<< by on August 14th, 2013
By now, you’ve likely heard all the hoopla around content marketing, and all the reasons why you should be developing a content marketing strategy to generate and nurture leads. But many hangers-on, especially in the B2B industries, still don’t want to take the plunge into using content as an inbound strategy to generate leads.
- The “We’re different” mentality, i.e. content marketing won’t work for us because our products/services/sales process/buying cycle is different from everyone else. (Aren’t we all different? Of course – that’s what makes us special! Are you adequately explaining your value and differentiating yourself to your prospects?)
- They don’t want to give away too much information (aka “The Secret Sauce”).
- Their products or services are too complex to explain. (Hey, what better use for content marketing, then!)
- They don’t want to commoditize their services.
But the reality is, in a world where your customers have a treasure trove of information freely available at their fingertips, if you’re not the brand providing the information they’re looking for – you’re dead.
I attended a session at B2BLeadsCon, presented by Jane Buck of Dyn and Cyndi Greenglass of Diamond Marketing Solutions. Here are a few key takeaways from that session that illustrated the importance of content marketing:
- Content marketing will help you meet your prospects earlier in the buying process.
- Fresh, up-to-date content is important early in the buying process, as this is where prospects are searching for answers to their questions.
- Content can be used for nurturing to get your prospects through the buying process quicker.
But I don’t have time…
Then, as Marcus Sheridan put it, you’re dead. But this is a problem that many marketers have, and you’re not alone. Jane and Cyndi offered some advice.
Jane, who direct all content marketing efforts at Dyn, shared a Content Promotion Checklist that she uses to ensure all their content meets certain quality standards:
In case you can’t quite read that, here are those items listed on the slide that every piece of content goes through from a promotional standpoint:
- Promotional title
- SEO – Keywords, Metatags, Authorship
- Thumbnail image for social
- Placement plan – website, social
- Email and marketing automation
She also advised that you just need to be dedicated to producing quality content and plan in advance. At Dyn, they have Webinar Wednesdays – so that’s a driving deadline for her staff to get content and promotions in place. They also do content planning on Thursdays and then write on Fridays, and she maintains an editorial calendar to stay organized.
Cyndi advised using progressive profiling to get more information about prospects over time, which you can use to better inform your content strategy. Ask them questions a stage at a time, such as industry, timeframe to purchase, specific product needs, etc. to determine where in the buying process they are and what content to serve to them.
Want to learn more? Follow the conference hashtag on Twitter: #B2BLeadsCon