In January, PropelGrowth and DemandGenReport co-sponsored a great webcast where we brought together some of the top thought leaders in content marketing. On Thursday at 1:00 ET, we’ll be continuing the conversation. Join us and listen in.
I had a planning session today with Ardath Albee and Robert Rose to work out some details on the agenda. I always wish we could record those planning discussions, because they’re always very informative. Here are some snippets from that conversation to whet your appetite for the event.
Making the Business Case for Content Marketing
It’s critical to build a business case and set reasonable expectations when you’re getting started with a content marketing program. Companies often want instant results, but that’s just not realistic. I love the way Ardath put it – “two email sends do not create transformation.” Most content marketing programs require 6 to 9 months of gestation before they start giving birth to demonstrable results in the pipeline. Robert pointed out, “Don’t focus on ROI, focus on building a solid business case.”
Knowing What to Report…And What NOT to Report
Most of the companies we work with have a 6 to 18 month sales cycle, but have to report results quarterly. So it’s critical to carefully set expectations and define meaningful KPIs (key performance indicators) that can demonstrate progress for the first few months of a content marketing program. Just as important as understanding what metrics to report, is knowing what NOT to report. In the session on Thursday, we’ll talk about problems that can occur if marketing reports on the wrong metrics (like database size).
Content Marketing Strategy
Ardath will talk about a content marketing strategy and using personas. In our discussion today, she told about a marketing team who was targeting all their content at the “CXO” level. Her research showed that the C-level executives never got involved in the decision process outside of signing the contract. So they moved the targeting downstream to the people who were really driving the business case. Ardath will talk more about this process on Thursday.
Storytelling is a key tactic to making a content program resonate and drive conversions. We’ll get Marcus Sheridan to talk more about that. He’s a master story-teller.
Building Momentum Through the Funnel
One of the hardest things for marketers is understanding how to influence the buying journey AFTER sales has gotten involved. Hubspot has an interesting approach for this, and we’ll have Mike Volpe talk about it. Marketing should be helping to build momentum all the way through the funnel and provide the right mix of educational, promotional, and product-focused material. We’ll talk about finding that balance.
Delivering the ROI
As Robert said, “If it’s not changing or enhancing consumer behavior, it’s not content marketing.” So we’ll talk about what it takes to make content marketing produce real results, delivering on the ROI and business case.