"Marketers who embrace demand generation and lead nurturing programs must generate a lot of content to keep those programs running," Ardath Albee notes in a recent post at the Marketing Interactions blog. But generating content for content's sake alone never gets the job done, she adds. To be effective, lead-gen content must have a solid business reason behind it, she says.

"Regardless of the role (audience/segment) your content is designed to engage," Albee explains, "it must lead with a business reason that resonates with your prospects and customers in order to get their attention."

Lucky for us, Albee offers her insights into what a proper business reason really is. To be clear, she says, a business reason should:

  • Have movement: increase, decrease, accelerate, grow.
  • Add value: improve, simplify, drive, eliminate, connect.
  • Integrate: merge, pull, push, combine.
  • Align with objectives: match, parallel, cooperate.

To further clarify her point, Albee stresses what a business reason definitely is not:

  • A sales offer
  • Discounted pricing
  • A free iPod, T-shirt or Starbucks gift card
  • Your product or solution
  • Something based on a request for information

"The next time you want to tell everyone about the great new feature your product development folks just rolled out, STOP," she insists. Instead, try to:

  • Ask yourself what impact that feature delivers to your customers.
  • Find out how it delivered that impact.
  • Collect the evidence available to support your claims.

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