Inbound Marketing Explained 1
An Introduction to
CUSTOMER CONTENT
SOFTWARE
Alex Burkholder
Inbound Marketing Explained 2
CONTENTS
Introduction
Self-Directed Buyer
Content Marketing
Customer Content
Credible Conten...
Inbound Marketing Explained 3
INTRODUCTION
SELF-DIRECTED BUYER
The manner in which people obtain information and make deci...
Inbound Marketing Explained 4
CUSTOMER CONTENT
B2b marketers gather, collect and create relevant content to leverage in th...
Inbound Marketing Explained 5
Even when companies gather and leverage content from the voice of their
customers, credibili...
Customer content can be repurposed into blogs posts, microsites and landing
pages. Third-party content offers credible pro...
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An Introduction to Customer Content Software

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This is the second piece that is gated in both the eBook and Inbound Marketing Explained. By the time this piece is read, the idea of leveraging customer content should be "nurtured" and a buyer would seek out those solutions.

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An Introduction to Customer Content Software

  1. 1. Inbound Marketing Explained 1 An Introduction to CUSTOMER CONTENT SOFTWARE Alex Burkholder
  2. 2. Inbound Marketing Explained 2 CONTENTS Introduction Self-Directed Buyer Content Marketing Customer Content Credible Content Customer Content Software Leveraging Customer Content Conclusion 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 6
  3. 3. Inbound Marketing Explained 3 INTRODUCTION SELF-DIRECTED BUYER The manner in which people obtain information and make decisions about the purchase of goods and services is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Buyers today are increasingly self-directed in their purchase decisions. They spend more time gathering information across a number of digital channels including search engines, company websites, blogs, online product reviews and social networks. As a result, buyers today often form brand perceptions and make significant purchasing decisions based on online research prior to any direct contact with a salesperson. Marketers are being pushed to fundamentally change how they engage with customers across online and offline channels and throughout the entire customer lifecycle. These changes require marketers to create and publish relevant and personalized content across multiple channels (search engines, email, social media, online videos and buying guides) to provide the information that buyers seek and expect in their decision-making. Buyers today are increasingly self-directed in their purchase decisions. They spend more time gathering information across a number of digital channels including search engines, company websites, blogs, online product reviews and social networks. These changes require marketers to create and publish relevant and personalized content across multiple channels. CONTENT MARKETING Content marketing is going mainstream and has become more sophisticated to help marketers generate more leads and enable thought leadership, which is authority in a field whose expertise is sought out (Content Marketing Report, 2013). B2b content marketing is the most effective marketing strategy, and more than 82% of companies plan to increase content production over the next 12 months (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Customer testimonials (89%) and case studies (88%) are considered to be the most effective pieces of content to leverage as sales collateral and marketing materials (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Customer testimonials (89%) and case studies (88%) are considered to be the most effective pieces of content to leverage as sales collateral and marketing materials.
  4. 4. Inbound Marketing Explained 4 CUSTOMER CONTENT B2b marketers gather, collect and create relevant content to leverage in their inbound marketing campaigns before they can begin seeing success with inbound content marketing campaigns. Ideally, this content should be based on a solid understanding of buyer personas, so that content and messages resonate with the audience. Fortunately, most organizations already have a few assets available on their website, but they’re typically old materials. Existing assets provide a good starting place for new content creation and future content ideas. Unfortunately, these existing assets are not always relevant to customers in certain verticals as many companies have a broad customer base in different verticals, roles, or audiences. Customer content, on the other hand, permits marketers of b2b organizations to leverage compelling content from the voice of customers to power sales and marketing campaigns as content is based on the feedback of verified real users. Ideally, this content should be based on a solid understanding of buyer personas, so that content and messages resonate with the audience. Gathering customer content, however, is no simple task. Current methods for creating content are ineffective as 93% of b2b marketers create content from scratch (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Marketing teams are under immense pressure to generate relevant content for both marketing and sales collateral. Sales have demand for case studies or testimonials and their prospects desire credible content to support sales’ claims. GATHERING CUSTOMER CONTENT Current methods for creating content are ineffective as 93% of b2b marketers create content from scratch. Customer data is extremely important when leveraging your product or services against that of other products and services (Content Marketing Report, 2013). In the b2b marketplace, however, customers are sensitive to sharing success stories publicly because of legal or PR approval obstacles. Too, there is long approval processes for case studies with 55% of b2b marketers claiming content creation takes too much time to generate (Content Marketing Report, 2013). CREDIBLE CONTENT Customer data is extremely important when leveraging your product or services against that of other products and services.
  5. 5. Inbound Marketing Explained 5 Even when companies gather and leverage content from the voice of their customers, credibility of the data is in jeopardy. More than 93% of companies create content from scratch (Content Marketing Report, 2013) and have in-house content generation demands. They could use a survey software tool, such as SurveyMonkey, to collect customer data, but this lacks third-party verification. There is long approval processes for case studies with 55% of b2b marketers claiming content creation takes too much time to generate. CUSTOMER CONTENT SOFTWARE Customer content software permits marketers of b2b organizations to generate new, fresh, and compelling content from the voice of customers to power sales and marketing campaigns, all in a cost and time effective manner and third-party verified. Types of customer content to leverage as sales and marketing collateral include: Customer content software enables organizations to more efficiently and effectively acquire customer content thereby improving sales effectiveness and generating faster revenue growth. • Customer testimonials • Charts and graphs • Case studies • Customer reviews • Customer proof points • Performance and ROI metrics Content generated through customer content software can be optimized for social sharing across popular social media channels (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+). Marketing teams could create social media campaigns that “drip out” a steady stream of fresh content in an automated way to cultivate awareness and keep their brand in the mind of potential customers. LEVERAGING CUSTOMER CONTENT Social media campaigns that “drip out” a steady stream of fresh content in an automated way cultivate awareness and keep their brand in the mind of potential customers.
  6. 6. Customer content can be repurposed into blogs posts, microsites and landing pages. Third-party content offers credible proof of market direction and proof that products actually do deliver meaningful operational and financial results to customers. Content should be leveraged in lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns as customer testimonials and case studies can be highly segmented to fit the specific profile of the target. According the Content Marketing Report (2013) 71% of b2b marketers identify audience relevance among the most important elements of effective content. 71% of b2b marketers identify audience relevance among the most important elements of effective content. CONCLUSION Content marketing is going mainstream and has become more sophisticated to help marketers generate more leads and enable thought leadership. B2b content marketing is the most effective marketing strategy, and more than 82% of companies plan to increase content production over the next 12 months (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Customer testimonials (89%) and case studies (88%) are considered to be the most effective pieces of content to leverage as sales collateral and marketing materials (Content Marketing Report, 2013), especially when they’re third-party validated as it offers credible proof that products actually do deliver meaningful operational and financial results to actual customers. Alex Burkholder: Author Vonn Weisenberger: Designer CHECK IT OUT! WE’RE ON THE INTERNET. Inbound Marketing Explained 6

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