Marketing Automation: Start with good content
Dick de Zwart
Marketing automation is embraced by many B2B marketers as the golden egg for getting more qualified leads. The various software packages, such as: HubSpot (www.hubspot.com), Autopilot (www.autopilothq.com) and Sendinblue (www.sendinblue.com) all offer a lot of ease of use and functionality. At least, that’s how it’s presented to us. But what you have to realize is that it is only a marketing tool. No matter how comprehensive and integrated, it remains a tool that will help you reach your goal. The prerequisites for using it well are often overlooked, which can disappoint many marketers after an initial introductory period. It all seemed so easy and effective: lead nurturing, account-based marketing, dynamic content and lead scoring. These are all mechanisms that should deliver hot leads automatically to the inbox of the sales department. But it’s not that simple.
What we often forget is that it all starts with the creation of content on landing pages, in emails, blogs and social media, using a variety of types of content. Without content, there is no marketing automation. And it is content that is the bottleneck at many organizations. This is not only our experience, but also a conclusion from an eMarketer study conducted in 2015:
Creating content is difficult for many organizations. This already applies to written content, such as news items or product news, not to mention interactive videos and so on. The danger of creating something that you’re not even sure appeals to your target group sneaks in quickly.
Starting out big or small?
As an organization, after making the strategic choice to start using marketing automation, you can immediately start creating as much content as possible. Blogs, videos, white papers; you name it. Is that the right approach? We don’t think so. It makes much more sense to first make a good plan for your approach. Investigate the personas, determine your ultimate goals, name KPI’s and investigate the themes that play a role within your field. At Nymark, we will go through our step-by-step plan, which can be found under Discover. The result is an elaborate content strategy, buyer personas and content planning, which always provide the content with the backbone it needs to make an impact.
We then determine who gets what responsibility and tasks. Creating content is a time-consuming task, where in addition to writing skills, the organizational challenges are also significant. Just think of finding the right people for the interviews, planning video and photo shoots and chairing editorial meetings. So, start small with manageable content. Rather little and good, than a lot and weak.
Mobilize the right people within your organization
To keep your content diverse and fresh, it is wise to involve different people within your organization in the content creation process. The reader likes to read something from the director, but also from the mechanic in the workshop or recruiters. In addition, there is often a lot of hidden knowledge within your organization. And that is precisely what is valuable to the reader.
Another reason why you should mobilize people is to develop a small ambassador platform. If all those involved share the content on their networks, the distribution of your content will have gotten off to a good start. It increases your reach, but also your internal involvement, pride and appreciation.
And then: publish, measure, follow up and improve
If you are already using a Marketing Automation system, follow the advice above. If you still need to get started, orientate yourself thoroughly on all packages, providers and ask for help! In terms of orientation, have a look at this article at VentureHarbour which compares the 7 best marketing automation tools and platforms of 2020: https://www.ventureharbour.com/best-marketing-automation-software-infusionsoft-vs-ontraport-vs-marketo/. Or go to www.marketingautomationinsider.com to easily compare functionalities.
If you need help on marketing automation: get in touch with Nymark!