Small businesses can generate more leads with downloadable website content like white papers.

Lead generation is a primary goal of small businesses’ internet marketing strategies. SMBs understand they must be online to connect with customers and prospects, and they build out their websites with materials that compel visitors to enter the sales funnel. A study recently released by Business.com finds 74 percent B2Bs are engaged in lead generation practices and 41 percent say white paper marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach their goals.

This report of strong results  explains why  the format is so popular. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of small B2Bs create white papers as part of their content marketing strategies, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s data. However, that still leaves 10 percent behind the curve – and potentially seeing meager returns from their efforts.

It’s crucial SMBs explore new opportunities and invest accordingly if they want to close that gap. According to Business.com, half of B2Bs plan to increase their budgets for lead generation in 2013. Chances are companies will go beyond blog content moving forward and  create long-form documents like white papers and case studies that educate readers, establish thought leadership and nurture readers along the sales cycle.