The first and most important thing you have to do is to decide you will focus your content marketing efforts *exclusively* on lead generation. This extreme focus is fundamental for success because of content marketing efforts tend to get scaterred or stakeholders tend to expect they cover everything from branding to link building, SEO, and, of course, lead gen.
With that in mind, content marketing for lead generation is most effective when based on thorough, in-depth customer development. Without customer interviews, surveys, and even direct customer observation, content marketers will, at best, create mirage content (as Grow & Convert calls it) that looks and feels right but doesn’t generate any leads.
I highly recommend tackling highly specific needs customers have and working on MOFU and BOFU assets, which, for lead generation, are more important than TOFU content.
Case studies, playbooks, whitepapers, solution briefs – I’ve found these types of MOFU content to be the most helpful because they bridge the gap between industry know-how and the product/service’s benefits in a way that serves real-world customer needs.
To recap, I’d like to emphasize it all starts with focus on lead gen as a core objective. Once that’s set, a deep-dive into the customer development process will reveal the type of content to create, the topics customers are interested in, and the channels and formats they prefer to consume it.