At Kapost, we work with some of the best content marketers in the world. Over the past four years we have seen an explosion of content requirements for the B2B marketing organization. The buyer’s journey has changed, and with 65% of B2B buyers evaluating their solutions prior to engaging with sales, marketers and your content are the critical glue that moves a deal from discovery to research to inquiry to close.
Many marketers ask us what they need in order to manage this process, and to ensure they are filling the top of the funnel with qualified leads. Our five are as follows:
1. A Coverage Map
Create targeted content that aligns Personas and Funnel Stages. This is a foundational step in finding (and filling) communication gaps during the “Buyer’s Journey.” Delivering relevant and timely content at each stage of this journey is critical. All content should be mapped to specific personas at specific stages of the buying cycle:
2. Process for Ideation
How is my organization doing at generating ideas and publishing content? Is our organization awful at ideation, actual content creation, or both? To address these issues, you need both process and measurement milestones. When it comes to content ideas, our most successful clients source internally within marketing, crowd source through their entire organization, and use customer feedback and social listening. Key data point: continually track how many ideas you create, and how many you end up publishing. Check this month over month.
3. Lead Conversions from Content
Understand what content types optimally work to generate leads. In the B2B world, it usually takes multiple pieces of content before a lead converts. Understanding what piece of content started the journey and then influenced the journey is critical for content optimization. Through integrations with Eloqua/Oracle, Marketo and Salesforce.com our clients are measuring lead conversion and influence over all content types.
4. Understanding Influencers
Influencers are critical for your buyer’s journey, across industries and especially in the B2B landscape. Understanding not just who they are, but also the number of relationships you are building will help you drive more relevant content and identify gaps in your coverage model of influencers. Quarter over Quarter growth should be keenly observed.
5. The Publishing Calendar
Do you have a visual representation of all of your content (blogs, email, social, video, white papers, ebooks, video, slideshare, etc.) in one place? Most B2B marketers have not only one but many calendars (by content types no less). The best in class content marketers roll up this calender in one manageable visual dashboard on quantity, quality, and content for any given day, week and month. Failure to collapse your calendars into one results in duplicative efforts, missed opportunities (all content is published on Tuesday vs. dispersed evenly throughout the week), and poor results.
By implementing these key elements in your organization, you’ll be able to effectively reach your target buyers, introduce repeatable processes, track what’s working and what needs work, and help you build an even more robust content marketing machine.
But all of these elements can be hard to understand without really digging into how they work together. If you’d like to play around in the Kapost platform for inspiration, you can take a self-guided test drive through the software, which will help you figure out which metrics and processes are currently missing from your current content marketing strategy.
Thoughts or comments?
What metrics do you rely on for building a better content marketing strategy? Share your thoughts below.