How Visual Content marketing

How Content Marketing Drives Sales and how to measure content marketing effectiveness and how to use content marketing to grow your business
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Published Date:17-07-2017
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I2 Bottom line: good content isn’t THAT’S GOOD BECAUSE YOU’VE enough any more. You need insanely FINALLY GOT A WAY AROUND THOSE great content that’s on-strategy and ANNOYING BARRIERS THAT BUYERS incites action. And you need to deliver TEND TO ERECT WHEN THEY SENSE it in a consistent, ongoing program. OLD-SCHOOL MARKETING. To do that, you need to step back But it’s bad because it means you’re a little and think about what you’re competing against a tidal wave of trying to accomplish and who you’re shiny new content from competitors, trying to motivate. analysts, thought leaders, bloggers and wannabes. This the era of Content Strategy and it will separate the pros from the amateurs.3 CONTENT IS SO CRITICAL because people care about their own problems much more than they care about your products. When you capture your company’s expertise and package it up to help your prospects do their jobs, you earn people’s attention instead of simply assuming you’ll get it. Content also fuels the three most important weapons in the B2B marketing arsenal: Search Social Outbound If you don’t rank on your Content gives you It may be out of fashion but keywords, you won’t get something to bring to the outbound is about to make the traffic. Great content social party – you don’t a comeback. Content gives propels you up the search want to engage empty- you an offer for your rankings. handed, do you? outbound calls-to-action, driving up response rates. In short, content is what makes the B2B world go round and the revenue meters sing ‘ka-ching’. If you’re not getting good at content, prepare to lose market share. But you can’t just churn out piffle…4 HERE’S A BIG-ASS CHECKLIST TO HELP. HELP US HELP YOU. The first part of the checklist is designed If you think we’ve missed anything to help you hone your content marketing important or got something totally strategy and build the foundations of an wrong (how very dare you), do give ongoing content marketing program. us your comments. We want to The second part should help you attack improve this sucker as we go forward. your very next piece. (And we’ll post updates on how We hope you won’t just read the the Checklist campaign is doing on checklist. We hope you’ll print it out and Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing Blog start scribbling away. Use it when you’re – so do come back). writing your content marketing strategy, developing a new piece – or whenever you hit a roadblock. You may need to do this exercise for each product line or one for each region or whatever. But these are the kinds of questions you’ll need to answer if you want your content marketing to go faster than a speeding bullet and leap over tall buildings in a single bound (or a series of carefully nurtured smaller bounds). Ones we prepared earlier. You mean you haven’t read these yet? The B2B Content Marketing Workbook – a primer. The B2B Marketing Manifesto – a frothing rave. There’s your bedtime reading for tonight. Enjoy. Night-night. Mwah.67 START BIG AND WORK YOUR WAY DOWN: Capture what the business wants Think about what you’d need to to achieve in the next 6-12 months. change to make these goals happen – and aim high. This isn’t just about business as usual. Prioritise the most important things content can do for you, including: Building awareness Write down what marketing needs Educating buyers to achieve in the next 6-12 months. Moving leads along the purchase path (nurturing) Engaging with all influencers Serving existing customers Cross-selling or up-selling Generating new sales leads Establishing your expertise Get buy-in on these. Everything depends on clear goals that everyone agrees on – and build them into your analytics (see page 25). For this B2B Content Marketing Strategy Checklist, the goals are: To raise awareness of Velocity among B2B marketers who want to harness the power of content marketing. To nurture people who downloaded and liked the B2B Marketing Manifesto or the B2B Content Marketing Workbook, moving the right ones one step closer to picking up the phone.8 SUMMARISE EACH BUYER PERSONA IN A FEW BULLET POINTS AND PRIORITISE: Persona 1 Persona 4 Persona 2 Persona 5 Persona 3 We like to use short, visual personas that include psychographics not just demographics. For the Big Fat B2B Content Marketing Strategy Checklist, target persona 1 is: Martha Watton, 43 CMO of a fast-growing £400m software company Ambitious, confident & impatient A big believer in the power of content For more on this check out our Her results from old-style campaigns are flattening out Buyer Persona Resource Round-up.9 EACH PIECE OF CONTENT SHOULD CAUSE A PROSPECT TO MOVE TO THE NEXT STAGE OF THE BUYING JOURNEY. Fill in your top personas and use AIDA or whatever buying stages you prefer: Awareness Interest Desire Action Persona: 1 2 ‘ROI’ BLOG POST 3 4 5 Some pieces of content can serve in several different cells. But you do need a sense of progression – so you encourage people to move along your funnel. That’s what lead nurturing is all about. For this Content Marketing Strategy It’s a follow-up to earlier pieces like Checklist, we’re targeting senior B2B the Content Marketing Workbook that marketers who are already into the idea was in the Awareness Box and the B2B of content marketing (like Martha Watton, Marketing Manifesto (Interest). above) and want to get better at it now. So they’re our ‘Persona 1’ and this piece is It can be helpful to list the questions in the Desire box (overlapping into Action). that buyers have in each stage of the buying process. Then develop content that answers the questions appropriate to the stage you’re targeting. For this piece, these might be things like, “How do I best spend my content budget?” or “How do I decide what content to produce?”.10 ANOTHER WAY TO TARGET CONTENT IS TO THINK ABOUT THE EVENTS WITHIN THE TARGET COMPANY THAT MIGHT TRIGGER INTEREST IN YOUR SOLUTIONS (A MERGER? A NEW CRM SYSTEM?): Personas Trigger: 1 2 CONTENT PIECE 3 4 5 Does each trigger have some way of signaling itself? How can you know when a prospect experiences one? For the Content Marketing Strategy Checklist, a trigger event may be: A B2B company just hired a new CMO The prospect just had a content marketing success and wants more How are these two triggers signaled? We could look for news of major marketing job moves. But it’s mainly through search and social – including tweets and questions on social forums. We wrote about B2B Trigger Events here on this post.11 THE BEST CONTENT COMES FROM A VERY SPECIFIC, CLEARLY DELINEATED SPHERE OF EXPERTISE. This is the zone where you have the most authority. It’s where no one has a better claim on expertise than you do. Write yours in a sentence: Our sweet spot is: Examples: We’re experts in the effect of ratings & reviews on ecommerce (for Reevoo). We’re experts in using data to maximize return on web advertising budgets. (for Mediaplex) We wrote a blog post on finding We’re experts at using B2B content marketing your sweet spot here on the to generate revenue (for us — Velocity) Econsultancy blog.12 FEW COMPANIES START WITH NO CONTENT. IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE SO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR GAPS ARE. Existing Persona(s) Buying Notes Content Stage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Include everything that can be used or re-purposed: blog posts, ebooks, sales decks, videos, archived webinars, etc.13 THEMES ARE WIDER IN SCOPE THAN SPECIFIC TOPICS. THEY REPRESENT A WHOLE AREA YOU WANT TO START ‘OWNING’. DECIDE ON YOUR CONTENT SUCCESS CRITERIA AND SCORE EACH THEME AGAINST THEM. Kind of like this (in priority order): SWEET SPOT Criterion: 1 2 3 4 Theme: 1 7/10 2 3 ROI 4 5 We always include ‘In our sweet spot’ as one of these criteria. Also things like ‘likelihood to be shared’ and ‘hot topic’. Or ‘timely’, ‘affordable’ and (god forbid) ‘fun’. For this piece, we could have written something on B2B SEO or marketing automation. But we’d already picked the theme that’s most in our sweet spot: Content Marketing. So we skipped this one. 14 IT’S GOOD TO DECIDE ON YOUR SEO KEYPHRASES BEFORE YOU PICK A TOPIC – BUT IT’S CRITICAL TO DO SO BEFORE YOU START WRITING. Keyphrase: 1 2 3 4 B2B SOCIAL Topic: 1 2 3 SOCIAL 4 5 Don’t forget: long tail terms can deliver the best returns in B2B. For this checklist, ‘content marketing strategy’ is clearly the driving keyphrase – but we’re also interested in ranking for B2B ‘content marketing’ and a few others.15 If you don’t have one, your Here’s a simple one: YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR content marketing will become Months or weeks along the IS ESSENTIALLY YOUR ad hoc rather than strategic. top. Personas, stages, triggers, PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY So have one (even if you stray topics or a combination down SCHEDULE IN ONE SHEET. from it often). the left. You decide: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec A B C D E F G H J K 16 Editorial Calendar Q1 2012 Calendar A: By Content Type Budget: XXX February March April V.1 30/1/12 06 Feb 13 Feb 20 Feb 27 Feb 05 Mar 12 Mar 19 Mar 26 Mar 02 Apr 09 Apr 16 Apr 23 Apr Monthly Big Piece 3 Infographic: Original 2 Spin-off 1 Blog Post: Original 3 Spin-off 3 Article: Original 1 Spin-off 3 Expert Interview 3 Multi-Expert Piece 2 Slideshare Spin-0ff 1 Round-up 3 SAMPLE FIRST QUARTER ROLL-OUT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 LEGACY ARTICLE VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO (blog DF KEYNOTE BURBERRY DMGT SYMANTEC BLACKBOARD rewrite) CREATED EBOOK INFOGRAPHIC PRESENTATION/ CHECKLIST INTERVIEW INTERVIEW INTERVIEW WEBINAR POST- PREZI WEBINAR REPORT EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL COMMISSIONED FORESTER BLOGGER BLOGGER REPORT ARTICLE ARTICLE CURATED ONGOING COMMENTARY ON 3RD PARTY BLOGS AND VIA TWITTER For more resources on this, see our Editorial Calendars Resource Round-Up171819 FOR EACH CELL IN YOUR PERSONA / BUYING-STAGE MATRIX, YOU NEED TO GENERATE TOPIC IDEAS. Just as in the ‘themes’ section above, decide on your content success criteria and score each topic against them: Criterion: 1 2 3 4 Theme: 1 2 3 4 5 A topic is a theme with a spin and a compelling title. It’s where you get specific. If a theme is ‘SEO’ a topic might be ‘8 Mistakes in B2B SEO’ or ‘How B2B SEO differs from B2C’ or ‘Earning authentic backlinks the sustainable way’. For the Big Fat Content Marketing Strategy The Checklist came out on top quite quickly. Checklist, we knew the theme was Content It feels right for the stage of adoption most Marketing Strategy. The criteria for choosing marketers are in now – and it’s a good a topic within this theme were: follow-up to the Content Marketing Workbook that explains basic principles. Very Shareable Practical and How-To Oriented Different from our Content Marketing Workbook Can Produce in 10 Days20 YOU’VE GOT A TOPIC. NOW WHAT MEDIUM IS BEST FOR IT? Prioritise according to things like the size and scope of the topic, the need to gate behind a download form, shareability, etc. Survey or contest Blog post Widget or self-grader Guest post Slideshare or Prezi eBook Infographic White paper Print (remember print?) eNewsletter Article Checklist Live event Curated piece Interview Other: Customer 3rd party expert Other: In-house expert Video Other: Interview/Chalk talk Demo/Documentary Viral/Animation Webinar It’s good to keep a mix of different media – it’s a lot more interesting than a library of 19 white papers. And try new stuff. Prezi, Pllop, Infographic, iPad magazine… The medium can be the message. For this piece, a checklist presented itself as the obvious medium for a practical, hardworking piece that captures some of our experience in a short form – and hopefully really helps B2B marketers in their content marketing efforts. We’ll no doubt spin this out into blog posts and infographics and stuff. And we’ve already done a Prezi: The Content Marketing Tutorial. We like Prezi. 21 GREAT CONTENT IS AUTHORITATIVE. Your choice of format will influence where you source your information (an infographic often needs different kinds of content than a webinar or eBook). So where will you get the goods? In-house experts (list): Existing internal content: Customers: Existing external content: Known sites & resources: Desk research (Google, Twitter, Social forums…) Original research Crowdsource Commission an expert Bribe an analyst (surely, “engage with”) You don’t have to consult all these sources before getting started. Once you feel you’ve nailed the topic, you can keep researching to validate your ideas but you might as well start writing your outline. The Big Fat Content Marketing Strategy Checklist you’re reading right now is based mainly on our internal ‘chops’ – we’ve been doing this for a long time. But we did check in with our friends and marketers we respect (see the section at the end).

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