It’s an open secret: marketing automation software and content marketing are a power couple.
But they’ll never reach their full potential unless the content you’re producing matches up specifically with what your audience actually wants to receive.
Let’s be honest. Shiny software alone can’t rejuvenate your marketing efforts, and neither can any amount of content. They have to work in unison. That said, here are a few ways you can make your content and marketing automation software work together to woo your buyers and build meaningful relationships.
Keep it focused
By now “content is king” has become a cliche. It’s also very misleading. Listen to most “experts” and you’ll begin to believe that you need to be cranking out as much content as you can across every medium imaginable. And because of the relatively high cost of marketing automation software, your boss may think the only way to maximize it is to pump a huge amount of content through it. Both of these are wrong.
The tactic: Start fresh with only one goal in mind: Be interesting. Don’t even begin to consider sending meaningless filler to prospects because you feel the pressure to deliver something — anything — to get the ROI on that expensive software. It’s better to deliver two “home run” pieces of content that kick ass per month through your marketing automation than to be posting irrelevant content daily just to have “stuff” out there.
Keep it light
When getting in touch with new prospects, the best way to break the ice is to start slowly. Begin with casual small talk and build a relationship from there. In real life, most relationship dynamics begin this way — just ask your sales team. Marketing automation software allows you to bring this same methodology into content marketing.
The tactic: Make the first thee pieces of nurture stream content to new prospects short, causal, and valuable (no selling allowed yet). Once the conversation begins to open up, you can begin to nurture with more in-depth pieces of content. After some of that, you can get into content that is more promotional in nature.
Examples of “light” content include a short video teaser about an upcoming product release, an infographic, or a short blog post. Just like a budding relationship, sharing a range of information in new and interesting ways builds the foundation.
Keep it relevant
OK, so you just created a new video that kicks major ass. Of course you want to share it with everyone. But resist this urge at all costs — only some of your prospects are ready for it. Your content at each stage of the funnel needs to reflect the relationship you have built with your prospect up until that point. Your marketing automation takes on the tedious work of partitioning off different content for different prospects (hey, there is something automated about this), so you don’t have to.
The tactic: Create content for various stages in the sales funnel.
- Early in the funnel: Your goal is to simply make a positive impression. Don’t deliver a piece of content that’s little more than a thinly-veiled sales pitch. Instead, send a brief email welcoming them warmly to your brand.
- Mid stage of the funnel: Things are starting to move along. A bit of interest has been shown by the prospect. You can make offers here, but be sure there is very little risk involved. For example, offer a free download to an eBook that has tons of value and is relevant to their needs.
- Late stage of the funnel: At this point, a good foundation of trust should be established between you and the customer so you can craft a sales offer that is fair and packaged in a way that highlights the benefits in it for them. After your leads are converted, be sure to make the most of the metrics and analysis tools your marketing automation software offers so you can learn what content worked optimally and what content still needs a bit of tweaking.
When in doubt about how to build relationships with your content and marketing automation, remember that above all else it should be meaningful, not abundant. As in any new relationship being interesting is better than just talking for the sake of talking. Don’t bore your prospects, woo them!
OK, great, you say. But how does content fit into my full strategy? Check out The Super Awesome Totally Wicked Definitive Manual of Marketing Automation to learn how content fuels a firestorm of buyer engagement.
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