There are lots of different content marketing tactics – social media, article posting, blogs, case studies, research reports, videos, etc.
The good news is our buyers WANT our information – they’re doing the research! BUT….it needs to satisfy their research objectives, be of high value, and lacking sales pitches. It takes a lot to engage a buyer these days – you must be credible, intimately understand their issues, and offer them something of value.
Although this is a pretty gut-wrenching statistic for marketers – I doubt any of us are surprised by it. No doubt if you took a sample of our audience, they’d feel the same way – trust & marketing messages typically don’t go hand-in-hand.
It’s interesting that 63% of companies use content marketing to generate leads but only 37% use it for lead nurturing. While lead generation is a great goal for content marketing, the real goal we all have with lead generation is turning those leads into sales. Most buyers aren’t ready to buy when they download a white paper from your website. Rather, they’re more likely researching their options and gathering information. Once they read the white paper, they likely will have other questions about your products and services so they’ll may elect to attend a webinar you’re sponsoring.
Before we can create any content, we need to understand our buyers inside and out. Our content needs to be high-value which means it needs to address their problems. It needs to be in a format they prefer. It needs to be delivered in a way that they’ll see it and use it. You have to get a lot of details right in order to make content marketing work.
Can’t learn anything about your buyers by sitting in your office. Get out and talk to them. Trade shows are good. Industry events are good. Not your customers – your buyers. Win/loss researchBuyer informational interviewsFind out their concerns and priorities, their boss’ concerns & priorities, what keeps them up at night. If they were looking for a solution like yours, what’s their buying criteria? What do they do first when looking for a solution? And next? And next? (find info about researching buying process)
Mindset you need to get in BEFORE going further with content marketing. Yes, we want to generate leads but remember our goal is high-quality leads – people who want to do business with us because they’re interested in the problems we solve. You won’t build relationships if you create content that sells – even subtley sells. Rather the content needs to solve genuine problems your buyers have
Nurture them by giving them the right informration at the right time.
Don’t focus on just getting them in the door (ie. – getting more leads). Take the leads you have and build a “content path” for them that answers their questions/concerns throughout the sales cycle. Nurturing leads well builds relationships and helps buyers think of you when they’re ready to buy.
Research has found that marketers who consider themselves “best-in-class” at content marketing map content to the stages in the buying cycle. It’s really a critical step to create content marketing that works.
Much better to do a little really well than a lot poorlyStart small – what can you re-create or re-imagine?
Do a content inventory of what you have before you create ANYTHING. Unless your company has no content at all – this is a very important step before you create new content.This is a sample content inventory document I use when inventorying clients’ content. Normally it’s eye-opening to catalogue it in one place. Most companies don’t realize they have as much content as they do. Plus it makes it much easier for content creators to utilize content pieces when they have them indexed in a list like this.
Before you create anything, can you take any existing content and re-purpose it? Companies that are really good at content marketing are creative in thinking of ways to utilize the same content in different formats. It’s the only way to achieve economies of scale. And lest think buyers will be tired of reading/seeing the same thing in one format and then another, consider that buyers need to see the same message in order to remember it. Plus different people have different learning styles. Someone who is a visual learner might not read a white paper but they might watch a video interview with the author.
Lead generation with content marketing is a long-term strategy – it doesn’t happen overnight. Your best leads will be those who consume your content throughout the sales stages, build a relationship with you, and then are ready to do business with you when the need arises.
Set appropriateexpectations with your Sales team and Executive Mgmt – content marketing takes time to work. It needs to be planned and strategic – not knee-jerk reactive or the relationship building that you’re attempting will be for naught.
Rather ambitious but steps 1-7 really should be in place before you create any content. But don’t let the steps overwhelm you – just start doing what you can. Remember, it’s far better to start small and do an outstanding job than take on too much and do a poor job.
1. 5 Keys to Using Content for Effective Lead Generation<br />Kim Gusta<br />email@example.com<br />www.kimgusta.com<br />
2. What is Content Marketing? <br />Creating and distributing valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.<br />Source: Content Marketing Institute<br />
3. Source: “B2B Content Marketing:2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” by MarketingProfs and Junta42<br />
4. Source: “B2B Content Marketing:2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” by MarketingProfs and Junta42<br />
5. Buyers Have Changed<br />
6. Buyers find relevant online content only 42% of the time.<br />Source:“Technology vendors may be losing close to 50% of their potential sales due to inadequate online information,” IDG Communications, 2008<br />
7. 95% of B2B buyers chose a solution provider for a recent purchase who:<br />“provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.” <br />Source: “Inside the Mind of the B2B Buyer,” DemandGen and Genius.com, March 2010<br />
19. How do you do it?<br />1. Win/Loss interviews **<br />2. Informational interviews<br />3. Casual (but directed) conversations<br /><ul><li>Do interviews regularly (at least 3-5x/quarter)
20. Focus on prospects, not customers</li></li></ul><li>Questions to Ask<br /><ul><li>What are their most important responsibilities?
21. What are their top obstacles/problems?
22. Why haven’t they considered a product like yours?
23. What alternatives do they believe will help?
24. How does their boss measure their success?
25. Where do they look for new information?</li></li></ul><li>Key #2 <br />Focus on <br />“How can we help you?”<br />versus “What can we sell you?”<br />
26. Don’t be this guy<br />
27. Adopt a helpfulness mindset<br />
28. Buyer’s Thought-Cycle<br />From: Who are these guys? I'll take a chance and click <br />this link to see. <br />To: Hmm. That was an interesting article.<br />From: Oh, another article on this topic. <br />To: They have good information. I'll forward it to Joe and see what he thinks.<br />From: Oh, good. A webinar showcasing a customer like me. <br />To: I'll register and see how these guys solved the problem.<br />From: Ah, they simplified the complexity. This might work for us.<br />To: Now I have a question.<br />From: Good answer. Thanks for the follow-up links, too!<br />To: I can tell my boss about this.<br />Source: Ardath Albee’s Marketing Interactions Blog “Payoff for B2B Content Marketing is Movement”<br />
29. How do you do it?<br />Freely give away great content that addresses your buyer’s concerns. <br />2. Resist “selling.” Think “educate.” <br />
30. Key #3 <br />Nurture your leads<br />
31. Only 10-15%of sales leads are qualified and ready to buy. <br />- MarketingSherpa<br />
32. Build a Content Path<br />
34. How to do it<br /><ul><li>Determine what content your buyers want at each sales cycle stage
35. Create a plan that maps content to buyers and sales stages</li></li></ul><li>Polling Question<br />What is your biggest content marketing challenge?<br />
36. Source: “B2B Content Marketing:2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” by MarketingProfs and Junta42<br />
40. Think Economies of Scale<br />From one white paper: <br /><ul><li>Article series
41. Blog posts
42. Video interview with author
43. Scripts for slide deck
44. Webinar on same topic
45. Stand-alone executive summary sheet</li></ul>Adapted from Ardath Albee’s Marketing Interactions Blog “The Rule of 5 for B2B Content Development”<br />
46. How to do it<br /><ul><li>Create content from scratch
47. Re-imagine/re-purpose content in other forms
48. Curate content from other sources</li></li></ul><li>Key #5<br />Expect incremental <br />buyer movement<br />
50. How to do it<br /><ul><li>Set expectations with Sales and Senior Management
51. Resist pressure from other teams to go for “quantity vs. quality”</li></li></ul><li>Where Do I Start?<br />
52. 60 Day Plan <br /> Interview 3 buyers.<br />2. Inventory your existing content.*<br />3. Develop preliminary content mapping plan.<br /> Determine gaps between what you have and what you need.<br /> Pick two most pressing pieces of content to create.<br />*Download Word template from www.kimgusta.com/templates1<br />
53. For More on Content Marketing, Download:<br />“How to Engage Technology Buyers <br />with Remarkable Content: 7 Steps to Developing a Content Marketing Process”<br />from www.kimgusta.com<br />Kim Gusta<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />Technology Content Marketing Blog: kimgusta.com/blog<br />