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Creating Content that Sells

Creating Content that Sells

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Published by digitalegg
Marketo Inc PDF Guide - Creating Content that Sells. Excellent 9 page Guide. Content marketing is more important than ever. The B2B buying process has changed, and so has the B2B buyer. Gone are the days when salespeople actively “sold” to prospects and marketers would participate in “interruption marketing”—doing their best to get in front of prospective customers regardless of their level of interest or qualification.
Marketo Inc PDF Guide - Creating Content that Sells. Excellent 9 page Guide. Content marketing is more important than ever. The B2B buying process has changed, and so has the B2B buyer. Gone are the days when salespeople actively “sold” to prospects and marketers would participate in “interruption marketing”—doing their best to get in front of prospective customers regardless of their level of interest or qualification.

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Creating Content that Sells:
Content Marketing or Demand Generation
Content marketing is more important than ever. The B2B buying process has changed, and so hasthe B2B buyer. Gone are the days when salespeople actively “sold” to prospects and marketerswould participate in “interruption marketing”—doing their best to get in ront o prospectivecustomers regardless o their level o interest or qualifcation.
The Need or Content Marketing
 Thanks to the Internet, social media and other majoronline inuences, prospects are spending more timeon the Web doing independent research, obtaininginormation rom their peers and other third parties.Companies are meeting prospective buyers earlierthan ever, and they must avoid having sales engagewith every early-stage lead that is not truly salesready.
Reducing Risk in the B2B buying process
Research shows that the B2B buying process is ahighly emotional one, one that lends itsel to ir-rational behaviors and heuristics, or quick methodso coming to a solution that are, at best, educatedguesses. The emotion that most impacts the B2Bbuyer is ear (e.g. job security, loss o proessionalcredibility, monetary loss, etc.)While there is organizational risk involved in theprocess (oten stated in the procurement or RFPprocess), personal risk is what marketers must seek to understand best. This type o personal risk is otenunstated, dierent or each person in the buy-ing committee, and a potential source o internaltensions and ineective buying processes. Manyqualifed leads disappear because o personal risk,and when sales and marketing don’t acknowledgeand tackle this ear, revenue suers.B2B marketers must do their best to minimize thisear by eliminating risk, which can be done onlythrough building trust with prospects. Contentmarketing develops this trust, providing the buyerwith inormation that will help them make the rightdecision, allowing them to reduce both organiza-tional and personal risk.
The Role o Content Marketing inDemand Generation
Marketo’s defnition o Content Marketing is “Thecreation and sharing o content or the purpose o promoting a product or service.” Though the ocuso this content may not specifcally be about yourorganization or its oerings, oten assets created orthe purpose o content marketing include a mix o problem-specifc inormation and thought leader-ship. This is because organizations are fnding successby increasing awareness and demand or an entireindustry, allowing the company to beneft rom theexpanded market and its increased interest. To be e-ective, you cannot just ocus on the benefts o yourproduct or service, but instead share the businessbenefts o employing best practices in your indus-try. Companies that successully use content market-ing will improve their credibility amongst customersand prospects and will be able to claim a largershare o the available market than competitors. Thisis because they are building trust and rapport withthese prospects and customers, making it easier orthem to justiy purchasing your product.Content is not just white papers, webinars and webpages. It includes a wide range o inormation yourcompany uses to educate buyers. This is thoughtleadership and can include:Articles
•
Books/eBooks
•
Brochures/manuals
•
Case Studies
•
Inormation Guides
•
Microsites/Web Pages
•
Online Courses
•
Podcasts/Videocasts
•
Presentations
•
Product Data Sheets
•
Reerence Guides
•
Resource Libraries
•
© 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
Content Marketing:
 The creation and sharing o content or the purpose o pro-moting a product or service.
Demand Generation:
 The unction o a B2B market-ing department that createsdemand or your product orservice.
 
RSS/XML Feeds
•
Videos
•
Webinars/Webcasts
•
White Papers
•
Widgets
•
Workbooks
•
Doug Kessler, Creative Director at Velocity Partnersand author o The B2B Content Marketing Work-book, provides succinct advice on how to turnorganizational thinking into eective content-basedmarketing campaigns. “Thought Leadership isexploiting your unique position in your markets togenerate valuable insight and advice on issues yourcustomers and prospects care most about. Contentmarketing is turning your insight and advice intocampaigns that change people’s minds and inciteaction,says Kessler. This means that the materialyou use in content marketing should do more than just inorm or educate, it should inspire.
Demand Generation
Demand generation is the unction o a B2B mar-keting department that creates demand or yourproduct or service. This is much more than leadgeneration, as it also includes the conversations andactivities that occur prior to the lead being passedto sales.Eective content marketing is imperative to de-mand generation because it helps create productdemand. Content aects demand generation inthree important ways:Lead Generation
Lead Generation
A core unction o a marketing department is leadgeneration. For content to be successul or leadgeneration, it must ollow these
six rules of con-tent marketing
: 
It is not promotional
1.
– promotional materialswill neither excite nor inspire, both critical com-ponents o content marketing.
It is relevant
2.
– generic materials that are nothighly relevant to a reader will not result inincreased success. When writing content youmust make sure it will be useul to the reader,regardless o whether it supports your companymessage.
It closes a gap
3.
– content marketing shouldanswer a business question or problem. Givingpeople inormation about topics where there is noneed or inormation will be a wasted eort by theorganization.
It is well written
4.
– poorly written thought leader-ship may not only provide poor results, but mayalso hurt the company’s reputation. Take time toensure content is presented in a thoughtul man-ner and is ree o errors.
It is relevant to your company
5.
– i the contentyou create does not support business objectivesin any way, it is a waste o resources to produce.Keep business goals in mind when creatingcontent.
It gives proof 
6.
– since you write to support abusiness goal, your content may seem biased.Make sure that content you create gives proo either through quotes and testimonials or throughactual metrics and statistics.While ollowing the steps above will allow you tocreate good content, good content is not enough.Instead, you must share this content so that it is con-sumed and inormation about prospects is gathered.
Content Promotion
 To encourage consumption o this content, youwill want to promote it to your prospect data-base, relevant customers and those in your targetdemographic. Promotional channels include emailcampaigns, events and social media. You may alsowant to do this through paid promotions, includingcontent syndication, Google Adwords or other paidsearch marketing, email sponsorships, newslettersponsorships and more.Promotion is key to the success o your contentcampaign because i others do not read what yourorganization has created, it will not promote com-pany success.Here are some tips or getting more out o contentpromotion:Let bloggers, press, analysts and other inuencers
•
know about your content so they can share it withtheir ollowers via social media, blog posts andmore.Consider creating a press release about the
•
© 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
-2-
Six Rules o ContentMarketing
 
1.
Non promotional
2
. Relevant to Reader
3.
Closes a Gap
4
. Well-Written
5
Relevant to Your Company
6.
Gives Proo 
 
content or mentioning it in other press releases.Link your content’s landing page with the rest o 
•
your website, adding it to an appropriate resourcesection. Also, consider creating banner ads aboutthe content or your website or or the websitehomepage.Leverage your own company blog, sharing key
•
takeaways rom the content in a blog post so thereader understands the value o the content. Test multiple ads and keywords to get the most
•
out o your paid search-marketing program. Don’t just rely on the obvious.Remember, social media is more than Twitter.
•
Use a variety o social media sites to spreadinormation about your content including othermicroblogging sites, blogs, social networks(LinkedIn and Facebook) marking sites (Delicious),news sharing sites (Digg, Sphinn) and more.And fnally, consider the program ROI needed and
•
compare that to the cost o paid promotions todecide your strategy.
Content Registration
Content marketing will include assets that are openand available without registration. However, inorder or content marketing to be eective in leadgeneration, there must be a orm to capture contactinormation. While these orms can be embedded inrames or placed in emails, you will mostly likely putyour orms on a landing page.Oten marketers create successul content but donot achieve optimal results because o their land-ing pages. Landing pages are critical to contentand should eature the benefts o the asset in anattractive way that encourages download. I a pieceo content isn’t doing well you will oten want toexplore landing page optimization beore changingthe content, as it may be the reason you are not do-ing as well as you’d like.Landing page optimization can be very complexand include A/B testing, multivariate testing,eye-tracking studies, usability tests, click-mappingand more. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Instead,start with some landing page optimization basics,like testing headings or images, and then work to more complicated testing procedures. To learnmore about landing page optimization, check outBuilding Eective Landing Pages.In addition to having well-constructed landing pag-es, consider the registration orm itsel. The questionson a orm can greatly impact the actual download o a paper. Best practice is to keep the orm as short aspossible, e.g. only asking or name, company nameand email address. I you ask or additional inorma-tion like city, phone number, title and company size,you may reduce the actual number o people whoview the asset. Try at all costs to not ask or verypersonal inormation or inormation that cannot berecalled easily rom memory. Test to discover themaximum set o inormation your prospects fndreasonable, allowing you to collect as much data aspossible beore registrants decline.
Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is about maintaining an ongoingconversation with your prospects. In this case, theconversation advances via the marketing assets youuse as well as the way in which your company com-municates with prospects. Content plays a criticalrole in lead nurturing, as it oten acts as a sales rep’sproxy when a person is not yet sales ready.Here are some additional best practices or develop-ing content optimized or lead nurturing:
Respect your prospect’s schedule and attentionspan — make your content easy to digest
Just as the B2B buying process has changed, so havethe ways that prospects interact with the contentyou provide. I you’re lucky enough to have themlook at your content, you better make it engaging—which in most cases means it has to be short, sweetand to the point.
Make content valuable, not self-promotional
When creating content, make sure you put youraudience’s interests ahead o your own. People un-derstand that i they are reading a vendor-sponsoredor vendor-written resource, the material probablyalludes to what the vendor’s product or service cando.
Use sales and marketing emails as a chance toget personal, not pushy
 The content or dialogue in your communication
© 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
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