B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

Can Inbound Content Be Self-Serving and Still Generate Leads?

Posted by Vendere Team on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

At Vendere Partners, we recognize that it is a challenge to feel okayBusiness graph about giving away intellectual property while simultaneously touting your products and services. We recognize it because we struggle with this method to generate leads ourselves.

Take our last blog post. Throughout the post, we explained the benefits of outsourcing appointment setting functions. Then, at the end of the post, we not only invited readers to contact us for a free lead generation consultation, but to register to download a brochure on qualified appointment setting. (It is not lost on us that by mentioning these offerings again, and hyperlinking to Vendere web pages—again—that we are, in fact, putting forth content that is obviously self-serving.)

It made perfect sense for us to point readers directly to our offerings, being that the subject of the blog post corresponds directly to services that we offer, but our fear was that by directing readers to our offerings so overtly, we might turn some readers off, even though our overall message made sense.

Content marketers, including those at Vendere, love to ask questions like: Is your content marketing strategy designed to suit your agenda, or is it geared towards your prospects’ wants and needs? What do you think would happen if you were to stop generating content that you want your prospects to see, and started generating content that had no obviously self-serving agenda?

These are great questions to ask, but because at our core we’re a lead generation company that relies on hard data to come to conclusions, we’ve had to acknowledge that while popular thinking when it comes to content marketing is that it shouldn’t appear to be self-serving, our blog’s visitor stats do not suffer as a result of mentioning our products and services so long as mentioning them makes contextual sense.

The bottom line, from our point of view, is that if it makes natural sense to mention your products and services within your content, whether that content is in a blog, press release, published article or other form of public collateral, you’re probably not going to be burned by mentioning them, so long as your messaging is up to par and your delivery is smart, on target and engaging.

What do you think? Do you think your inbound content would be more effective if it didn’t acknowledge that your company’s products and services could solve the problems your content poses? In general, do you think mentioning your company’s products and services in your inbound content would be to your detriment or to your benefit?

Topics: content marketing, appointment setting, demand generation

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