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Creating Content That Sell

Creating Content That Sell

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Published by Youssef Rahoui

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Published by: Youssef Rahoui on Jan 08, 2012
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11/24/2013

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Doug Kessler, Creative Director at Velocity Partnersand author of The B2B Content Marketing Work-book, provides succinct advice on how to turnorganizational thinking into e
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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 inform or educate, it should inspire.
Demand Generation
Demand generation is the function of a B2B mar-keting department that creates demand for 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
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ective content marketing is imperative to de-mand generation because it helps create productdemand. Content a
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ects demand generation inthree important ways:Lead Generation
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Lead Nurturing
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Lead Scoring
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Lead Generation
A core function of a marketing department is leadgeneration. For content to be successful for leadgeneration, it must follow these
six rules of con-tent marketing
: 
It is not promotional
1.
– promotional materialswill neither excite nor inspire, both critical com-ponents of 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 useful to the reader,regardless of whether it supports your companymessage.
It closes a gap
3.
– content marketing shouldanswer a business question or problem. Givingpeople information about topics where there is noneed for information 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 thoughtful man-ner and is free of errors.
It is relevant to your company
5.
– if the contentyou create does not support business objectivesin any way, it is a waste of 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 proof either through quotes and testimonials or throughactual metrics and statistics.While following 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 information about prospects is gathered.
Content Promotion
 To encourage consumption of 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 of your contentcampaign because if others do not read what yourorganization has created, it will not promote com-pany success.Here are some tips for getting more out of contentpromotion:Let bloggers, press, analysts and other in
uencers
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know about your content so they can share it withtheir followers via social media, blog posts andmore.Consider creating a press release about the
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© 2010 Marketo, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Six Rules of ContentMarketing
 
1.
Non promotional
2
. Relevant to Reader
3.
Closes a Gap
4
. Well-Written
5
Relevant to Your Company
6.
Gives Proof 
 
content or mentioning it in other press releases.Link your content’s landing page with the rest of 
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your website, adding it to an appropriate resourcesection. Also, consider creating banner ads aboutthe content for your website or for the websitehomepage.Leverage your own company blog, sharing key
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takeaways from the content in a blog post so thereader understands the value of the content. Test multiple ads and keywords to get the most
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out of your paid search-marketing program. Don’t just rely on the obvious.Remember, social media is more than Twitter.
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Use a variety of social media sites to spreadinformation about your content including othermicroblogging sites, blogs, social networks(LinkedIn and Facebook) marking sites (Delicious),news sharing sites (Digg, Sphinn) and more.And
nally, consider the program ROI needed and
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compare that to the cost of paid promotions todecide your strategy.
Content Registration
Content marketing will include assets that are openand available without registration. However, inorder for content marketing to be e
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ective in leadgeneration, there must be a form to capture contactinformation. While these forms can be embedded inframes or placed in emails, you will mostly likely putyour forms on a landing page.Often marketers create successful content but donot achieve optimal results because of their land-ing pages. Landing pages are critical to contentand should feature the bene
ts of the asset in anattractive way that encourages download. If a pieceof content isn’t doing well you will often want toexplore landing page optimization before 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
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ective Landing Pages.In addition to having well-constructed landing pag-es, consider the registration form itself. The questionson a form can greatly impact the actual download of a paper. Best practice is to keep the form as short aspossible, e.g. only asking for name, company nameand email address. If you ask for additional informa-tion like city, phone number, title and company size,you may reduce the actual number of people whoview the asset. Try at all costs to not ask for verypersonal information or information that cannot berecalled easily from memory. Test to discover themaximum set of information your prospects
ndreasonable, allowing you to collect as much data aspossible before 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 often acts as a sales rep’sproxy when a person is not yet sales ready.Here are some additional best practices for develop-ing content optimized for 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. If 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 of your own. People un-derstand that if 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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