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Committing to-content-a-modern-marketers-guide

  1. 1. 2 3 4 6 8 11 15 21 26 29 32 Introduction The Rise of Online Relationships Lay the Foundation for a Strong Connection Get to Know Your Buyer Have a Game Plan Catch Your Buyer’s Eye, Win Your Buyer’s Heart Build Trust and Nurture Your New Relationship Prove You’re the Perfect Match Foster Continued Commitment You’re Ready for Love! Table of Contents
  2. 2. 3 Introduction Relationships are hard. Just when you’ve finally figured them out, something shifts. She won’t pick up the phone or return your emails. Communicating with him is suddenly difficult. You constantly reach out to keep conversations going. The two of you grow apart until, finally, the relationship ends. It doesn’t have to be this way. Especially not for you, the modern marketer, and the buyers you hold dear. In order to build lasting relationships and earn the opportunity to prove your organization is the perfect fit, you need to learn how to communicate with buyers in a way that sparks interest, cultivates trust, and keeps them around for the long haul. But before we get into how you can build strong connections that move buyers toward “I Do [want to purchase your product],” let’s discuss why relationships between brands and buyers have fundamentally changed.
  3. 3. 4 The Rise of Online Relationships Fifteen years ago, fostering good business relationships was different. You might strike up a casual conversation at a tradeshow or perhaps a mutual acquaintance would make introductions during a conference. Buyers would call you to learn more about your company. If that went well, they would detail their priorities, wants, and needs more explicitly (often in the form of an RFP) and you would have the opportunity to advocate your best products or solutions, persuading them that you were, indeed, the best match. But that was then. Today, the internet has changed the way buyers discover solutions. More people are meeting and researching vendors online than ever before. Your ideal customers are reading blog posts and articles, checking Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, and forming opinions based on what you say and share online. Before they call to get to know your company better, they turn to Google for answers and information. If a competing vendor appears smarter, more interesting, or more reliable than you, your buyers will reach out to them first. These online engagements have changed the rules of buyer/brand communications. So how can you and your company form meaningful relationships with buyers who are getting to know you long before they’ve been introduced? By committing to buyer-centric content that entertains and supports at every stage of the purchase funnel.
  4. 4. 5 In this workbook, you’ll learn how to use content to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers from awareness to advocacy. Each section comes with worksheets to help you organize your thoughts and, ultimately, foster trust and commitment through content. “Content is a very important part of demand throughout our funnel... Content drives a lot of website successes, opportunities, and ultimately revenue.” -Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo
  5. 5. 6 Lay the Foundation for a Strong Connection Self-Reflection: Understanding Your Strengths & Values If you don’t know yourself, you won’t be able to identify your perfect match. Think about it. If you live for adventurous travel, why would you date someone who considers a hotel without a pool “roughing it”? If you don’t understand your values and goals, you’re probably wasting your time and energy on fruitless relationships. The same principle applies to successful content marketing. The first step to building a strong, long-term relationship through content is to take a good, hard look at your organization. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be creating content about your company, but you have to understand your strengths and weaknesses so you can showcase the great and improve on the less-than-great.
  6. 6. 7 Get started by asking yourself (and your team) the following questions: »» Where does our company excel? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What are our main points of value? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What are our main points of expertise? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What are our goals as an organization? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ The answers to these questions will help you identify the topics and tactics that will guide your content marketing strategy.
  7. 7. 8 Get to Know Your Buyer Once you’ve gotten in touch with the real “you,” it’s time to find people with needs compatible with your brand’s expertise. By identifying the key characteristics and concerns of your target buyers and comparing them to the strengths of your organization, you’ll discover common interests from which meaningful conversations (and content) can develop. Defining Buyer Personas There are certain telltale characteristics which make someone an attractive prospect. In dating, it’s called your “type.” In content marketing, it’s called a “buyer persona.” Taking the time to understand the people who most commonly enjoy a fruitful, long-term relationship with your brand will help you understand what buyers truly want to know, instead of what you think they want to know. One of the biggest challenges marketers face is delivering interesting content that buyers actually want to consume. Often, marketers fall into the trap of creating content that outlines the benefits of specific features or products. This is a major turn-off. After all, would you enjoy a first date with someone who spends the entire evening listing his or her best features? To create content that’s truly valuable you need to know what your buyers care about. Start by writing down the explicit characteristics of your best customers and ideal buyers. There may be several different types of people for many different products, or there may be just one. It all depends on what you’re bringing to the table and whom you’re targeting. Begin with the most consistent features (for example, ideal customers might be CEOs, office managers, football fans, or first-time homeowners) and flesh out additional details by asking yourself the following questions for each of the buyer personas identified:
  8. 8. 9 »» What are their biggest pain points? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What are their everyday concerns? What keeps them up at night? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What are their hopes, dreams, and aspirations? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Mapping Out Buying Stages Another critical piece to winning affection is the proper timing of your communications. For example, “Do you like pizza?” and “Do you want kids?” are two questions that are appropriate at very different points in a relationship. The same principle applies to buyer relationships. As buyers move down the funnel and get closer to committing to your organization, you need to anticipate the concerns that will arise and address them with appropriate information and useful content. As part of this exercise, map out each of the stages of the buyer’s journey, from top of the funnel to right before close, and then through retention and upsell. Ask yourself: »» What does each buyer persona care about at every stage of the funnel? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» How can we further exemplify our unique value proposition as buyers start to compare our company against competitors? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» Who else will be involved in our buyer’s decision? What types of topics do they care about? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Where your buyer’s interests and needs overlap with your organization’s expertise is known as the “sweet spot.” Within this intersection, you’ll find common ground on which to engage in meaningful conversations.
  9. 9. 10 Now it’s time to get to work! Take your buyer personas and the stages of the funnel, and fill out the grids below to help you map your content to each buyer’s journey. Buying Stages [content topics] Personas Exercise 1 [stage one] [persona one]
  10. 10. 11 Have a Game Plan When it comes to making a good and lasting impression, there’s no substitute for preparation. For example, the guy who researches the best vegetarian restaurants in town and makes a reservation in advance won’t have to scramble to deliver a perfect date for his plant-eating sweetheart. Proper preparation means less room for error and, likely, a more positive experience. Now, think about it in terms of content marketing. If you don’t plan content that will make the buyer’s experience enjoyable and cohesive, you won’t be able to maximize the impact of your campaigns. Often, marketers feel overwhelmed by the amount of content they need to create to fuel their marketing campaigns. But creating enough content doesn’t have to be a struggle. In the next section, you’ll learn how to make the most of each piece of content through careful planning. Schedule Across the Calendar with Content Pillars Every marketing department has annual and quarterly plans during which product arcs, theme arcs, and important events are identified. Start by organizing your content campaigns around these key initiatives. It will ensure your content is cohesive, relevant to your buyers, and aligned with business objectives. Once you identify these big initiatives for upcoming quarters, plan out content pillars that align with at least one of those initiatives. A content pillar is a large piece of content (such as a ...there’s no substitute for preparation.
  11. 11. 12 guide or an eBook) that can be broken into many pieces of related content. The beauty of a content pillar is that once created, it can fuel social media, provide fresh content for your marketing automation campaigns, and fill your editorial calendar with content that serves your organization and is also valuable to your buyers. Want to see how many pieces of content a single pillar can produce? One standard sized eBook can be broken down into: »» 4-7 blog posts from the text within the eBook »» 1-3 SlideShare presentations on the topics covered »» 2-5 videos of key thought leaders interviewed for the text »» 1-2 infographics and diagrams »» 1-3 webinars on the eBook topics »» At least 1 blog post for every SlideShare presentation, video, infographic, and webinar »» 1-3 email campaigns within marketing automation software to engage buyers at different stages of the funnel »» 100-250 social media shares across platforms promoting each of these large and small pieces of content. That’s a lot of content, and every one of those pieces can be used to connect with your target buyers at various stages of the funnel. By engaging with buyers consistently throughout their journey, you’ll stay top of mind. After all, you don’t want your buyers to be lured away by a competing suitor. You want them to keep coming back for more quality content. Before we get into just how to distribute your content assets, take a minute to complete this exercise. Ask yourself the following questions: »» What content pillars do we already have completed or scheduled? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» How can we plan for content derived from these pillars? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What processes need to be in place to create content pillars that fill our editorial calendar and fuel our marketing campaigns? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  12. 12. 13 The Marketo Way Interview with Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo With fun and informative content, the Marketo team has been known to sweep buyers off their feet. To find out how they do it, we caught up with the person at the heart of the content operation, Dayna Rothman, the Content Marketing Manager. Rothman and the team at Marketo plan content campaigns in line with key initiatives in the organization: This ensures that every content piece serves a purpose. None of their content sits unused, because it’s all appropriately timed with the needs and goals of the company. Marketo also focuses on large content assets and breaks them down into smaller chunks of relevant content to share at all stages. When they created the Definitive Guide to Social Marketing, that single piece fueled distribution at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. Here are all of the assets that came from a single and thorough content pillar, as well as the results of this approach: »» 1 Definitive Guide »» Result: 100,000 total views, 654 conversions »» 1 shorter eBook »» Result: 43,000 views »» 7 “cheat sheets” on specific topics pulled from the guide »» Result: 122,000 views »» 4 email promotions »» Result: 6,787 downloads from emails »» 2 webinars »» Result: 5,644 registrants, 1,156 attendees, 16,000 views of recorded assets »» 1 SlideShare presentation »» Result: 6,746 views, 291 downloads »» 4 blog posts »» Result: 819 reader shares »» Hundreds of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn shares »» Result: 4,791 resulting clicks “We map our content to different product or theme arcs throughout the year. Sometimes these arcs are centered around a product release, and sometimes they are just focused on a core competency.”
  13. 13. 14 Now that you’ve seen how a single content asset can become many smaller derivative assets, think through a content pillar you’ve already created or are planning to create. Have one in mind? Great! Now, complete the exercise below to see how a single asset can fill your editorial and social media calendars. [content pillar] [main derivative asset] Exercise 2 [secondary derivative asset]
  14. 14. 15 Catch Your Buyer’s Eye, Win Your Buyer’s Heart Reaching Buyers at the Top of the Funnel Say you’re interested in a certain someone. This person is exactly your type, and everything you know about them points to a perfect match. As is common these days, you take a look at Facebook and notice this person eats at the same restaurant every Friday. So where will you be next Friday? Come on, don’t lie. You’ll be at that restaurant, dressed in your best and bringing your A-game. Similarly, to strike up a relationship with the right people in a business context, you need to continuously show up where they’re already hanging out. How else will you get on their radar? But even that’s not enough. If you show up, you better capture their attention and get your stories to stick. Then, when presented with a related topic, they’ll be reminded of that hilarious tweet, the insightful blog post, or the compelling infographic you shared with them. The more often you catch your buyers’ attention and they like what you have to say, the more likely they’ll be to engage in a deeper dialogue. strike up a relationship with the right people in a business context, you need to continuously show up where they’re already hanging out.
  15. 15. 16 Great top-of-the-funnel content includes social media shares, blog posts, webinars, infographics, and eBooks. At this stage, people coming across your content might not know anything about your company or the solutions you offer. And that’s fine. This is not the time to push product-centric content. You want to let your buyers know that you’re interested in the same things they are, and start to earn their trust by providing valuable information that resonates with their everyday lives. But don’t forget to have a little fun, too! Incorporate unique, playful content assets into your strategy, such as fun visuals or videos, even if they’re not directly tied to a specific arc. These will help catch the eye of buyers at the top of the funnel and establish your organization as an approachable and enjoyable resource. Because your buyers are getting a first glimpse of you at the top of the funnel, there are some key ways you can stand out from the crowd. Leveraging Influencers Who are you more likely to go on a date with: a complete stranger or someone introduced to you through a friend? Most people, including your buyers, feel more comfortable with someone who’s associated with a person they already trust. Because of this, influencers are incredibly powerful when it comes to establishing bonds at the top of the funnel. Once you start getting to know the people who are considered thought leaders in your space, they’ll be more willing to share your content with their audiences (as long as it’s relevant...and good!). This brings new eyes and traffic to your work and website, and it also fosters immediate trust by association. Social Media and Content Distribution Social media is one of the most obvious but effective methods of reaching your target buyers at the top of the funnel. By sharing valuable information on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, your buyers may opt in to follow you and receive regular updates on your content. And don’t just talk about yourself. Share fun and interesting information from third-party sources (particularly the ones your buyers care about). Comment or interact in a natural, friendly way and take note of who responds (and to what). Use memes and references to pop culture. If there’s a network on which you’ve had particularly good engagement, take advantage of sponsored posts or ads to stay in front of the right people.
  16. 16. 17 SEO and Keyword Optimization As we mentioned in the introduction, buyers are researching solutions online, often by typing in keywords. When they’re looking for topics in that content “sweet spot,” you want to make sure they find you. With that in mind, it’s important to optimize your content so you’re showing up in search. But don’t be shady. It’s important to remember that as Google continues to update its algorithm, “black hat” (meaning unethical or bad) SEO tactics, such as purchasing or swapping links and keyword stuffing, stop working. In fact, they’re penalized by Google. The best advice? Write quality content for people, not robots. By writing in a natural voice about topics your organization understands, you’ll earn links based on merit, which will build authority and audience for the long-term. Paid Ads and Content Syndication Don’t forget to leverage paid media and syndication. Instead of stale ads that drive to a boring landing page, use online advertisements to promote your content. It’s much less pushy and not as intrusive, especially if your content provides value. Syndication allows other sites to pull recently published content from your web feed and distribute it to their audiences, which are preferably made up of your target buyers. Finding syndication partners is an easy way to expand promotion of your content and to become recognized as an important voice on those “sweet spot” topics. Go Viral: Contests, Polls, and Surveys In relationships, there’s always give and take. So what’s the business lesson? Think of creative ways to ask for information or spur your followers and readers into action. Then, as a reward, give them something they’ll find valuable in return. For example, host a contest on your Facebook page and give away a fun prize for a certain number of referrals. Make up a hashtag for a bigger content pillar and throw a Twitter party, giving away prizes for participation. Create surveys and reveal the summary of results once participants hit “submit.” If the topic is interesting and the questions are well-written, even curiosity will drive more engagement and sharing.
  17. 17. 18 To drive more traffic and leads at the top of the funnel, ask yourself the following questions: »» Who are the key influencers in our space? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What platforms drive the most traffic and engagement with our target buyers? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What types of content work best on each of those platforms? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What keywords are already driving people to our content, and what terms might our target buyers be using to find information? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» Where can we syndicate our content? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  18. 18. 19 The Marketo Way Interview with Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo When it comes to catching the attention of buyers, Marketo knows how to dress up content in perfect packages and distribute a good-looking result. Their content stands out with eye- catching design, unique concepts, and relevant topics. Marketo casts a big net, distributing their content far and wide. Here are just a few of the ways that Rothman and her team share content at the top of the funnel: »» Social Channels: We post new content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest (if visual), SlideShare (if visual), YouTube, and LinkedIn. We also use paid promotion behind these assets on Facebook and Google. »» Referral and sweepstakes on social: We leverage social to get our assets shared. We often develop incentive-based sharing campaigns. Take a look at an example here of one of our Facebook referral campaigns for one of our fun content pieces. »» Demand Generation Email Promotion Programs: We distribute relevant content to specific people in our database based on persona, vertical, buying stage, and interest. »» PPC Ads: We create landing pages and offer our content assets for download using PPC ads. »» Paid Email Programs: We work with relevant vendors and organizations to send out paid programs offering our assets to their databases. »» Content Syndication: We work with reputable content syndicators to post our gated content pieces on their sites and do paid email programs. »» Webinars: We often host webinars that are centered on a content asset. Sometimes we will even host two if the content is particularly robust. »» Speaking Sessions: We take the content of a good asset and use it in a speaking session if applicable. As you’ve already seen, Marketo creates major content assets that are informative and thorough. But on top of the serious stuff, they keep their content fresh, surprising, and playful: “We also integrate some ‘chocolate cake pieces’ that might not necessarily map to core business capabilities, but are fun pieces that drive people to share our content on social channels.” For example, the Marketing Activity Book is full of creative exercises inspired by childhood activities such as word hunts, paper dolls, mazes, connect-the-dots, and more. But there’s one key difference: it’s all about marketing.
  19. 19. 20 So you know who your ideal match is. Now it’s time to investigate where they hang out. Do they love Twitter and LinkedIn? Media publications? Industry blogs? Make a list of where your buyers spend their time online. Next, circle the places your organizations should “show up” to meet them. _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ Take the places you circled above and answer the questions below: Exercise 3 Place 1 _______________________________ »» Who’s hanging out here? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ »» What kind of content will you share here? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Place 2 _______________________________ »» Who’s hanging out here? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ »» What kind of content will you share here? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  20. 20. 21 Build Trust and Nurture Your New Relationship Now that you have a plan in place for catching the eye of that perfect buyer, you need to prove that you can be trusted. Why? Because once buyers recognize you as a valuable resource for relevant information, they’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say. By fostering trust, you’ll reach the next milestone in your blossoming relationship: your target buyers will give you permission to communicate with them by sharing their contact information. Regularly providing pieces of valuable and ungated content will help your buyers see you as an expert on the topics that interest them. Consistent and high quality content establishes trust and authority, so when they reach a gated piece of content on a topic they want to learn more about, they’ll be willing to exchange their email addresses and phone numbers for additional insights. Marketing Automation and Content Distribution Once buyers enter the marketing automation system, you can start to get to know even more about them as individuals. What types of content do they prefer? What topics interest them? Are they showing interest in me, too? At this point, it’s time to deliver that persona-targeted content you’ve created and to track the buyer’s interest in your products and services based on their digital body language. In order to do this effectively, you need to establish two key processes: lead nurturing and lead scoring.
  21. 21. 22 Lead Nurturing If a buyer has provided you with their contact information, they’ve agreed to stay in touch with you. After all, they wouldn’t give their email address to just any random vendor, right? They want updates, and to learn more about what you have to offer. But maybe it isn’t the right time. Maybe they’re still in a relationship with your competitor, but are starting to look around for other options. Perhaps they haven’t decided what they want yet. By establishing persona and stage-based nurture tracks within your marketing automation software, you’ll be able to stay in touch with them until they’re ready to make a move. During these communications, send them content that addresses the specific questions they have at this point in their journey and gives them the information and reassurance they need to take the next step. It’s all about delivering the right message at the right time. Lead Scoring But how will you know they’re ready to take the relationship to the next level? The answer is lead scoring. By identifying high-value characteristics and actions, you can score their data and behavior accordingly. Or, conversely, you can also negatively score information that indicates this buyer isn’t a good match. Establishing these processes through your marketing automation software enables you to track their progress down the funnel and then deliver relevant content that will help them take the next step with you. Ask yourself: »» What can I do to better convert site visitors into leads? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What types of content should be a part of our nurture campaigns? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» Do we have enough persona- and stage-based content for each of our buyers to fuel our nurture tracks? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ It’s all about delivering the right message at the right time.
  22. 22. 23 The Marketo Way Interview with Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo At the middle of the funnel, Marketo leverages both their technology and expertise to put together carefully executed, scored, and automated campaigns with content. They use the leads that are already in their database to send out email correspondence, either as email blasts or nurture campaigns. The email blasts usually introduce a new event, product release, or content piece, such as one of their Definitive Guides, or an accelerator program when they need additional opportunities. Marketo also creates multiple nurture tracks based on persona, stage, vertical, and interests: “We use content in all of our nurture programs to move people down the funnel based on continued interest, which we track based on email conversion rates and hand-raisers.” And, as you just learned, it’s important to deliver content that’s relevant to your buyers as they progress through the stages of the funnel. Marketo organizes their programs so that, at the middle of the funnel, leads start to get more specific content relating to marketing automation like buyers’ guides and templates. And if someone is downloading certain high-value assets or clicks to get a demo, they’re contacted by sales.
  23. 23. 24 Here’s an exercise to help you organize the main priorities for creating a successful lead scoring model. Go back to your buyer personas. What are the most indicative characteristics of a buyer? Which features and behaviors are most telling? Get started with the checklist below. Check off the boxes you think should be included in the lead scoring model. Next to each checked-off score, mark whether the attribute is critical, important, influential, or negative. Individual-specific FF Title FF Purchasing authority FF Level of manager (to whom do they report?) FF Years of experience FF Type of email used (Gmail, corporate, Yahoo) FF Years at current position FF Social network participation FF Social network connections FF Career interests FF Personal interests FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ Company-specific FF Rankings/Stock Indexes: Fortune 500/Inc FF Number of employees FF Company revenue FF Revenue growth (growing, declining, etc) FF Number of divisions FF Number of products sold (SKUs) FF Location FF Website traffic FF Organizational structure (proprietorship, partner- ship, corporation) FF Industry FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ Relationship FF Account type (potential vs. actual) FF Customer FF Partner FF Competitor FF Prospect FF Previous relationship FF Ex-customer FF Lost opportunity FF Product(s) purchased FF Complementary technolo- gies used (CRM, ESP, ERP, CMS, MRM, MA) FF Lead source FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ Explicit Scores to Consider Exercise 4 For a full list of lead scoring rules, head to:
  24. 24. 25 FF Livestreamed events FF Registered for FF Viewed FF Surveys FF Visited FF Completed FF Tradeshow FF Attended FF Watched demo FF Roadshow/Seminar FF Registered FF Attended FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ FF Web pages FF Viewed landing page FF Viewed - product specific FF Viewed - pricing FF Viewed - customers or reviews FF Viewed - multiple web pages FF Search activity FF Searches for company name FF Searches for product name FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ FF Community FF Submitted an idea FF Read about best practices FF Podcasts FF Listened FF Subscribed FF Videocasts FF Viewed FF Downloaded FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ Behavior-Based Scores to Consider FF Email unsubscribe FF Non-product web visit FF Career page FF Investor page FF Leadership page FF Added to “Do Not Call“ list FF Spam complaint FF _____________________________ FF _____________________________ Bad Behaviors (Implicit Data) Exercise 4, continued
  25. 25. 26 Prove You’re the Perfect Match Once a buyer has indicated they’re considering taking the plunge with your organization, you need to use content to prove that you are, indeed, “The One.” At this point, the buyer has reached a lead score that suggests they’re interested in the next step, or has raised their hand to be contacted by sales. Creating effective content for the bottom of the funnel relies on good communication between marketing and sales – another relationship! You need to have a process in place for communicating to the sales team about new content, the themes of that content and who it targets, and suggestions for how to use it successfully. When delivered correctly, this content helps sales to be seen as thought leaders and knowledgeable sources of information. This perception will be key in the final decision-making stages of your relationship. Effective bottom-of-the-funnel content includes customer success stories and case studies, pricing and data sheets, competitive comparison, third-party vendor profiles, and FAQs. Sales can use these pieces to reach out to a prospect on topics they know they’re interested in and to better tailor their communications. For example, a buyer may be worried about the security of their data. The lead may mention this concern during a call, and the sales rep can provide content related to that specific issue and how your company ensures all information is secure. This builds trust and authority. It When delivered correctly, the content at the bottom of the funnel helps sales be seen as thought leaders
  26. 26. 27 shows the buyer you’re listening, that you care, and that you’ll take care of them if they do, indeed, say “Yes” to your solution. Ask yourself: »» How can I establish a process to share new pieces of content with sales? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What types of content will help sales be seen as thought leaders? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What does a buyer need to know before they say “Yes” to our solution? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ The Marketo Way Interview with Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo Once buyers have reached the bottom of the funnel, the content turns more product-centric. Why? Because the buyer is ready to know the make-or-break details about your products or services, and your content needs to deliver that information. At this stage, Marketo employs pricing sheets, data sheets, product-focused webinars, and content about other companies who have used Marketo successfully. But still, it’s important to keep persona in mind and to deliver helpful content that’s specific to each buyer. For example, sharing a testimonial from a top customer in the same industry as the potential buyer will be more effective than sharing the story of a company with completely different needs and concerns. These customer stories help your buyers imagine what it would be like to use your product or service, and bring the benefits to life. And look how many testimonials Marketo has to share with their buyers! This is great bottom-of-the-funnel content that enables your sales team to cultivate the final stages of a relationship before tying the knot.
  27. 27. 28 For this exercise, get together with your sales team and create a list of the main questions and concerns buyers have at the bottom of the funnel. Next, identify whether or not you have a piece of content that addresses those issues. This will help close content gaps which, once filled, will help your sales team be more successful. Buyer questions and concerns Do you have a piece of content that addresses these concerns? (Yes/No) If “yes,” what? If “no,” what will you create? Exercise 5
  28. 28. 29 Foster Continued Commitment Even when the deal is closed, your work isn’t done. In a marriage, you have to keep bringing home flowers, right? The same goes for communicating with and delighting buyers who are now your customers. You want to make sure they continue to receive valuable information that helps them to succeed as a customer so they feel satisfied and supported. Also, keep clients happy, and they’ll remain committed to you and your organization. In order to build on their trust so you can continue to share updates on new products or features, be sure to share educational content with your account management team and incorporate this content into a specific nurture track for current customers. If you continue to provide useful information to customers, they’ll be more pleased with the experience, more likely to evolve from a customer into an advocate, and more prone to refer others to your organization. Three great types of content for continuing education are email campaigns designed for your existing customer base, customer success webinars, and ongoing education in a community format. The key is to never stop communicating. Of course, no one wants to be inundated with content, but if you can provide a steady stream of information and education, you and your customers will work together, happily ever after. ...keep clients happy, and they’ll remain committed to you and your organization. ...never stop communicating.
  29. 29. 30 Ask yourself: »» How can we continue to communicate with current customers? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» Once a deal is closed, what are the most common questions our account and support teams hear and how can we create content around those topics? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» What content will make our customers more successful? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ »» How can we deliver information on new features and products to current customers? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ The Marketo Way Interview with Dayna Rothman, Content Marketing Manager at Marketo Once a deal is done, communication doesn’t stop at Marketo. In fact, they offer a variety of content to keep the relationship alive, ensuring customer satisfaction and success with the product. Marketo uses a wide mix of content types to retain their customers, including email, an active customer community for posting questions and finding help or support, and hosting customer-specific webinars. Marketo also engages with customers face-to-face at their annual user Summit and the Marketing Nation Roadshow tour, which travels across the country throughout the year. Below the funnel, it’s important to keep relationships warm and to provide the education customers need to use the product or service to its maximum potential. Marketo also offers Marketo University, during which users are trained and certified on their product. Below the funnel, all of their content is used to retain customers and to keep them informed, happy, and successful.
  30. 30. 31 Customer questions and concerns Do you have a piece of content that addresses these concerns? (Yes/No) If “yes,” what? If “no,” what will you create? For this exercise, first determine your current tactics for communicating with your customers. Work with your customer success and support teams to define the main topics and concerns arising for customers once a deal is completed. What content assets do you already have, and what do you need to create? How will you address the questions currently being answered on a one-off basis by customer success and support? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ What current methods does your organization use to communicate with buyers below the funnel? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Exercise 6
  31. 31. 32 You’re Ready for Love! Now, dear marketer, you’re ready to build a long-term relationship with your buyers. No longer will your efforts attract the random attentions of people who aren’t the right fit for your organization. No longer will you struggle to find the right things to say, or run out of topics that interest you both. Your relationships won’t fizzle out before they ever get started. Instead you’ll be partners in each other’s continued success. What could be better than that?
  32. 32. Marketing Software. Easy, Powerful, Complete. Marketo (NASDAQ MKTO) uniquely provides an easy-to-use, powerful and complete marketing software platform that propels fast-growing small companies and global enterprises alike. Marketo® marketing automation and sales effectiveness software streamlines marketing processes, delivers more campaigns, generates more win-ready leads, and improves sales performance. With proven technology, comprehensive services and expert guidance, Marketo helps thousands of companies around the world turn marketing from a cost center into a revenue driver. Kapost, the world’s leading provider of content marketing software, enables brands to produce the content they need to generate and nurture leads. The Kapost platform organizes content marketing into a structured business process from planning and production through distribution and analysis for the full range of content types including blog posts, white papers, video, social media, landing pages, and emails.