest in us. Our customers are, after all, the center of our business.

You can experience similar results when using our platform to lead with content.

Explore what leading with content means and six lead generation best practices that use a content-first approach.

What Does Leading with Content Mean?

Leading with content rather than a form means website visitors see entire content assets first rather than contact forms. It’s one of the best practices for lead generation in 2023.

Gated content requires visitors to input their information before accessing any content. Yet, your content is your site’s most effective marketing tool as it nurtures, educates, and converts customers.

When you gate content, visitors must trust you before accessing content rather than using the content to build trust. It may work for loyal customers but won’t be as effective for lead generation.

Because you haven’t taken time to build that trust, 97% of visitors abandon the asset. On average, you end up not using 70% of your content because of the form-first approach.

Customers who use Hushly’s site engagement tools, including our content-first approach for lead generation, saw an 1800% increase in content engagement.

Image from Hushly

6 Lead Generation Best Practices that Lead with Content

Use these six lead generation best practices that build a content-first approach to increase the total leads you can generate.

1. Create an Active Browsing Experience

Passive browsing is an antiquated system that puts all control in your website visitors’ hands. With passive browsing, you provide the content, then wait for visitors to riffle through a vast library and discover what they need.

When you rely on passive browsing, you’re losing leads. Many leads will lose interest before they find what relates to them.

Creating a content-first approach brings content to the forefront of the experience. The content goes to where the visitors are rather than waiting for them to discover content.

Offering an active browsing experience allows visitors to binge content. Just picture how streaming services immediately begin playing the next episode in the series. Once you finish the series, you receive recommendations for further viewing. You never have to question what you want to watch next. The service automatically finds the best options based on your viewing preferences.

Websites should offer similar experiences by constantly bringing the next relevant piece to the reader. This binge-reading allows you to gather more information on your lead to improve your nurturing campaigns. It also helps nurture the leads so they’re ready to purchase sooner.

2. Personalize Your Content Stream

As you position content front and center, consider who your audience is. Not everyone will need the same content. Your SaaS clients will look for vastly different solutions than your financial clients.

Personalization improves what content is front and center. Businesses that use personalization have a 40% revenue increase potential. As you lead with content, you want that lead content to be the most relevant to your audience.

You have two personalization options. First, you can personalize content by who the audience is. Knowing their role and pain points allows you to configure your automation to highlight content relating to that role and how your company can help that lead.

Second, you can personalize your content by where the lead is in your sales funnel. For instance, the content you show new leads will look different from the content you offer returning customers. Create and display content that attracts new leads, creates demand, and encourages them to fill out a lead form.

Investing in your audience using personalized content builds trust because you show you understand them. Then, when you do bring the form forward, they’re more likely to fill it out.

3. Ungated Your Content

A traditional lead generation strategy places valuable content behind a form. The idea is to capture lead information before they go too far into the site so you can add the lead to your database before they lose interest.

However, this strategy has one major flaw. It fails to account for the dozens of visitors you lose who didn’t bother reading the content because it was behind a form.

Hushly believes in a content-first approach. We allow visitors to read the asset and benefit from our valuable experience. There isn’t a form unless they click the download button. We not only capture leads after nurturing them, but we also know the leads we capture are genuinely interested in our content since they downloaded it.

Another strategy we use is keeping the form small. It isn’t the main attraction–the content is. Our forms have three or fewer fields so readers are more likely to fill them out.

4. Support Multi-Asset Browsing

If you do use gated content, we offer a multi-asset browsing option.

Multi-asset browsing allows visitors to input their information into one form and view all the assets. Opening all assets with one form supports content binging.

The more content your visitors read, the more data you have on their interests. You also expose them to more marketing content that helps address any concerns and create demand for your products.

When visitors must continually fill in a form for each separate asset, it breaks their reading flow, increasing the chance they’ll stop reading. They may also stop reading if they grow tired of reentering their information.

Opening content up with just one form helps put content before forms.

5. Organize Your Digital Assets

Have you ever visited a website where all the content is on one long page? The content has no organization or order, except that the latest post is at the top. You may not even know where to begin reading.

Arriving on a content page and seeing that none of the top posts relate to you may prevent you from exploring further.

You can prevent visitors from experiencing that situation on your website by organizing your content. 

Attracting high-quality leads is the top marketing challenge in 2023. But, by highlighting the most relevant content, you can attract higher quality leads because they will recognize themselves in your content.

Each visitor shouldn’t see the same extensive library of content. The best practices for SaaS lead generation will vastly differ from ecommerce lead generation. Therefore, each visitor should experience unique recommendations and the ability to easily search and discover precisely what they need based on who they are.

For example, you could create a hierarchy on your posts page to highlight the most relevant or essential assets. You then personalize the other recommendations, so they apply to the visitor.

6. Build a Self-Nurturing Landing Page

Visitors coming to your website from unique links arrive on a landing page. You design a landing page around a specific goal, and often that goal is front and center on your page.

This strategy works well for simple tasks, like asking customers to sign up for your newsletter.

However, more complex conversions require content before the form.

Are you hosting a webinar? Leading with the sign-up will not generate much response. Your visitors want to know what it’s about, who is speaking, when it’s taking place, and why it’s relevant to them.

In situations like webinars or demo requests, you will want to lead with content rather than the form. The visitor will need convincing before they commit. When they arrive at the call-to-action form, they should have the answers to all their questions and feel completely comfortable filling it out.

You can also recommend further reading if they aren’t ready to commit.

Level Up Your Lead Generation with Content First Strategies

Hushly can help you adopt these B2B lead generation best practices with our AI-powered toolset. Our platform allows you to customize every step of the lead’s journey. You’ll also gain valuable data and insights into your leads, even without complex lead forms that discourage visitors from filling them out.

Time to take your lead generation to the next level.

Schedule a demo to see how Hushly is transforming lead generation.

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