Content Marketing: Fuel for Your Lead Generation Strategy

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  • For those of you that are unfamiliar with Marketo – here is a quick overview!Marketo is a cloud-based marketing SW platform that enables modern relationship marketing.The platform was built for marketers by marketers – you can learn more at marketo.com.>>So today, I will be talking about how CONTENT can fuel your lead generation efforts.
  • So I thought I would start things off by first talking a bit about lead generation. One important distinction before we get going is making sure we are thinking about lead generation in the right way. Many folks think about the tactics for lead generation and that is where you hear a lot of discussion.
  • Try not to think about lead generation as abasket of tactics.
  • It is critical to think about your strategy first, then consider which mix of tactics are going to be the best for your specific objectives.On this slide, I am showing you an example of what I often use. I look at the key overall company objectives and then see where lead gen fits into those. Identify for your business if top of funnel is where you need growth, or if you really need to focus in on optimizing middle of funnel. For many of us we have to think about growing each aspect!
  • The key though – is really the message and the content.Content is critical for you to have success with any type of lead generation.
  • When done well, content will power your lead generation engine. Keep in mind tactics are just the vehicles that deliver your content and message. If you content is not optimized (i.e. right stage, offer, message) then regardless of what channel you use, you will not have as good of results.
  • Today, the right content is more important than ever before – and that is why we hear about it so much today as marketers.According to Forrester research, 2/3 of the buyers journey is complete before the buyer reaches out to a sales person. So you need to ask yourself are you equipping your company to be seen in the right way and providing the right information to buyers to effectively evaluate solutions?78% of consumers feel that organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships- so having good content and promoting it helps you build relationships – which is critical not only for acquiring new customers but for keeping them.And lastly, 68% of consumers will spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in – so again, good content not only helps you bring in customers, it helps keep themSo, what steps do you need to take to have effective content offers for your lead gen programs?
  • Step one – know WHO you are selling toI have seen people go crazy on this exercise, but I recommend keeping it simple. While it’s ideal to have specific personas for every person involved in the buying process – it is fine to start with two or three key personas, and work through the process. For example, for if you are selling technical software - you will have the user, the influencer and the buyer. This is a really important step to go through is the exercise to really get to know your buyers.
  • Step 2: Map out what the journey of your buyer persona looks likeThis is a very important exercise and as you can see from this image, the process can be complex --- but boil it down to something manageable:AwarenessConsideration Purchase
  • Step 3: Once you have the stages for your personas –ask, what do they need at that stage?? Put yourself in their shoes and think about what information you would need.
  • Step 4: Map your content to the right buying stage.
  • I really like thinking of the dating analogy for this exercise. You would not ask someone to marry you on your first date. Think about what you are asking your buyers. The majority are probably not ready to sign up for an online trial if they are unfamiliar with your company.
  • Step 5 – Lastly, - Understand what you ALREADY have. Perform a content audit. You may find you have a lot of great early stage content, but maybe you have less for late stage.Also, make sure to be honest – if an asset is very out dated – you may need to retire it.
  • >>At this point a lot of people freak out because it can feel like you need a lot of new assets for lead gen Many of us are faced with limited resources, time, etc. and the thought of developing a lot of great content is overwhelming.How do you plan what content you need for your programs?How should you think about content per channel?How do you optimize it?That’s where lean content creation comes in…..
  • Let’s go over a few tips!
  • First – let’s touch on the 5 golden rules for content – just a good reminder….It is not promotionalIt is relevantIt closes a gapIt is well-writtenIt is relevant to your company
  • Keep in mind, content is not just white papers or eBooks!Can be simple and short blog posts, 4 minute videos,infographics, etc.
  • Think about visual content!
  • Remember the 3 R’s
  • Every piece of content should have a limited shelf lifeAsk yourself:How is this content piece performing?Could we rewrite or redesign?Obvious content to retire:Reports that are datedAssets around an eventTopic is no longer relevant
  • Now that we have some good tips on content – let’s focus on where certain types of content perform for lead gen
  • It is really important to use the right content for a particular channel. For example – at the top of the funnel, social channels can work very well – so make sure your content is optimized for those channels.The example I am showing here is a valuable tip – facebook posts with images receive more likes.
  • http://www.chicagostyleseo.com/2013/02/choosing-the-right-social-media-channel-for-your-business/
  • Now we can move to some specific tactics for the top of funnel and how to best leverage content for these particular channels.
  • Before we start on tactics – this is just a reminder about form length. We have data that shows the shorter, the better conversions. A key top of funnel objective is bringing in new names, so make sure you think about your forms.
  • Now let’s start with a few tactics for top of the funnel.SlideShare as many of you know was acquired by LinkedIn in May 2012, and is the world's largest community for sharing presentations, like PowerPoint, videos and webinars. It boasts 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million page views, making it one of the most visited sites on the web today. Here are some SlideShare Tips:Make sure the content you select is in an area where you (or your company) has expertise. Make sure it looks good!!!Use both paid and earned media in your promotion strategy. Leverage the ability to present the viewer with a form (as you can see here on this slide)
  • Now let’s move to facebook. It is important to strike that critical balance of offering content that is relevant and adds value – with content that entertains. At Marketo, we like to ask two questions before every Facebook interaction we plan: Does this help our brand's likeability? Is this interesting, engaging, useful content? This slide shows a few examples of some of our promoted posts. We found the magic formula for promoted posts to be this: Clever messaging, with a fun visual, all tied back to a strong offer or piece of content. The timing is important as well. (We have found that posting on Tuesday mornings tend to have the best results.)
  • A Twitter strategy we have used with great success is Promoted Tweets in timelines. These are targeted to followers and users who were similar to our followers. Our Promoted Tweets contain timely and engaging content (like I am showing above – this is our recent Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation).Every promoted Tweet that we run goes to a gated resource page. It is important to do some testing and see what works for you. We often see significant spikes in relevant Tweets during industry events.  
  • Relevant and vetted offer for the audience Test!A/B split – offer one and offer two
  • Demand Generation Engagement with databaseKeep Marketo top of mindSpecifically – content:Strategies and tips from thought leaders, partners, and industry veteransExposure to new marketing paradigms and practicesInteractive networking with similar companies in the marketing community14,000 registered!
  • TipsConsider mid-stage contentGate content System integrationGet creditNew names matterFreshness
  • What needs to be different?Dance analogy:Broad top of funnel – use social and paid to get as many people to dance as possibleBut then do you just stand around waiting for someone to dance? No. Better to flirt a little (nurture). And look at their body language to see when they might be read to dance (scoring).
  • 18 triggers11 batches19 campaigns to manage the whole thing
  • Engagement Score enables marketers to quickly judge how effectively each piece of content is engaging prospects and customers over time. This proprietary metric takes many factors into consideration, and outputs a single number that gives marketers a fast, apples-to-apples method of measuring content performance…See trend over time, how updates to program improve engagement.
  • Mention Positive and Negative Demo Score
  • Here’s how Marketo does it. Latent behaviors – interestActive behaviors – buying intent
  • >>>> Now you have people in your database
  • Example definitive guide – data from august
  • Show accelerators
  • Content kind of a big deal
  • Here we see what works for Marketo over the last 12 months to generate prospects. Explain columns…Website+Blog = 38% of all oppsBut I’d be a bad stock picker if I put all my money in one stock, and I’d be a bad marketer if I bet all my prospect generation on one source. The reality is you need a portfolio of prospects and channels to achieve the best results. In fact, Marketo runs an average of 40 different Prospect generating programs each and every month across all these sources.
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