5 Steps to Content Marketing Success from Mixtur Interactive


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Launching a content marketing initiative? Read this practical guide to planning and executing a content marketing program that delivers results!

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5 Steps to Content Marketing Success from Mixtur Interactive

  1. 1. five steps to content marketing success a practical guide for B2B marketers What is content marketing and why should we do it? The world has changed for B2B marketers. Gone are the days where we asbest practices guide marketers controlled who got what message and when. Today our prospective buyers use the Internet to get information from peers, associations, media and other third parties—think search engines, Blogs, community sites, social networks etc. They have specific business problems that they need to solve and are looking to minimize their risk when choosing both the type of solution and the vendor that will provide it. ...successful content marketing takes strategic planning, smart execution and a sustained effort. If we want to play in this new world we must create content that draws prospects to us, and place it exactly where they are looking. Sounds simple right? Well although it’s not rocket science, successful content marketing takes strategic planning, smart execution and a sustained effort. This paper will guide you through the five key steps you need to follow to ensure your content marketing efforts fill the sales funnel and drive bottom-line revenue. Types of content It’s not just about whitepapers: @ Print: Digital: • Tips and tricks • Blog posts • Videos • How to guides • Web pages • Presentations • Best practices • Webinars • Photos guides • Enewsletters • Infographics • Things to avoid • Online courses • Tutorials • Category guides • Widgets (e.g. ROI • Analyst reports calculators) • Survey results • RSS feeds • Product brochures • EBooks and datasheets • Articles The many forms of content. • Case studies • Podcasts @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 1
  2. 2. five steps to content marketing success Step 1 – Determining the right content Before you can determine what content you need to create, you must first understand the stages of your sales cycle, the target audiences you need to address and the problems they are trying to solve. Once you’ve determined those factors you can build out a content matrix to guide your creation and distribution path. Before you can determine what content you need to create, you must first understand the stages of your sales cycle, the target audiences you need to address and the problems they are trying to solve. To illustrate the process let’s imagine that we’re selling CRM software to enterprise organizations. We’ve determined that a sales administrator is usually the primary person to research solutions and act as the product champion. Someone from the IT department is involved to ensure that any solution chosen is compatible and secure, and purchase approval is with the VP of sales.Marketo’s definition of contentmarketing In the table on the next page the columns are the stages of the sales cycle, and“The creation and sharing of content the rows represent the buyers we need to address. The matrix is populated withfor the purpose of promoting a examples of content elements required to generate awareness and leads, moveproduct or service”1 prospects through the sales cycle, and maximize retention and revenue. Your matrix will probably breakdown the sales cycle into more discreet stages and may involve more players, but our example will give you the framework you need to get started. @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 2
  3. 3. five steps to content marketing success Sample Content Matrix Awareness Consideration Decision Retention Research category, define Short list vendors, evaluate Contract and pricing negotiations, Ensure usage and satisfaction requirements, research vendor vendor solutions make purchasing decision to retain customers and landscape increase revenue • Best practices for sales • Product demos and • Contracts and licensing • Product tips and tricks (emailResearcher / Champion Sales Admin automation (downloadable presentations (Web site, shared series, Blog posts) • Pricing schedules PDF, shared presentation, presentation and video) • Completed RFP • Product news (email, Blog posts) Webinar content, podcast, Blog • Product collateral and Web • Customer-only Blog / forum post series) content • Analyst report on state of • Customer satisfaction • ROI calculator (Web site) surveys CRM industry (downloadable PDF, Webinar content) • Free trial • Comprehensive online help • Buyer’s guide to • One on one Web or face to and FAQs face meeting enterprise CRM solutions • Customer case studies (downloadable PDF) • Tutorials • Industry specific case studies (downloadable PDF, shared presentation, shared video) • CRM and the secure • Completed RFP • New integration guides (PDF)Influencer IT enterprise (Downloadable • Tech news bulletins (email PDFs, Web content, Webinar) series) • Integration guide (Web • Customer only technical content, downloadable PDF) forum • Deployment options (Web content, downloadable PDF) • Key drivers to sales • Sales executive roundtable • Contracts and licensing • Customer case studies ApproverVP of Sales productivity (downloadable (Sponsored Webinar-invite only) • Pricing schedules • Custom ROI analysis PDF, presentation, Webinar • Custom ROI piece • Completed RFP content, Blog post series, podcast series) • Custom demo • Industry specific case studies (downloadable PDF, shared presentation, shared video) @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 3
  4. 4. five steps to content marketing success As you’ll see in the sample matrix on the previous page, many of the content ideas are produced in different formats, so you can maximize the investment in your material and distribute it in as many relevant places as possible—more about this in step 3.8 is the magic number As you develop your matrix, think about how each piece can be used. For example,B2B marketers on average use 8 can a piece be used for generating new leads as well as for nurturing existing leads?content marketing tactics2011 study from CMI and MarketingProfs 2 Step 2 – Making your content great Whether your content is a best practices white paper or a product demo, always strive to make your content relevant, useful and of high quality. When you are creating content for the awareness phase of the sales cycle you should also follow these guidelines, especially if you plan to use a piece for lead generation: • Meet an untapped need – deliver content that uniquely helps educate the reader. • Be credible – remember our target buyers have a lot at stake55Lead capture when it comes to recommending and choosing B2B solutions, so your content must be credible. Building credibility can take several forms, from backing up statements with publishedWe all want to generate leads, but statistics, using respected third party authors or citing otherhow do you decide what content to respected organizations or individuals in the field.put behind a registration page? If • Don’t do a sales pitch – there is a time and a place for a sales pitch,your content meets these guidelines and it’s not in an early stage awareness lead generation piece.then there’s a good chance peoplewill register for it: ‰‰ Relevant Step 3 – Making the most of your content ‰‰ Useful Developing great content is a time-consuming process, so it’s key that you give your ‰‰ High quality content ‘legs’ and make it work as hard as possible for you. Let’s use an example from ‰‰ Meets an untapped our content matrix in step 1. Our imaginary CRM company determined that a good need awareness piece for the champion buyer role was on the theme “Best practices for ‰‰ Credible sales automation.” Now some sales administrators may prefer to download and ‰‰ Not promotional read a piece, while others would prefer to listen to a podcast. Re-purposing yourRemember to optimize your lead content into different platforms, will help you satisfy the needs of different userscapture page, and keep the form and maximize your reach. Here’s how we can make the most of the content thatshort (only collect what you really, was developed for that piece:really need). • Downloadable PDF – available behind registration on the company’s Web site, and for use in content syndication programs (see step 4 for more on this). @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 4
  5. 5. five steps to content marketing success • Webinar – create a Webinar version of the same content, featuring the author, customers or third party speakers. Use as a lead nurturing tool and make the archive available behind registration. • Presentation – upload a presentation version (may or not be the same content as the recorded Webinar) to sharing sites like PRESE SlideShare and Prezi. NTATIO • Blog – create a series of Blog posts on key aspects of the content. AR BIN BL ST Offer the downloadable PDF to generate leads. WE A N OG C POD • Podcast – create an audio-only version of the content leveraging the Webinar or presentation content you have created. PDF Remember that your content has a limited shelf life. Certain types of content lend themselves to being refreshed and re-published, so you’re not starting from scratch. Others only have a short time in the sun—so make sure you give your content ‘legs’ while it is still fresh and relevant.Give your content ‘legs.’ Step 4 – Getting the word out Making sure any content you create is optimized from an organic search perspective is very important, but there is much more you can do to promote your content. Here are some ideas both paid and unpaid for getting the word out. • Content syndication – this is where you pay a third party publisher to promote your content, usually for a fixed price per lead. Before embarking on this or any other paid promotional keyword opportunity you need to have a good understanding of what youContent and SEO can afford to pay for a lead (more on measuring ROI in step 5).To get the most organic search • Paid search – use relevant content as offers in your paid searchbenefits from your content, make programs, driving respondents to an optimized landing page forsure you optimize both the actual lead capture.content for your targeted keywords, • Online advertising – content offers can be used in targetedas well as any metadata items like banner advertising campaigns using ad networks or throughimage tags or tags on third party sites deals with individual publishers. Most ads are placed on a CPMwhere you post your content. (cost per 1,000 impressions) basis, but some publishers offer CPC (cost per click) or CPL (cost per lead) pricing models. This can be a good way to kick off awareness of a piece, but you have to understand the metrics behind the pricing models to determine if this is a wise spend. @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 5
  6. 6. five steps to content marketing success 26 • Social media – let your social media contacts know about your new content (this includes traditional media and the Blogosphere of influencers that you follow). Post on your Blog site, and don’t forget to Tweet! Make sure all of your employees post a link to the content on their LinkedIn page, and promote in relevant groups and on your company’s LinkedIn page.26 is the average % of B2B marketers’ • Comment fodder – as you do your rounds of the Bloggers thattotal budgets that are allocated to you follow, be sure to mention and link to your content wherecontent marketing efforts relevant using the comment functionality.2011 study from CMI and • Promote on your Web site – this seems obvious, but mostMarketingProfs 2 companies don’t do a good job of promoting their content on their own Web property. Maximize the piece’s exposure by promoting it with links or banners on all relevant pages. • Social sharing – add social sharing icons to your content to encourage sharing. Eccolo media found in their 2011 B2B Technology Collateral Survey3, that adding social sharing icons actually changed people’s perception of the content in a positive way. • Non-paid channels – look for channels where you can upload your content, and don’t stick with just one site per channel. Upload your photos or images, videos, presentations, podcasts on“...adding social sharing icons actually all relevant sites and make sure you tag them with your keywordschanged people’s perception of the to facilitate search.content in a positive way.” There are many other tools and channels for getting the word out about your content, including those mentioned in this Mashable article by Shane Snow. 4 Step 5 – Measuring ROI to determine if it’s working Content marketing is not free by any means. Even if you don’t incur the hard costs of external authoring or paid promotion, you need to account for the internal hours spent creating and managing your content marketing program. That means that tracking and analyzing return from your content marketing initiative is as important as any other marketing campaign. But there are some challenges to really understanding ROI, as often a prospect is touched in several different ways, one of which may be a content piece. That argument can be made for any marketing initiative these days however, as it is rare that sales or even leads are really a result of only one touch. The effects of viral sharing of content compound the difficulty of coming to a hard ROI number for content marketing. That being said here are some things that you can and should track: @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 6
  7. 7. five steps to content marketing successTop content marketing metrics • Visits and leads by content piece – where you control the landingmeasured by B2B marketers page and form, you can track Web visits and leads by incoming URL by appending unique campaign codes. Create these uniqueWeb traffic 58% codes for each placement of the content that you would like to track, including paid search campaigns. These codes can beSales lead quality 49% passed into a lead record database using hidden fields, along with a code for the content piece itself. Setup goal tracking in yourDirect sales 41% Web analytics platform and you’ll be able to see visits and lead conversions by each source you’ve assigned a campaign code to.Sales lead quantity 41% If your lead form is integrated with your CRM or marketing automation system, then those fields can be passed into thatQualitative feedbackfrom customers 40% application, and depending on the system you should be able to run a report that gives lead status by campaign.SEO ranking 40% • Leads from content syndication – leads from these campaignsInbound links 30% are easy to track as they are normally sent from the publisher in a spreadsheet. You just then need to assign unique campaign2011 study from CMI and coding to those leads as they enter your CRM or marketingMarketingProfs 2 automation system. • Social sharing statistics – adding a ‘share this’ widget to your content will give you insight as to how often your content is being shared, and to which platforms. Even though in most cases you can’t just attribute a closed sale to one content piece, by following the tips above you at least get a good idea as to which pieces are creating the most interest and leads, and are making a contribution to sales. e ur as In for the long haulme ate I hope this paper has given you a useful framework to plan, execute and measure cre your content marketing initiatives. One last comment I’d like to make on this ote pro te subject is that the real fruits of your labor only truly become apparent over time, prom asure as content gets shared and distributed across your universe. To be successful your create mo me sha content marketing, social marketing and other inbound efforts like SEO must be inextricably linked. Through this concerted effort you will see over time higher re e lead volumes and lower cost per lead over traditional outbound efforts. If we can shar manage the sales funnel effectively, these metrics should lead to what we really care about – more sales at a lower cost. @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 7
  8. 8. five steps to content marketing successContact Info Need help with your content marketing?Mixtur Interactive, Inc. Planning and executing an ongoing content marketing program can be a little900 Winslow Way East, Suite 100 overwhelming. Mixtur is here to help with any aspect of your content marketingBainbridge Island, WA 98110-2451 initiatives—from planning the pieces you need, through to authoring, distributionU.S.A. and ROI analysis. Our seasoned team of B2B marketing professionals is experienced1 866.268.3994 (USA & Canada) in producing all types of content including: white papers, product demos, case studies, podcasts, videos, Webinars, product collateral and Web site content. Call us today on1 206.965.9505 (voice) 1-866-268-3994 to discuss how we can help you create content that gets results.1 206.965.9507 (fax) Resources and citationsclientservices@mixtur.com 1 “Creating content that sells” – Marketo 2 “B2B Content Marketing:2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” – Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs 3 “Eccolo Media 2011 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report” – Eccola Media 4 “6 Turnkey Tools for Content Distribution” – Mashable “100 inbound marketing content ideas” – Hubpsot “How to brainstorm content that rocks and converts” – Hubspot© 2012 Mixtur Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.Mixtur, the Mixtur logo, and all other logos aretrademarks or registered trademarks of MixturInteractive, Inc. or of their respective owners. @Mixtur | 206.965.9505 | mixtur.com | 8 12.bp.007-8