Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Marketing Automation - Essential for Content Marketing?

Yes, you need to have a marketing automation system in place in order to leverage content into opportunities and closed sales.


Content Marketing is all the rage lately.  If you're a CEO or CMO, you might be haranguing your people to create a white paper or "do a webinar" just because that's what the buzz is lately on the C-suite golf course.  It's a rare web site in this modern marketing age that does not have some content posted.  It's fairly easy to create a paper or an application note or even a webinar.  But it's harder to turn your content into sales.



Let's look at the automobile as a metaphor:
  • Marketing automation is the engine that turns your content into sales.
  • Content is the fuel that powers the engine.
  • The automobile in gear represents growth.
 A common foible  in content marketing is to develop a great piece and post it on the web site.  The idea is similar to the old business strategy of building a better mousetrap and the customers will line up.  Yes, it's true that content posted on the web site will help with SEO, but that isn't enough.  To get a return on your content, you must tell your target audience about it.  This can be accomplished with a targeted outbound campaign.   Good content marketing includes inbound and outbound tactics to fully leverage the content.  Marketing automation is the tool that drives your outbound, measures the inbound and enhances the engagement.


So now you have created content and you've started to tell your target audience about it and you might even be getting some good positioning in the search engines.  At this point, your engine is started and your automobile is idling.  To get your auto in gear and moving, use marketing automation to allow the people in your target audience to get to know your firm better.  As Jean Luc Picard would say, "Engage".   Without MA, it's very difficult to further the engagement or relationship.

Once you have the initial contact established, there are many engagement tactics available to the savvy MA practitioner:
  • nurturing
  • triggered response
  • sales action
  • invitations to events or activities
  • newsletters
  • activity driven content
  • persona development
Yes, if your goal is to grow revenue, content development posted on the web site will fail you.  For content marketing to be successful in growing a business, it must be coupled with smart use of marketing automation.