By Jesse Noyes, Corporate Reporter, Eloqua
Maybe no one needs to sell you on content marketing.
You’ve got some guidance on how to map content to the buyer’s journey. But perhaps you’re still wondering what tools can help make the path smoother.
From blogging to email, there are so many touches in the journey from someone first finding your content to becoming a customer that it can feel overwhelming. These 6 technologies can make delivering, optimizing and measuring your content easier.
1. Content Management Systems
The content to conversion journey typically starts with some high-level content like blogs, videos, newsletters and more. Even those cool infographics have to live somewhere people can find them.
Churning out all your content can be overwhelming. This is where Content Management Systems, or CMS, can save you lots of time. From here you can create, schedule, optimize and push out that high-level content. Many people turn to free systems like WordPress or even Tumblr. But there are also tools like Copendium and Kapost with additional features for workflow and sharing.
2. Social Monitoring
Everyone wants to maximize the reach of their content. These days that means launching it into the social web. But that can feel like jumping into the ether.
Social media monitoring can help you understand who is digesting your content, and what they’re saying about it. Additionally, you can identify who are the influential people in your market, engage them and hopefully entice them to spread your content around.
3. Progressive Profiling
Moving a potential buyer from the suspect to prospect to lead requires getting to know them. By gating valuable content, you can get them to tell you a little bit more about themselves, like their title, industry, company size and more.
But if you ask them to supply the same details over and over again, they’re less likely to play along – no matter how great your E-book or case study may be. Progressive profiling lowers those barriers by only requesting the data you need, and don’t have, from those who want access to your best stuff.
4. Lead Scoring
Leads are following your links, reading your blog, downloading your white papers. But that doesn’t mean much if you don’t track and score these actions.
Lead scoring makes it possible to automatically score a lead based on their “fit” – if they’re not in your industry they may not be worth fighting for – and how they engage with your content. So the score would update as a lead moves from visiting your site to downloading a guide to watching a demo. It requires getting together to define how much weight to assign each action, but once the process is in place you’ll have a better understanding of which leads are ready for a call from sales.
5. Batch Signatures
Mid-to-bottom of funnel content is probably designed to move a lead into the opportunity stage. The content here might be sweet, but with the right tools you can make the follow-up tastier.
If you have marketing automation, you can trigger emails to leads that download specific content. Marketing can attach signatures assigned to individual sales reps. Replies go directly to that rep. This ensures a seamless move from content to conversation.
6. Templates for Sales
Discovering content through search and social is fantastic. But why limit it to inbound?
One way to make sure sales is getting full use of all the content marketing creates is by setting it up inside pre-made templates for sales. This way, sales can quickly send off the most relevant content to a lead based on the conversations they’re having with them in real time. In this competitive world, speed can make or break a deal.
To learn more about mapping content to the buyer, check out Elle Woulfe’s “From Content To Customer” session during The Content2Conversion Conference April 24, 2012 in New York City. Click here to access the agenda and registration page.