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Creating Content

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  • 1. Creating Content that Sells:Content Marketing for Demand GenerationContent marketing is more important than ever. The B2B buying process has changed, and so hasthe B2B buyer. Gone are the days when salespeople actively “sold” to prospects and marketerswould participate in “interruption marketing”—doing their best to get in front of prospectivecustomers regardless of their level of interest or qualification. The Need for Content Marketing The Role of Content Marketing inContent Marketing: Thanks to the Internet, social media and other major Demand GenerationThe creation and sharing of online influences, prospects are spending more time Marketo’s definition of Content Marketing is “Thecontent for the purpose of pro- on the Web doing independent research, obtaining creation and sharing of content for the purpose ofmoting a product or service. information from their peers and other third parties. promoting a product or service.” Though the focusDemand Generation: Companies are meeting prospective buyers earlier of this content may not specifically be about yourThe function of a B2B market- than ever, and they must avoid having sales engage organization or its offerings, often assets created foring department that creates with every early-stage lead that is not truly sales the purpose of content marketing include a mix ofdemand for your product or ready. problem-specific information and thought leader-service. ship. Reducing Risk in the B2B buying process Research shows that the B2B buying process is a This is because organizations are finding success highly emotional one, one that lends itself to ir- by increasing awareness and demand for an entire rational behaviors and heuristics, or quick methods industry, allowing the company to benefit from the of coming to a solution that are, at best, educated expanded market and its increased interest. To be ef- guesses. The emotion that most impacts the B2B fective, you cannot just focus on the benefits of your buyer is fear (e.g. job security, loss of professional product or service, but instead share the business credibility, monetary loss, etc.) benefits of employing best practices in your indus- try. Companies that successfully use content market- While there is organizational risk involved in the ing will improve their credibility amongst customers process (often stated in the procurement or RFP and prospects and will be able to claim a larger process), personal risk is what marketers must seek share of the available market than competitors. This to understand best. This type of personal risk is often is because they are building trust and rapport with unstated, different for each person in the buy- these prospects and customers, making it easier for ing committee, and a potential source of internal them to justify purchasing your product. tensions and ineffective buying processes. Many qualified leads disappear because of personal risk, Content is not just white papers, webinars and web and when sales and marketing don’t acknowledge pages. It includes a wide range of information your and tackle this fear, revenue suffers. company uses to educate buyers. This is thought leadership and can include: B2B marketers must do their best to minimize this fear by eliminating risk, which can be done only • Articles • Online Courses through building trust with prospects. Content • Books/eBooks • Podcasts/Videocasts marketing develops this trust, providing the buyer • Brochures/manuals • Presentations with information that will help them make the right • Case Studies • Product Data Sheets decision, allowing them to reduce both organiza- • Information Guides • Reference Guides tional and personal risk. • Microsites/Web Pages • Resource Libraries © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. • RSS/XML Feeds • White Papers 3. It closes a gap – content marketing should • Videos • Widgets answer a business question or problem. Giving • Webinars/Webcasts • Workbooks people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort by the Doug Kessler, Creative Director at Velocity Partners organization. and author of The B2B Content Marketing Work- 4. It is well written – poorly written thought leader- book, provides succinct advice on how to turn ship may not only provide poor results, but may organizational thinking into effective content-based also hurt the company’s reputation. Take time to marketing campaigns. “Thought Leadership is ensure content is presented in a thoughtful man- exploiting your unique position in your markets to ner and is free of errors. generate valuable insight and advice on issues your 5. It is relevant to your company – if the content customers and prospects care most about. Content you create does not support business objectives marketing is turning your insight and advice into in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. campaigns that change people’s minds and incite Keep business goals in mind when creatingSix Rules of Content action,” says Kessler. This means that the material content.Marketing you use in content marketing should do more than 6. It gives proof – since you write to support a just inform or educate, it should inspire. business goal, your content may seem biased.1. Non promotional Make sure that content you create gives proof2. Relevant to Reader either through quotes and testimonials or through Demand Generation3. Closes a Gap actual metrics and statistics. Demand generation is the function of a B2B mar-4. Well-Written keting department that creates demand for your5 Relevant to Your Company While following the steps above will allow you to product or service. This is much more than lead6. Gives Proof create good content, good content is not enough. generation, as it also includes the conversations and activities that occur prior to the lead being passed Instead, you must share this content so that it is con- to sales. sumed and information about prospects is gathered. Effective content marketing is imperative to de- Content Promotion mand generation because it helps create product To encourage consumption of this content, you demand. Content affects demand generation in will want to promote it to your prospect data- three important ways: base, relevant customers and those in your target • Lead Generation demographic. Promotional channels include email • Lead Nurturing campaigns, events and social media. You may also • Lead Scoring want to do this through paid promotions, including content syndication, Google Adwords or other paid Lead Generation search marketing, email sponsorships, newsletter A core function of a marketing department is lead sponsorships and more. generation. For content to be successful for lead generation, it must follow these six rules of con- Promotion is key to the success of your content tent marketing: campaign because if others do not read what your organization has created, it will not promote com- 1. It is not promotional – promotional materials pany success. will neither excite nor inspire, both critical com- ponents of content marketing. Here are some tips for getting more out of content 2. It is relevant – generic materials that are not promotion: • Let bloggers, press, analysts and other influencers highly relevant to a reader will not result in increased success. When writing content you know about your content so they can share it with must make sure it will be useful to the reader, their followers via social media, blog posts and regardless of whether it supports your company more. • Consider creating a press release about the message. -2- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. content or mentioning it in other press releases. Building Effective Landing Pages.• Link your content’s landing page with the rest of your website, adding it to an appropriate resource In addition to having well-constructed landing pag- section. Also, consider creating banner ads about es, consider the registration form itself. The questions the content for your website or for the website on a form can greatly impact the actual download of homepage. a paper. Best practice is to keep the form as short as• Leverage your own company blog, sharing key possible, e.g. only asking for name, company name takeaways from the content in a blog post so the and email address. If you ask for additional informa- reader understands the value of the content. tion like city, phone number, title and company size,• Test multiple ads and keywords to get the most you may reduce the actual number of people who out of your paid search-marketing program. Don’t view the asset. Try at all costs to not ask for very just rely on the obvious. personal information or information that cannot be• Remember, social media is more than Twitter. recalled easily from memory. Test to discover the Use a variety of social media sites to spread maximum set of information your prospects find information about your content including other reasonable, allowing you to collect as much data as microblogging sites, blogs, social networks possible before registrants decline. (LinkedIn and Facebook) marking sites (Delicious), news sharing sites (Digg, Sphinn) and more. Lead Nurturing• And finally, consider the program ROI needed and Lead nurturing is about maintaining an ongoing compare that to the cost of paid promotions to conversation with your prospects. In this case, the decide your strategy. conversation advances via the marketing assets you use as well as the way in which your company com-Content Registration municates with prospects. Content plays a criticalContent marketing will include assets that are open role in lead nurturing, as it often acts as a sales rep’sand available without registration. However, in proxy when a person is not yet sales ready.order for content marketing to be effective in leadgeneration, there must be a form to capture contact Here are some additional best practices for develop-information. While these forms can be embedded in ing content optimized for lead nurturing:frames or placed in emails, you will mostly likely putyour forms on a landing page. Respect your prospect’s schedule and attention span — make your content easy to digestOften marketers create successful content but do Just as the B2B buying process has changed, so havenot achieve optimal results because of their land- the ways that prospects interact with the contenting pages. Landing pages are critical to content you provide. If you’re lucky enough to have themand should feature the benefits of the asset in an look at your content, you better make it engaging—attractive way that encourages download. If a piece which in most cases means it has to be short, sweetof content isn’t doing well you will often want to and to the point.explore landing page optimization before changingthe content, as it may be the reason you are not do- Make content valuable, not self-promotionaling as well as you’d like. When creating content, make sure you put your audience’s interests ahead of your own. People un-Landing page optimization can be very complex derstand that if they are reading a vendor-sponsoredand include A/B testing, multivariate testing, or vendor-written resource, the material probablyeye-tracking studies, usability tests, click-mapping alludes to what the vendor’s product or service canand more. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Instead, do.start with some landing page optimization basics,like testing headings or images, and then work Use sales and marketing emails as a chance toto more complicated testing procedures. To learn get personal, not pushymore about landing page optimization, check out The content or dialogue in your communication -3- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 4. with prospects is an important consideration with If a marketer did not have content for emails, land- lead nurturing. Use HTML emails to nurture leads, ing pages, product pages and the website, as in then follow up corporate emails with more personal, the example above, none of this scoring would be text-only emails from sales. possible. Lead Scoring Developing Content to Generate Demand In demand generation, marketing not only gener- Relevance is the key to creating content for demand ates new names that may be interested in your generation that impacts lead generation, lead organization’s product or service, they also triage nurturing and lead scoring. Relevance does not only those leads, either manually or via a defined busi- mean writing one paper that is useful to someone ness process that identifies it as a lead that is ready about to buy your product or service. Not all pros- for sales’ attention. This assessment may be based pects are ready for this content or trust your com- on the actions they took to become a lead, the pany’s information. Instead, you must create multiple demographics of the lead or their behavior after pieces of content relevant to buyer roles and buyerContent marketing is used to the lead is created. This sales ready lead is then stages, enticing a lead to engage with your contentscore leads as they consume passed to the sales department to continue the lead multiple times during the buying cycle.information about your com- lifecycle process.pany, your industry or other Buying Rolethought leadership, helping Lead scoring is the process of ranking a lead’s level When we speak of buying roles we are specificallyidentify if and when they are of interest and sales readiness according to a meth- talking about the procurement responsibility of thesales ready. odology agreed upon by marketing and sales. This prospect. Typically this describes their level of influ- process is essential in demand generation because, ence over the purchase, like user, influencer or CXO. on average, only 25% of new leads are sales ready. Mapping your content to buying role is important Therefore, you need a way to find the hot leads and because prospects find content targeted to their pass them to sales before a competitor moves in role or industry much more valuable than generic or they go cold. Additionally, a 10% increase in lead content. quality results in a 40% increase in sales productivity. According to research firm MarketingSherpa: Scoring means passing fewer, but higher quality, • 82% of prospects say content targeted to their leads to sales. This means win rates and revenue specific industry is more valuable improve, and sales reps don’t waste their time on • 67% say content targeted to their job function is leads that do not have actionable results. Rather more valuable than wasting time on low quality leads, reps can fo- • 49% say content targeted to their company size is cus their time on the high quality leads and acquire more valuable more wins. • 29% prefer content targeted to their geography For a B2B marketer, the prospect’s qualification is Buying Stage best defined not only by their words, but by their Buying stage describes where your prospect stands actions. For example, at ABC Didgets, Sue scores a in the buying process. This is important to content prospect’s engagement, including their incoming marketing for demand generation because it will activity (the lead source), which emails they respond impact the type of content the prospect is likely to, which forms they complete, as well as the pages to consume. The content someone finds relevant they visit on the company’s website. For example: changes as they move through the process. You must have the right information available to that Activity Score prospect so they can further develop their interest in your product or service. Clicks link in email +3 Completes form +5 Visits product benefits page +3 Visits any company web or blog page +1 -4- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. For example: to share, according to buyer profile and stage — ide- • Educational pieces work well during the early ally you want to fill out each grid box with multiple awareness stages. With these pieces, you are pieces of content over time. simply educating people and sharing best practices. In this section you will be able to map your buying • Industry-specific pieces work well just as prospects processes and stages to your current content to start looking for a solution. Examples can be see where you are missing key demand generation industry overviews, analyst reports, buyer’s guides, materials that need to be developed by your market- etc. ing team. • Solution-oriented and company-focused materials are appropriate for prospects engaged in an active Most companies will have at best two or three buying cycle. pieces of content for each cell, and will have many blank cells at the beginning. That’s fine – you can The goal of this matrix is to provide you with an at- get started with the content you already have. Over a-glance resource for determining the structure of time, you will want multiple pieces of content for your content marketing. By completing this matrix, each cell, so use the blank spaces to build out your you’ll ensure that your content marketing com- content roadmap. ponents — buyer roles and buying stages — are effectively aligned with each other so that you can Be sure to provide enough detail about topic, format communicate in the most relevant way with your and length to help ensure that the information prospects according to their buying stage. Each in- makes sense within the context of your overall plan. tersection of the matrix should map out the contentBuying StagesIn this example, we’ll use the buying cycle stages outlined by SiriusDecisions. Stages: 1 Loosening the 2 Committing to 3 Exploring Possible 4 Committing to a 5 Justifying the 6 Making the status quo Change Solutions Solution Decision Selection A B CYour TurnInsert the stages of your company’s buying cycle stages here, adding or deleting as necessary. Stages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B CBuying RolesInsert Buyer Roles. Let’s use the roles suggested by SiriusDecisions. Stages: 1 Loosening the 2 Committing to 3 Exploring Possible 4 Committing to a 5 Justifying the 6 Making the status quo Change Solutions Solution Decision Selection Champion User CXO IT -5- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Your TurnInsert the buyer roles of your company here, adding or deleting as necessary. Stages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B C DContentFinally, let’s map your content into the cells of the matrix. For each grid box be as specific as you can about your content and list as many resources asyou can that would be relevant for each person and buying stage. Stages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B C D The Three Rs of Content is often recommended to rewrite your content. Marketing Optimization Rewrites are often less time consuming than Many marketers are faced with content marketing creating new content but will still need time and challenges because of materials that are out of date, attention to execute properly. When rewriting you out of place or inappropriate for your target audi- want to ensure you follow the six rules of content ence. In this case, the marketer must use the three marketing to ensure the rewrite is compelling and Rs of content marketing optimization: more successful than the original. • Retire – every piece of content will have a limited • Reorganize – when you reorganize content, shelf life. This means that you cannot use the same you are taking pieces of existing content and content indefinitely. If content isn’t performing restructuring it in a way that is more useful to as well as it should, or if its consumption has your prospects or customers. This is a great way significantly decreased and you do not think it will for companies who have lots of information but be useful to reorganize or rewrite, then it is time not a lot of structured content available for their to retire it from your content library. This may be prospects. There are many ways to do this, like obvious with papers that are specific to a certain compiling blog and web content in a white paper, date or event, like a list of events that happened or by using brochure content as the foundation for during a specific year or lessons learned from a a new video. specific trade show, but it will also be important • Rewrite – companies often find it useful to rewrite even when less obvious events occur, such as content when the content they have is either changing trends that cause a topic to no longer be dated or has been exhausted due to a high level of interest. of previous consumption. When this happens, it -6- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 7. More than just White Papers The ROI of Content MarketingEarlier it was mentioned that podcasts, webinars, True Return on Investment (ROI) for content market-presentations, widgets and more could all be used ing in demand generation would be a measure ofas content for demand generation. This is surpris- the profit earned from your content marketing pro-ing to many marketers, as typically when we think gram. Essentially, it would be the return you receiveof content we think about documents like white from creating and distributing content. But sincepapers, eBooks, articles and case studies. your content does not earn a direct return, you can not accurately calculate this value without looking atMarketers who are getting the most out of their all the sales and marketing that contributed to a sale.content are utilizing all the different types of con-tent to generate demand. There are a number of To do this, you must look at the campaigns thereasons for this: content is used in and evaluate the affect of these campaigns on the organization’s revenue. Then you• Your prospects will all have their own preferred must attribute a percentage of this success to the way of consuming content, causing you to miss content used in these campaigns. This is because many potential interactions with prospects if you the success of these campaigns is only partially only offer one type of content. due to the content itself. Other factors creating the• Utilizing research or information on one topic of program success may include: interest in many content formats will allow you to get more return out of your content development. • Emails distributing content• Different types of content may give you a • Social media marketing competitive edge, making you appear as a • Sales reps sharing content thought leader or appear as if you have dedicated • Search engine optimization more time to the creation of your content. • Pay per click advertising• The type of content consumed by prospects • Content syndication changes as they go through their buying stages, • Trade shows where content is distributed causing prospects to search for information via • Branding and reputation competitors if they don’t find what they need • Other content* through your thought leadership. Online communities Search engines eBooks Email newsletters Editorial articles White papers Podcasts Case studies Online videos Webcasts Virtual trade shows Product literature Trial software Online vendor demos Awareness phase Consideration phase Decision phase Begin Align IT Explore Determine Assess decision with business technology ROI solution objectives options process Identify strategy Make business problem decision Establish requirements/ build RFP Build short Research list products/ Research vendors solutions From Google/TechTarget 2009 Media Consumption Report -7- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 8. *Other content includes information the prospect content used in this campaign is therefore consid-consumed outside of the campaign including ered to have a higher value to the organization thancontent from partners, analysts, bloggers, press and the content in their October data offer, which hascompetitors. This is because their content may be less influence.influencing the purchase of your product in additionto the content you have distributed. Other measurements of content success that you can use include the number of times each piece ofIn addition to looking at the success of content by content is viewed and lead source of your new leads,campaign, you should begin to measure campaign of your contacts and of your opportunities.influence. By looking at which pieces of content aremost frequently consumed by successful opportuni- One note of caution: be careful not to attribute theties (sold deals), you can see what content is most last piece of content viewed as the most successfuluseful to prospects. content. Organizations that do this find that their results are skewed based on the time they distributeIn the example below from Demandbase, the Q3 content. For example, if 40% of your business closesdata offer was their most influential campaign. The in Q4 and you release a new white paper just as Won Opportunity Campaign Influence 17 8 48 6 19 12 9 13 14 8 11 10 Record Count 2009.09.17 September Data Offer Follow Up From Rep 2009.10.07 October Data Offer (Extension) 2009 Email: 06.02 NEW DATA Sales & Marketing 2009 Email: Demandbase Q3 Data Offer Email 2009 Email: eNewsletter 06/01 2009 Email: eNewsletter 08/01 2009 Email: eNewsletter 10/2009 2009 Email: New Data July 2009 Purchasers 2009 Email: New Data Sales/Marketing June (1.5M) 2009 Email: New Data Summer Offer from Sales Rep Email: Registered User Nurture Program Other -8- © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 9. the quarter begins it may appear that this content is most critical, though in reality it is just the one promoted prior to the close of many deals that had already been developing in your sales funnel. Continue the Conversation and Learn More Love this paper? Share it. • Tweet this • Share on Facebook • Share on LinkedinAbout Marketo Agree or disagree with parts of this paper? Let us know.Marketo is the fastest growing providerof marketing automation and bestpractices. Marketo’s uncompromising • Email us at maria@marketo.comon-demand solutions enable market- • Tweet about the paper using hashtag #marketoing and sales teams to collaborate • Tell us on our Marketo Facebook pagethroughout the revenue cycle, from the • Discuss it in our Marketo Linkedin Groupearliest stages of demand generationand lead management to the pursuit ofrevenue and customer loyalty. While the focus of this paper was specific to con- tent marketing for demand generation, contentMarketo Lead Management gives marketing can also be used to improve SEO, as salesMarketers the power and flexibility to collateral, as website information and more. To learnautomate demand generation cam- more about content marketing for these purposes,paigns and deliver high quality sales check out:leads with less effort, while MarketoSales Insight helps Sales understand,prioritize and interact with the hot- • Marketo Modern B2B Marketing Blogtest leads and opportunities to close • Marketo Resource Centerbusiness faster. Known for providing • Idealaunch 101 Content Marketing Tipsthe most innovative user experience • Velocity Partners B2B Content Marketingand the fastest time to value, Marketowas voted ‘Best Marketing Automation WorkbookApplication’ by Salesforce customerson the Force.com AppExchange. As ofJune 2009, more than 200 mid-marketand enterprise companies in ninecountries have selected Marketo.Marketo, Inc.901 Mariners Island Blvd, Suite 200San Mateo, CA 94402Tel: 650.376.2300Fax: 650.376.2331 -9-www.marketo.com © 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.