Using Market Research to Fuel Your Content Marketing Assets

As B2B marketers become increasingly savvy with the use of content marketing, it becomes even more important to create content assets that stand out from a very crowded landscape. Using primary research to develop proprietary, original data to fuel your content pieces is an excellent way to do just that.  A single survey can fuel a variety of content marketing assets, whether the goal is thought leadership/brand building, lead generation, or both.

Top-5 Research-Based Content Assets:

  1. White Papers: Survey results provide an excellent foundation for whitepaper content, providing key talking points for the analyst to build upon in creating a particularly compelling report. Add qualitative interviews to provide additional context and flavor. Surrounded by a robust marketing plan, this valuable proprietary information can be gated for lead generation.
  1. Webinars: Repurpose survey results and elevate your position as an industry expert through thought leadership. Leverage your content further in a webinar lead touch program, providing an opportunity to engage the webinar registrants and continue the conversation. Breathe new life into the webinar content by creating an engaging, interactive experience with webinar key takeaways, highlighting main themes from the event.
  1. FastChats: Increase thought leadership by discussing the results of your research in an online interview. Drive additional traffic to the interview by adding an in-article video snippet to run alongside brand editorial.
  1. Infographics: Visualize key data from your research program and promote across a variety of channels to build your brand: partner websites, owned media, direct mail, social media, etc.

  2. Explainer Videos: Craft a unique video breaking down your research into digestible content. Increase awareness by adding a 30-second in-article video across the brand site to increase exposure and/or leverage video at your industry events.

We also know that third-party involvement increases the credibility of your content assets.  Informa Engage can help create a robust marketing plan that integrates the elements above to give your clients the awareness and/or sales leads they’re looking for.

The Value of Upper Funnel Lead Marketing

Tech marketers have an exacting remit to deliver high-quality, deep-pocketed marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) into their sales pipelines. The constant pressure to deliver is tied to immediate ROI expectation that equates marketing spend directly to the number of leads brought in and then calculates the monetary value of that lead based on presumed lifetime sales into that company.

This is a valid approach that is not likely to change. However, it should not deny the brand awareness needed to prepare high-quality prospects to be receptive to lead gen marketing and nurture campaigns.

The level of effort needed just to turn the head of a high-quality prospect is boosted by brand marketing to a broad group of potential customers.

Benefits of top-of-funnel brand marketing promotions:

  • Messaging to upper-funnel contacts builds brand and product awareness. It lays the groundwork for lead gen engagement when that person/company is ready to make a purchase decision.
  • Proper brand-focused messaging creates recognition and builds a positive reputation.
  • Companies can try out messaging tactics before committing to lengthy content messaging.
  • Content engagement shows pre-purchase interest or research activity of a company well before they raise their hand with a form submission.
  • A team will likely weigh in on a purchase decision, so content and messaging that influences the broader team can positively influence those who will never become an explicit lead but will impact the company’s decision.
  • Executive-level decision makers rarely download whitepapers or sit through webinars, but they are certainly part of a company’s buying decision. You can continue to reinforce brand identity and reputation up and down your prospect’s buying team through top-of-funnel promotions reaching company contacts that are not in your sales pipelines.

Top-of-funnel does mean scattershot.  Brand messaging still benefits from targeting the right prospective customer base – just as broadly as possible.  Top-of-funnel tactics include web advertising on content sites relevant to your prospect pool.

Audience extension can be used to replay advertising promotions to targeted segments across various news and interest sites across the web. And as any freshman marketing major can tell you – repetition is key!

Account-based marketing (ABM) tactics can be employed to speak to that broader buying team from companies already in your sales pipeline.  When one or two key contacts are being nurtured down the sales and marketing funnel, targeted ABM top-of-funnel marketing bolsters brand identity and reputation to that broader, influencer group within your target company.

Keep in mind that the persons within an organization making the brand or top-of-funnel promotional plan may not be the same persons driving leads into the sales CRM.  You need to determine this and coordinate your sales messaging and comms accordingly.

Tech marketers support their lead gen and lead nurture campaigns through a strong foundation of brand and product awareness among prospective contacts.  Top-of-funnel promotions drive that awareness. They can also deliver access to kay contacts across a prospect company while nurturing efforts driving few key prospects toward a sale.

Sales Success Starts with A Winning Pre-Sales Strategy

A strong marketing services business requires a well-oiled pre-sales process to ensure all stakeholders have the necessary information to deliver a successful program. No organization will be effective in selling marketing services without good communication between the sales and delivery teams. And as a sales lead at Informa, you’ll play a key role in this process.

The more information you gather during the pre-sales stage, the better equipped your Informa Engage delivery experts will be able to help you with scoping, timelines, deliverables, KPI’s, and all the important variables needed to execute your deal. This information can be beneficial for sellers because it creates a feedback loop that will help you understand how to best position or price a product when developing a proposal that best addresses your customer’s challenge. It also serves to establish mutually agreed-upon expectations with your client, so all sides are clear on what’s been purchased, what it entails, and how a successful ROI will be defined.

Ultimately, a strong pre-sales process when selling marketing services programs creates a culture of collaboration that will lead to higher revenue, client satisfaction, and increased renewals.

Informa Engage Best Practices for the Pre-Sales Process

As a sales leader, when you identify and communicate the following details to your delivery counterparts during the pre-sales process, you’ll ensure your campaign is set up for a smooth delivery transition and successful sales outcome. Here are five questions that you should strive to identify for every program before closing the deal.

  1. WHO is the target audience your client wants to reach? 
    1. Example: job titles, industry, location, etc. 
  1. WHAT is the client’s objective for the program? 
    1. Example: are they looking to capture leads, drive awareness, increase content engagement, boost traffic, etc.
  1. HOW will the client measure the program to determine success?
    1. Example: What are the metrics or specific KPI’s we need to be aware of to execute the program?
  1. WHEN does the client want the final product delivered? 
    1. Example: Does the client’s desired launch date align with the timeframe needed to develop and/or market the program?
  1. WHERE will the client’s program live and be promoted?
    1. Example: Does the client want Informa to host and promote the content to our audience, or will the content live on the client’s site?