Here's another article in a series that highlights how my clients have solved common content challenges. In this post, you'll learn how inContact built their successful lead nurturing email campaign and how you can follow their steps to create your own.
Building email lead nurturing campaigns might seem daunting, but I can attest they really pay off. My client, inContact, develops cloud solutions for contact centers, and has used these types of campaigns successfully with their Eloqua marketing automation system for a few years.
I'm often ask how to get started with email nurturing. Here are the six steps inContact followed to launch their campaigns:
I love a good research report. For marketers, it’s the closest we come to having a crystal ball that gives us relatively concrete answers about nebulous subjects like buyer behavior. One of the areas where I see many of my clients have long conversations with their colleagues is their websites. Should we put our address in the footer? Should social media sharing buttons be located near every case study link? Will long contact forms turn our buyers off?
It's always gratifying to know that folks who are trying to get their personal content beast under control find my webinar and articles on the subject helfpul.
There's lots of information about content marketing out there, but it's a bit harder to find resources that directly apply to or are helpful to technology marketers. Since marketing technology is relatively unique, I've created a list called "Best Content Marketing Resources for Technology Marketers" on List.ly.
Please read it, share your opinions on the resources, and add your own favorites to the list so it continues to evolve into a useful resource.
UBM TechWeb recently published an interesting report on what technology buyers want from their vendors’ content. As you might image, it didn’t involve requests for more product datasheets.
Rather they want fact-based, best practices-oriented content that helps them make purchasing decisions. Although this research is focused on the technology industry, the results can be applied to most any complex, B2B purchasing cycle.
(To see the what buyers don't want in your content, visit my post: "Technology Buyers' Biggest Marketing Turn-offs.")
Vitamixes are those super-duper high speed blenders that liquefy just about anything you put in them – like entire oranges, apples, spinach, and even other solid objects that aren’t edible. And, amazingly, there’s a content marketing lesson to be learned when it comes to using the Vitamix for making smoothies.
When our Vitamix first arrived, we shoved aside the recipe book that came with it and started making smoothies just like the demonstration guy at Costco. We threw in whole fruit that wasn’t peeled or seeded, greens, juice – anything that sounded good. The result? Some of the worst smoothies ever. And the Vitamix, the super-duper-blend-anything machine, just sat there and roared while it vainly tried to blend up our mess.
According to Market2Lead, the sales cycle is nearly 25% shorter for nurtured leads.
Lead nurturing is a great method for staying in front of prospects that aren’t yet ready to buy from you. Most of us are aware that some percentage of the names in our database might have a cursory interest in our services, but due to timing, just aren’t in the market yet for a solution. However, if you implement a lead nurturing campaign, you can stay top-of-mind with these prospects so when they ARE ready to buy, they’ll think of you first.
When it comes to content – planning it, creating it, using it – Product Marketing’s role is often unclear. In many organizations, the role of content creator and planner is the Marketing Communications team. They handle outbound marketing execution, and hence, take the lead in content creation and distribution.
But given that Product Marketing is often a key business owner for a particular product or service, and probably cares a good deal about how their product is being marketed to buyers, it makes sense to include Product Marketing in content marketing efforts.
Plus product marketers have the buyer knowledge to create really good content. No one else in Marketing likely knows as much about their buyers as the product marketers.
Monday 9 am. The Sales VP is drumming his fingers on your desk demanding more leads for his team.
You have two choices:
1. Fire off an email offer to your entire database.
2. Calmly explain the advantages of quality over quantity.
I’d take #2.
It will Transform Your Team into Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset
Adele Revella is the queen of buyer personas. I was fortunate, early in my career, to attend Adele’s “Effective Product Marketing” class. It’s where I first heard of buyer personas and their positive effect on your organization, your revenue, and your professional reputation.
Design Your Product Datasheet for Skimming and Scanning
Product datasheets are one of those checklist items in the technology industry; your buyers expect you to have them (or, at the very least, your sales team does.) But the nagging questions are: Does anyone really read them? And, more importantly, what can we do to make them more readable?
In my opinion, technology buyers WILL read a datasheet if it’s written and laid out well. The key is understanding the majority of buyers will first scan it to pick up the main points, and, if they deem it useful or interesting, they’ll skim the other content. If it passes the skimming and scanning test, some buyers will read the datasheet in detail. So, it’s important to write good copy that gets to the point quickly and to use a very readable layout.
Content marketing is about producing high-value content that addresses your buyers’ concerns and interests. The focus is on education, not selling. It’s also about giving buyers the information they want when they want it – not hitting them over the head with lots of stuff they may not be ready for – because they’ll either ignore it or delete it.
Remember, technology buyers are delaying talking to your sales team – they want to do as much self-service research as possible before they contact you. To help them, you need to align your content with the stages in your sales cycle.
Becoming an Expert on Your Buyers
The information overload in our digital world is staggering. As a marketer in the technology industry, you’ve got to ask yourself “Does anyone read this stuff I’m producing?” After all, technology is a competitive industry, and your competitors are hitting your buyers as hard as you are.
No wonder technology prospects are jaded, aren’t taking your sales teams’ phone calls, and just want to be left alone until they are ready to reach out to you. But how do you align your marketing with that desire?
Want cool ideas for smart content? Sign up for my monthly newsletter and get my free report "How to Make Your Content a Strategic Marketing Weapon".
Find the right technology copywriter with this free checklist.