SMB Marketing Automation: Getting Started with Content Strategy

Overcoming lack of understanding, resources, and content 

 

chick

We all have stories in our lifetime where we reference “chicken or the egg” regarding a reference to what comes first.  This same concept can be applied to marketing automation for small and mid-size business.   I’ve been hired my firms past and current with the challenge to generate quality leads and manage marketing automation drip campaigns.  Many of these firms are excited to have a tool such as Act-On, Hubspot, Loopfuse, Mindmatrix, Net-Results, Infusionsoft, and countless other platforms.  The chicken and egg concept occurs when these platforms are in place, but not enough leads to support its use effectively until a steady stream of leads begin happening. 

Leads don’t happen overnight, especially if your marketing budget is moderate.  The other issue I’ve seen with the lead nurturing concept at SMB firms is the eagerness for salespeople to engage with leads who download content, even though those prospects aren’t ready to be engaged with.  I understand the enthusiasm; inquiries are captured; but how long should salespeople wait to contact them?  Whether enterprise or SMB, you need to let the process play out; set up automated drip campaigns, and let nurturing and lead scoring processes occur until the inquiries become sales-ready leads.  Otherwise why do you have marketing automation?

If you are an SMB, and you do have products/services with at least a 90 day buying cycle (Interest-Consideration-Purchase), your content, if implemented properly, will cause audiences to consider your solution, and put your firm in the “finals” for when prospects decide to contact your sales team.  Without a sound content strategy, you’re marketing to your prospects with no direction, and your marketing automation will be deemed useless.

So if you have marketing automation, and not taking advantage of its powerful features and reporting, then you’re behind the eight ball versus competitors.  Likewise if you don’t have marketing automation, then you’re not sending quality content to prospects when they move through the buying cycle, and thus you’re missing sales opportunities.

Either way, you need to combine your marketing automation with the following:

  • Investment and commitment in an optimal demand generation strategy.  You can’t just rely on pay-per-click on Google.  You need to have a content lead capture plan that includes the following components:
    • Format strategy: white papers, case studies, videos, blogs, infographics, ebooks, webinars
    • Message strategy: matching content asset topics to buyer personas and buying stage
    • Distribution strategy: newsletters, Slideshare, social media, website (via SEO), landing pages (via paid search), online display, eblasts, sponsorships, content syndication

If this sounds like a big undertaking, it is, and can be overwhelming.  This is why I created a Marketing Automation Content Starter Package with my content partners.  If you’re serious about utilizing marketing automation properly, we can help you get over the hump.

The starter package includes the following elements:

Buyer persona development.

Gain the edge over the competition by immersing yourself in your buyer’s thinking. Learn what motivates and frustrates them, and discover the unexpected.

Content Plan

A plan for nurturing your leads with content tailored to attract, engage and convert your buyer. It includes 10 to 15 topics designed to appeal to specific phases of your target market’s buying cycle.

Content Audit

Make sure you don’t waste any existing content and you have what you need for remarkable marketing automation success. We review up to 10 of your current content assets and conduct gap analysis for lead nurturing plan. 

Content/Marketing Automation Set-up

The details can make all the difference and we make sure they’re all handled according to best practices for marketing automation. This includes the nitty-gritty of building forms, scoring leads, and executing drip campaigns.  Whether you have marketing automation (we’ll review) or don’t (we’ll recommend and implement), we’ll be there every step of the way to make it work.

Content Development

Successful marketing automation thrives on content fuel.  We produce all the quality, relevant content you need to feed your marketing machine. This includes blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and webinars.

Lead Generation/Demand Generation Assessment

We’ll assess your paid-search, search-engine-optimization, online-display-media, social media, and conversion-optimization efforts. We’ll give you an insider’s grasp of these channels, and the facts you need to make important decisions. Armed with new insights and proven techniques, you’ll be empowered to produce immediate results.

 

Click here to learn more about our Marketing Automation Made Easy Packages, which include 3 monthly spending levels depending on need, for 3 months.  Our landing page includes a link to a sign-up form.

 

What are your experiences with marketing automation content strategy?  How has it worked for you? What are your roadblocks? 

 

 

 

 

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.