This past week, the Kapost squad packed up for Orlando to attend Eloqua Experience 2012— a conference filled with modern marketers and best practice workshops in the demand generation space. It was a fun, fruitful and just overall, a rewarding experience. The Track Sessions featured various thought leaders and they proved to be very educational and applicable.
Toby Murdock, CEO of Kapost, the content marketing platform, sat on a panel alongside Chris Baggott of Compendium, and Tom Smith of Techweb. The topic was right in the sweet spot of Kapost and Toby’s expertise: how brands become publishers.
The questions dictating the discussion sparked some useful takeaways and creative feedback from the panelists as well as engagement from the attendees (thanks for the tweets!). For those of you who were unable to attend the event, here are a few of the questions from the panel coupled with Toby’s advice. I will share two more questions from the panel in a post to be published on Tuesday, November 20th.
At the end of the day, the marketer’s job is to help sell. But it’s less and less vogue to “talk product.” What is content’s role in promoting product?
There will always be a place for content about your own products. Whether your content takes the shape of product specification documents, case studies, competitive analyses, or ROI calculators, those are of course, always necessary.
The bulk of your content should live at the convergence of your buyer’s interests and your own company’s focus and expertise. That’s your content sweet spot. What do I mean by that? Let’s take Eloqua as an example.
Eloqua’s buyer is mid and large sized company marketers. What are some of their concerns? Well, a marketer might be concerned with trade show displays. But that has nothing to do with Eloqua’s focus. Eloqua’s focus includes its new lead scoring algorithm technology. But the marketer does not care about that level of technical detail, at least not until the very bottom of the funnel.
But take sales and marketing alignment. That’s a concern of the marketers, and that’s part of Eloqua’s expertise. In fact, their software helps facilitate such alignment. So that’s in that sweet spot, the convergence of the buyer’s interest and the brand’s expertise.
The great thing about content sweet spot is that it is not about the brand’s product but it points towards it. Buyers will turn away from content that just promotes your own product. But in discussing the issues around sales and marketing alignment, Eloqua stirs the conversation that leads to its own product as the solution.
So yes, 10% of your content will be about your product– This will always will be the case. However, you have to produce much more content about customers’ interests. This will be the remaining 90%. Customers’ concerns are much more vast. Hot topics are always changing, attention ebbs, so you must always create fresh content. By focusing this content on your sweet spot, you’ll both attract the buyer and point them towards your solution.
Every buyer takes a leap on buying a product . . . there’s only so much one can figure out before they buy. Every buyer trusts someone who helps solve their problems. Content builds that trust.
What are the desired outcomes and metrics you see organizations looking for with content?
Ultimate objective: revenue. Behind that number is lead generation, lead nurturing and sales enablement. Content is the best way of accomplishing all three.
Top of the funnel: how are you going to attract buyers to your site? Well, the main sources of traffic are referral/social and search. For referral and social: you need to provide great content, promote it to influencers in your subject who matter, win links, and gain traffic. For SEO: you need to basically do the same thing; Google will see you winning quality links and improve your search ranking.
Then how do you convert visitors into leads? And leads into opportunities? You need to be able to engage with these potential buyers. They’ll ignore you if you blast them about your products. Instead, build the relationship, build their trust by showing them how well you understand their challenges and the solutions you have for them.
Then, lastly, at the bottom of the funnel, we keep hearing about the Challenger Sale and how sales people now need to close deals by educating and informing their customers. It is hard for every sales person to be a thought leader on their own. However, if marketers produce great thought leadership content on their own, sales people can be the educator and the informer that they need to be in order to win the sale.
Want to learn more best practices in content marketing and how to build your content marketing machine? Download our How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine eBook in partnership with Eloqua.