Dynamic content takes personalization to a new level, allowing marketers to target individual email subscribers with different content — all from a single email.
Integrated content marketing campaigns often find success by providing buyers with a seamless journey as they educate themselves prior to making a purchase. Cox Media, for example, developed an integrated campaign that generated more than 500 downloads and over 2,000 potential leads — earning the company a Killer Content Award in 2014.
Despite the billions of dollars B2B companies spend on content marketing each year, their content is less and less effective. Two years ago, 42% of B2B marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) said their content was effective. One year ago that number fell to 38%. This year only 30% of marketers said their content is effective, according to CMI Founder Joe Pulizzi during his opening keynote at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio.
B2B buyers want more interactive content to help them make their buying decisions, and companies such as Lenovo and Lattice Engines are leveraging formats such as assessments, quizzes and video to promote engagement throughout the buyer's journey.
"Where do I begin?"
It’s a common reaction when one first considers building a content marketing program. It can be exciting but equally overwhelming, especially in the beginning phases.
There are multiple ways to go about creating a program. The key is finding what works best for your brand and what value you aim to bring your preferred audience and customers. First, there are three top considerations — pillars if you will — you must build upon when building out a content marketing program. These pillars go above and beyond strategy, since strong execution in many ways applies more to content marketing than most other business practices.
1. Team. It’s simply about bringing aboard the most passionate and exceptionally creative people you can find. If you are unable to recruit externally, then tap into your existing pool of employees. Who knows, you may uncover hidden talent. Trust your team, give them ownership over content creation and then allow them to flourish.
2. Platform. Most organizations begin content marketing efforts by blogging. However, using a platform to both deliver and measure this content is critical. When creating or leveraging an existing piece of content, you will need to make a philosophical decision about whether or not it should be on or off domain. There are benefits to both; however, the decision should be based on what is best for your audience and the manner in which they prefer to consume content.
3. Budget. The first step to determining how much you’ll need to invest is to pick a target audience and identify their pain points. Once the audience and their needs are identified, you can allocate resources to creating and distributing a piece of compelling content.
You’ve built your foundation with the first three pillars. Then the question of “Now what?” creeps in. It’s time to move on to performance. It can be difficult to balance awareness-level ROI — building an audience — with revenue and financial impact ROI. The remaining three pillars are about finding the right mix for your program and meeting the current needs of your organization and audience.
4. Examine Performance And Establish ROI. With performance, you need to set expectations up front. Since establishing a content marketing strategy is not an overnight task, it will take time to create, grow and eventually be viewed as a trusted voice within the industry. While doing this, look at your audience’s engagement with content. Where are they consuming content from and what channels do they prefer?
Look to these places to drive traffic and share your content. The fact is that you can’t use yesterday’s metrics to measure content in today’s world. Also, an important step many overlook is measurement. It is imperative to measure everything so you can demonstrate ROI. With ROI, you can concretely prove your initiative is working, which will make it easier to procure additional budget down the road.
5. Delivering The Right Mix Of Content. The good old content mix dilemma! There are many ways to mix your content, including original in-house, original third-party (licensed) and curated content. While the ideal situation would be to have the majority be original content, that is simply not always feasible. Filling the gaps with licensed and curated content is an excellent alternative. In fact, an added benefit of featuring third-party content is that it helps trust and credibility with your audience and other influencers.
6. Anticipate Future Needs. When building out a content marketing program, it is important to remember to think ahead and anticipate what’s next — all while keeping your organization’s best interests in mind. Quality over quantity should be the goal. You want to aim for an increase in owned-branded content verses paid-branded content. Owned-branded content shows that people have bought into the program and are passionate, knowledgeable and willing to help curate the brand they work for.
Brands of all sizes have increasingly accepted content marketing as an integral component of their overall marketing strategy. Starting from scratch is never easy, however, if you are able to pull together the right team, platform and budget, and set expectations with leadership in terms of the outcomes they can expect, the support you need will be there during your journey and you’ll be well on your way to a successful content marketing program.
Gurdeep Dhillon is VP of Worldwide Marketing Programs, SAP Customer Engagement & Commerce at SAP. Prior to joining SAP, Dhillon served at Enterprise Rent A Car and Active Optical Networks, Inc. and is a graduate of the Boston University Graduate School of Management.
BrightInfo is a content analysis tool designed to help B2B marketers monitor website navigation patterns in order to offer visitors personalized content recommendations.
The solution positions marketers to leverage performance metrics to determine how their audience is engaging with content and present relevant suggestions.
BrightInfo features responsive design functionality to help content marketers ensure that content displays properly across a wide range of desktop and mobile devices.
BrightInfo is currently compatible with a number of marketing automation tools, including Marketo, HubSpot, Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce Pardot and Salesfusion.
Pricing starts at $199/month.
The solution automates the content discovery process for prospects visiting a vendor’s website. This positions organizations to offer a seamless customer experience while also keeping conversations with prospective buyers relevant.
BrightInfo can analyze a variety of anonymous website behaviors, including:
The display of recommended content on the user's website is fully customizable, providing marketers with flexibility regarding the content being offered to visitors.
Compelling content that entertains and educates its target audience can often be more successful than other generic content shared during a campaign. It is crucial that content marketers align with their buyers and bring context to the content that they are providing prospective buyers. Without this alignment, their content marketing initiatives will never have a major impact on buying decisions.
Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, will be diving into the topic of adding contextual storytelling into content marketing initiatives during her session at the B2B Content2Conversion Conference, taking place February 16-18 in Scottsdale, Arizona.