Content is the new black, isn't it? Why? You need something to post to Facebook and Twitter, something to create your email marketing campaign with, and something to blog about. This all requires content, whether it's yours or someone else's.

If you have a B2B company, however, it might be a little bit more challenging to find this content.

B2B marketing often gets a bad rap for being boring. I beg to differ. There are tons of B2B companies out there doing creative things with their marketing and generating tons of content to engage customers and prospects. For example, I love what American Express is doing with Small Business Saturday. (My company, VerticalResponse, is going to promote it in a big way.) Other companies like Intuit, Wildfire Interactive and Blue by Cox Business produce tons of free and interesting content, from daily blog posts to reports to webinars.

So what might your B2B "content" be? Here's how you can gain a bunch of traction, attract people to your website or blog, and get them to give you their contact information for follow-up.

For example, this is what you might be doing right now:

Send an email about a sale > People come and buy > You have a new customer

That's all great and it still works. But, what if you could get more leads, get higher search engine rankings AND close more deals, all by publishing some great content?

How does content do that? Simple. Because you're writing (or talking) about what you know, in time, you become an industry thought leader. And people prefer doing business with those they believe are experts in their category.

Once that happens, then you've got an additional lead stream and it looks like this:

With great content, you:

- Have a wider funnel of leads to cultivate
- Become known as an industry leader
- Can share with the press for great PR
- Have new information that your sales, marketing and customer service teams to use

Are you using content to drive leads? What works for you (or doesn't)?

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