Which type of B2B Lead Generation Content leaves lasting impressions?

Marketers who use content as a magnetic force to draw in prospects always face a dilemma in initiating and perpetuating interest. Without that element, people are never going to read an article and therefore, their potential as leads are extinguished. That’s a very basic principle in B2B lead generation:

People don’t offer you their interest – you have to earn it.

To do that, you have to know what kind of marketing message to send across. And that is exactly what the folks at Nielsen did in their Global Survey of Trust in Advertising back in the first quarter of this year. They polled more than 29,000 respondents from 5 continents and asked them: Which types of advertising messages resonate most with you?

The results (see chart) are not at all a surprise – well, most of it.

Which type of B2B Lead Generation ContentBy a hair-thin margin, respondents chose “humorous” messages as the most influential at 47%, over “real-life situations” at 46%.

All tied at 38% are marketing messages that are “family-oriented”, “health-themed”, or “value-oriented”. Those that encourage “high-energy or action” is at 27% while “aspirational” messages are t 24%.

The entertainment and pop culture industry, surprisingly, both scored very low in the survey. The bottom 5 types of marketing messages are ones that are “sports-themed”, “sexual”, “car-themed”, “celebrity endorsements” and “athlete endorsements”. 

Dissecting the results

Is it really shocking to find out that people like marketing messages that make them laugh? It’s the type of content that encourages sharing, and there are tons of evidence all over the social media world – memes, videos and funny photos. Of course, this also includes the blogging sector, where popular authors are usually the ones that know how to exhibit sense of humor without drifting away from the bottom line.

How about “real-life situations”?

Although it’s definitely a major influencer, but the score it garnered in the survey is a bit interesting. Apparently, people are drawn into content that dwells in the context of real events, such as news items and current affairs.

Family and health-oriented messages are a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, it should be interesting to see how marketers would react to the revelation that celebrity endorsements and popular icons really don’t put much weight on the impression left among people on the receiving end of advertising. It most certainly works in B2C (heard about Beyonce’s $50 million deal with Pepsi?) but it would be hard to imagine celebrities making a memorable connection with prospects in the B2B world.


  • Make your content humorous (intelligently funny, not “har har” funny)
  • Make your content relevant and timely
  • Ditch celebrities