Whitepaper   Content Marketing Overview
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Whitepaper Content Marketing Overview

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This paper describes the overall process of Content Marketing to generate and nurture leads . Content Marketing covers email, inbound, outbound and tele-marketing all blended together, in an efficient ...

This paper describes the overall process of Content Marketing to generate and nurture leads . Content Marketing covers email, inbound, outbound and tele-marketing all blended together, in an efficient process, with the objective to undertake lead generation and nurturing for you.
Content is the crucial part of internet marketing these days. Quality, engaging and original content gives your prospects a reason to "talk" or interact with you, metaphorically speaking, whether that is on the phone, face to face or more likely on a web site or Social Media outlet. Once prospects have found your content they may browse your other content, typically on your web site. The approach is made more efficient by carefully including various links and so called "Calls to action" throughout the content.
So in simple terms the content is created, then distributed widely and the prospects viewing the content follow the included links back to your web site where they may become leads, usually through some kind of registration or subscription form. The challenge is to make this process work efficiently and in a controlled manner. This paper explains the steps in this process in some detail.

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Whitepaper   Content Marketing Overview Whitepaper Content Marketing Overview Document Transcript

  • October 31WHITEPAPER: CONTENTMARKETING OVERVIEW 2012AN EXPLANATION AND DVISION OF WHAT CONTENT MARKETING IS ANDHOW TO MAKE IT WORK, PARTICULARLY IN A SMALL ORGANISATIONBY JULIAN POULTERLAMP-360OCTOBER 2012WWW.LAMP-360.COM Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 1 of 11
  • Whitepaper on Content MarketingContents1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 32. THE CONTENT ..................................................................................................... 33. PERSONALIZATION AND CONTENT DISTRIBUTION ....................................... 44. BROADCAST AND DISTRIBUTION ..................................................................... 55. LOCATION & HOSTING ....................................................................................... 76. CONVERSION ....................................................................................................... 87. SALES AND BUYING PROCESSES .................................................................... 98. SUMMARY ............................................................................................................ 99. ABOUT SMDI ...................................................................................................... 11Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 2 of 11
  • 1. IntroductionThis infographic shows the overall process of Content Marketing to generate and nurtureleads. Content Marketing covers email, inbound, outbound and tele-marketing all blendedtogether, in an efficient process, with the objective to undertake lead generation and nurturingfor you. Content is the crucial part of internet marketing these days. Quality, engaging andoriginal content gives your prospects a reason to "talk" to you, metaphorically speaking,whether that is on the phone, face to face or more likely on a web site or Social Mediachannel. Once prospects have found your content they may browse your other content,typically on your web site. The approach is made more efficient by carefully including variouslinks and so called "Calls to action" throughout the content.So in simple terms the content is created, then distributed widely and the prospects viewingthe content follow the included links back to your web site where they may become leads. Thechallenge is to make this process work efficiently and in a controlled manner. This paperexplains the steps in this process in some detail.2. The ContentOnce you’ve recognized the need for content, what to do? The first thing is undertake an auditand work out what existing content you have. Don’t worry if it’s a bit out of date or on paper,part of the challenge is to re-use or re-purpose what you already have. You may have printedbrochures but you may also have PDFs and Word documents containing lots of usefulinformation about you, your customers, your company and your product. Recognize however that much of the content you require for marketing purposes, is thought leading information discussing issues, not sales information on your latest product release. Whilst this latter information is valuable to your existing customers and prospects near to buying, it will not be of interest to prospects at the earlier stages of the sales cycle. Content can take many forms and use many media. In the B2B world, one of the most popular forms is the whitepaper and this is a good place to start. Whitepapers tend to be several thousand words, and perhaps between five and twenty pages long, in A4 document terms. These mini e-books can take quite a lot of effort to produce, but in the long term, it will be worth it. We would recommend starting out on the content marketing journey with at least three whitepapers initially and planning to write a new one each month for several months. The length of a whitepaper, gives you the opportunity to really explore the subject in depth, from many angles, include statistics andimportant customer or real life examples and research. Whitepaper should be written in theCopyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 3 of 11
  • 3rd person and have a simple “About us” section at the end where you can tell them aboutyou and perhaps your product.The beauty of the whitepaper library is that you can now re-purpose them and extend theleverage of the paper and take extra value from the effort involved in creating them. Forinstance the content within a single whitepaper could be re-used to form:•Blog posts - probably the most important thing is to drip feed the whitepaper out as a seriesof related blog posts. You can probably extract 3-10 posts form a whitepaper at least. Publishthese on a staggered basis, rather than all at once•Web pages - if the subject is something that relates to one of your key value propositions,then you may create a static web page(s) to hold a version of this information for a long timeon your site•Slide show – create a slideshow using PowerPoint. Also consider using Prezi – a differentapproach to presentations that works well. Ensure you include full details opf the slidenotes/script•Video - Dub over your voice using PowerPoint or a tool like Camtasia. This can give you aneasy to create video•Podcast•Images – host on image sites like Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest along with associated,keywords, tags and descriptions•Infographic - a currently popular version of images and a blend with a slideshow isinfographics•e-Book - The whitepaper can also be converted into an e-book format and made available onfree and paid sites (Kindle)There are probably other types as well, but this covers the main types of content. Think“words, image and video”. All of the content you create should be stored along with theappropriate titles, keywords and tags. Keywords and tags help users find your content both onthe wider internet and on your own site. Remember also that each item should contain linksback to appropriate pages on your website, rarely will this be the home page.3. Personalization and Content DistributionNow we have our content creation stream well underway, before we think of distributing it wecan consider the topic of personalization. We use this in the broad sense to cover two mainfunctions; message selection and message personalisation.In the buying process we should categorise buyers based on their location in the buyer’sjourney. Buyer’s start off unaware, of your company , proposition or even of the problem theyhave. Then they become aware, they then may become interested, start researching orlooking at solutions. Somewhere around this stage they may then become active buyers,moving and researching information until they will implement a solution. The role of yourcontent is to help them along that journey and to make a decision that you will profit by, eithernow or in the future.Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 4 of 11
  • The point is that simply sending the same material/content to everybody does not work and you will get unsubscribes or the social media equivalent. The key stage is the Unaware one - this is where most of you (colder) prospects will be. This is where collateral like whitepapers can come in very handy, to explain industry issues and solutions to the buyer – in other words educate them through your professional and quality thought leadership. Once they are Aware (of your proposition or their issue) you have opportunities to build the relationship, but be aware it can be a long term affair extending over 6-24 months. Jumping in and trying to sell them something at this early stage is not usually the best option. Patience and tenacity are the name of the game. So the issue is to write and then select the best content for buyers, depending on where they are – at that stage in their journey – Unaware, Aware etc. Using the tags and categorisations we determined when creating the content can help us here. We also need to consider the channel of communication. If weare broadcasting to a channel then we probably need to make a range of material available. Ifwe are sending an email or making a phone call we can be more precise in our personalisedmessage.There are many opportunities for interaction when we distribute our content and part of theoverall process is to gain an understanding of the prospects situation, problems and needs,and react to that as best we can.Once we have selected the content for the buyer, we can then also personalise the message.When our message goes out of we can personalise it to the prospects situation we canimprove response rates. So using names and information we know about them and theircompany can be useful in improving conversion rates.4. Broadcast and DistributionWe now have a message selected, and can start to consider distributing this as widely andrelevantly as possible. The main channels at our disposal are email, social media and tele-marketing. Lets look at each of these briefly.Email - has been used, with a widely varying degree of success for many years. Its conversionrates are low, but it is still effective due to its low cost, even with cold raw data as well aswarmer prospect data or prospects who have subscribed to your list (blog or newsletter),where we tend to know a lot more about the prospects demographics, buying stage andinterests..Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 5 of 11
  • Emails need to reflect the stage in the buyer’s journey and should be linked to thecontent/collateral which is our hook. Emails can be personalised and marketing automationsoftware can undertake the selection of the most appropriate message based on buyerdemographics or behaviour. Bear in mind, we will probably be sending x100 or x1000 ofemails in a short period of time using software.Social media - covers a broad range of sites that cover the likes of Facebook and Google+ with LinkedIn mainly for business. In addition there are sites that cover more specific types of media such as: YouTube, Pinterest & Instagram. Content can be distributed to these sites depending on whether it is text, image or video format. The key with all social media sites is to obtain large numbers of quality prospects in terms of Followers, Likes or Subscribers, depending on the unique terminology of the site concerned. It is beyond this article to describe how to obtain followers, but only legitimate techniques should be used to gain interested followers. The main reason they will subscribe or Like you is because they are interested in your content. Social media is more of broadcast than a personalised message, however prospects subscribe to your “channel” because they have an interest in the topics the channel covers. So any site or channel must have a theme, classification or understood range of topics that it covers – otherwise you will turn off your audience. Blog - an expression heard over recent years is "blog or die". Why is this? One of the main reasons is that you main web site is often relatively static, new products do not come along every day and the average small company does not have a lot of news. but a blog can and needs to be quite dynamic and updated on a regular basis, ideally daily. therefore the blog becomes one of the main users of the content you have created. To increase the frequency of a blog and to recognise its more informal nature you can also blog aboutless important events such as customer wins, new hires etc. Its important to plan out what youwill blog about and who will contribute.The constant updates to the blog on the web site give visitors a reason to return and the newcontent helps with being found on the internet (SEO) whichh is key for any web site.Tele-marketing - can be used to push out a message and is often used in this way and knownas cold calling. This method does work, has relatively high conversion rates but is expensiveto run and difficult to manage. We recommend instead that it is used in a reactive manner torespond to incoming leads, generated from outbound content distribution, rather than used inan outbound context. This way, the tele-marketers are always calling people who are relativelyintested, rather than cold calling.Whitepaper sites - this is a collection of sites that you can also post your content to. A fewyears ago many of these were free, but now they charge for the privilege of hosting yourCopyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 6 of 11
  • content. However, many are still free at the entry level and only charge if they provide you theleads, that is the list of people who have downloaded your content.Finally one of the most important tools is Twitter. These short 140 character messages calledTweets are broadcast to your Followers, but cannot carry a lot of content. However a Tweetusually contains 3 important things:1. Some sort of interest statement or call to action – sometimes this will be a short message toalert your followers. However sometimes it will be a few words to encourage them to follow theembedded link2. Links: many tweets will incorporate a link to the main article of interest – your content, whichis hosted on your social media or web site. The act of clicking allows the link to be tracked socan you can see how many people responded to your Tweets.3. #hashtags – embedded in the message, normally at the end you can use hashtags.#marketing is an example./ If you use this, think of it as a keyword. Other users may thensearch for #marketing and your Tweet will be included in the results. Users may then readyour tweet, follow your link, and hopefully you get a leadSo when do you Tweet? Well, every time you publish something. As well as publishing yourcontent articles on your site and social media outlets, you also broadcast your content viaTweets and email.So one major whitepaper could be posted in several different forms and each hosting locationwill have an “article” with links back to your site. Each time you post something you Tweet. Abalance needs to be struck between tweeting every single post, if they are all essentially thesame, which could bore. Ideally a phased approach to a piece of content and its subsidiarypieces could be arranged, as long as this can be sensibly managed. You would thensequentially release the content on the different platforms.PPC - There are many outlets for your brand through banners and advertising opportunitiesbut the main one is Google PPC. However, recently LinkedIn (B2B) and Facebook alsoprovide additional advertising opportunities. Each of these sites differs but they allow you totarget you adverts very carefully to specific groups or demographics. PPC adverts are simlilarto your other content, whilst very small, three lines in the case of Google, they contain linksback to your web sites Landing Pages.Keeping track of all of this activity as well as the content and its creation and status (draft,published, waiting approval etc) needs some tool or methodology or you will probably bemanaging chaos.5. Location & hostingThe posting and distribution of the content is closely linked to where the content is hosted..Historically, organisations probably kept most of the content on their own site. However thesedays particularly with the rise of social media there are many other locations to host yourCopyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 7 of 11
  • content. Your own website is not as important as it was, though it is usually the centre ofthings. This content is then embedded in your own site and importantly the 3rd party host often provides a mechanism for a prospect to embed the content on their own site. Think of embedding a YouTube video on your site, you use their professional video hosting and streaming platform, embedded in your own site. So as you post your content you are in effect hosting it on the 3rd party platform. The common platforms for hosting content are: Text: Slideshare, Whitepaper sites like Techdirect, LinkedIn company pages Images: Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Visual.ly and others for Infographics, Google and Facebook company “Pages” Moving images: Slideshare, YouTube, Google and Facebook6. ConversionThe goal of all our activity is to create customers and the start of the sales and buying processis to generate enough interest for a click back to your landing page or web site to become alead.Its worth noting that with content marketing and social media a long term approach is needed.Along the way you are building the relationship by providing more relevant content, and inreturn you understand your prospect in more detail. Eventually you may get a lead. Note,some buyers are interested, but are not going to move forward to an active prospect for a longCopyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 8 of 11
  • time, if ever – these are lead nurtures and our content marketing approach must take accountof these.If however, we succeed in generating a lead – somebody who has subscribed to our list,made and enquiry or just simply downloaded a piece of our content – we now need to dosomething with that lead.Sometimes we will receive autonomous leads – we know somebody interacted with us andwas probably interested, but we don’t yet know who they are. Technology and cookies canremember interactions and then match them eventually with a real buyer, once they identifythemselves.Once we get a led the sales process can start in earnest. In a complex sale of a B2B naturethis will undoubtedly involve speaking to the prospect, probably initially on the phone andeventually face to face.Tele-marketing can be used very effectively to screen and qualify incoming leads – assuminga contact number is known or has been left. Alternatively software can assist to some extentby using lead scoring techniques. However, software cannot yet beat the conversation of anintelligent telemarketing person – note the word intelligent, this means an experienced,knowledgeable person, not somebody reading a script.7. Sales and buying processesThe sales process is essentially that of qualification to ensure we can do a deal, it is worth ourwhile etc. The buying process is the stages of awareness a buyer goes through fromUnaware, then Aware through to becoming a customer. For more details on the sales processview our article: xxxx here8. Summary#ContentMarketing covers a range of inbound and outbound marketing techniques and blendscontent, email, telemarketing and a variety of social media platforms.Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 9 of 11
  • It uses the raw material, content, that you need to generate interest and nurture a relationshipuntil prospect becomes a lead. We then move into the more traditional sales processes inorder to convert that lead to a customer., the process then starts all over again as we continueto build the relationship with the new customer and gain additional sales and references.Copyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 10 of 11
  • 9. About SMDISMDI was founded in 2003 and has rapidly become one of Europe’s leading sales and leadgeneration consultancies. SMDI has provided market evaluation, lead generation and salesoutsourcing services to a variety of companies, small, large and across multiple sectors.SMDI provides services, consulting, best practice and technology around the LAMP process. LAMP-360 / SMDI Ltd Phone: 020 3397 07265 Unit 12, The Power House Higham Mead Email: enquiries@lamp-360.com Chesham Buckinghamshire Web site: www.lamp-360.com HP5 2AHCopyright © SMDI Ltd Oct. 2012 Contact: www.lamp-360.com 020 3397 0725 Version 7 Page 11 of 11