Whether it is a playful infographic or a more serious thought leadership piece, the common threads of all of the winners of the Killer Content Awards is that they connect with their audiences in ways that are meaningful and measurable.
Any great campaign begins with clearly established objectives — help new sales leaders extend their tenure, reach mid-sized firms or explain the impact of Big Data on sales organizations. These assets were then aligned to those specific aspirations, which resulted in effective, targeted content.
While their resources remain stretched, marketers still have to invest in content that is geared toward precise targets rather than trying to be all things to all buyers. Many of the winners produced content with a narrow focus — Crowe Horwath’s campaign aimed at C-suite leaders at financial institutions over $1 billion; Sales Benchmark Index’s E-book targeted at new VPs of Sales; and Xerox’s campaign built to reach 30 key accounts. Xerox further personalized the experience with industry-specific microsites providing analysts insights, videos and case studies.
Interactivity is also a hallmark of killer content, and many of the winners used content to engage in two-way conversations with prospects and customers. Sungard’s winning campaign encompassed multiple calls to action and opportunities for feedback, including interactive tools to help determine the cost of disaster recovery. Logicalis included a series of content recommendations at the end of its sales enablement E-book. ADP offered an online Diagnostic Assessment Tool as part of its winning campaign.
Providing tangible examples is another component of content that connects with buyers. Crowe Horwath’s campaign included checklists and Brainshark files. Xerox used the information collected when customers to provide a personalized experience through microsites that were focused on specific industry segments.
Become A Resource
Great content helps move buyers along in the sales cycle, so educational initiatives that inform and inspire were high on the list of criteria for this year’s winners. Limelight Networks tapped into the Dummies brand with its Digital Presence for Dummies E-book. OpenText created a personalized customer onboarding web site to welcome new users and outline the resources that are available to them.
Buyers also are looking for content from trustworthy sources, and many of this year’s winners incorporated product-independent content from third-party sources into their campaigns. Optum’s campaign used more than 150 pieces of unique content — including white papers and videos — aimed to educate and establish thought leadership around the topic of accountable care in conjunction with a launch of a new solution in this area. Demandbase partnered with the Content Marketing Institute on its Content Delivery Funnel: How to Choose Technology That Drives Better Content Marketing Results campaign, provided a SlideShare of all vendors in the category, conduced webinars and spoke at industry events. Lattice Engines teamed with CSO Insights to survey more than 200 sales leaders about Big Data. Xerox developed a print and digital publication with Forbes and provided insights from industry analysts as part of its campaign.
These content innovators did not limit themselves to just one form of interaction. There were infographics, white papers, E-books and microsites that all tapped into overarching themes. In the case of Citrix, a blog post was eventually expanded into an E-book, so the best content creators are building on their existing assets and finding new and creative ways to present information that is pertinent to their audience. Lattice Engine’s multi-touch initiative included a series of blog posts, guest articles, an E-book, infographic and video interviews.
Set Social Goals
The integration of social was one of the key criteria for this year’s winners. Many of the winners had some social media component to their campaigns and many of the results were tied to goals of increasing social media awareness, such as shares, likes tweets and blog followers.
While bolstering social media awareness is an important goal for modern marketers, these winning campaigns were tied to bottom-line results. Some of the key metrics that were measured by these content leaders included number of deals closed, number of new sales opportunities, dollar value of sales opportunities generated and lead-to-conversion rates. As marketing executives are increasingly responsible for revenue generation, the ability to track measurable results is essential to any campaign.
Click here for a complete report on the 2013 Killer Content Award winner —10 “Great White” winners and 10 “Mako” honorees.