Fueling Marketing Automation with Content

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Marketing automation is intensely content-hungry. You need a steady stream of content not only to attract leads into your sales funnel but to nurture them throughout their buying journey, and that content has to be customized to appeal to them. But content without a purposeful strategy is just so many words; it has no value. To fuel your marketing automation strategy, you and your marketing team need to align that content in ways that make sense. Think of rocket boosters going off in stages to propel the craft into orbit, and you have a better idea of how carefully controlled content needs to be to achieve lift-off.

The Primary Stage: Top-of-Funnel Content

Leads at the top of your sales funnel are just starting their search, and they want content aimed at breadth rather than depth. To reach them, you need to align your content to their current state of knowledge and use that to guide them further into the funnel. That’s trickier than it once was because your prospects enter your sales pipeline with some education already in place. You can’t assume everyone who’s making an initial visit to your website or signing up for your newsletter hasn’t already done some research. Your marketing automation system helps you sort these top-of-funnel prospects into different audience segments based on their behavior and contextual cues.

This is the phase during which you need the most content because you have the largest and most varied audience at this point. Focusing on content that introduces and establishes your brand via familiar channels is particularly important here. You want your content to answer the “who” and “what” questions your audience has, and that means supplying plenty of content in the form of blog posts, newsletters, and SEO articles.

The Middle of the Buyers’ Journey

Your content has established who you are and what you do. The deep middle of your sales funnel corresponds to content that satisfies your leads’ “how,” “when,” and “where” questions. It’s far more detailed, and it’s tailored closely to each member of your audience. Marketing automation lets you understand your leads’ individual needs and groups them together into cohesive audience segments so you can address those needs with customized content.

At this stage, your content has to be powerful enough to engage a far more sophisticated audience. You’re answering more specific questions and need better customization options to address their individual pain points. Instead of short overviews and summaries, leads at this point want detailed how-tos and demonstrations. The beauty of automation is that it lets you carry on multiple one-on-one conversations at a time, making each potential customer feel like your top priority. Newsletters, in-depth features, and white papers typically appear in your marketing automation flows at this stage.

Approaching Orbit: Preparing Leads for Sales

You’ve shown them who you are, what you do, and how you do it; here’s where your content tells your leads why you’re the best choice with case studies, webinars, and e-books. You know a lot about them at this point, and they know you well too. All that’s left is the final push, that last decisive piece of content that illustrates your unique value and establishes a connection between a future customer and the sales team.

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About William Roberts

William Roberts is VP of Marketing Automation Services for Reach Marketing. He’s an experienced executive with a proven track record of delivering profitable marketing automation, lead acquisition, demand generation and analytical solutions to a wide range of SMB and enterprise level organizations. As Vice President of Marketing Automation Services at Reach Marketing, William combines 1) marketing strategy 2) content development 3) data management and 4) marketing technology, to help clients grow their top line. William is qualified as a Marketo Certified Expert.

This entry was posted in Marketing Automation Insights, Reach Marketing by William Roberts. Bookmark the permalink.

About William Roberts

William Roberts is VP of Marketing Automation Services for Reach Marketing. He’s an experienced executive with a proven track record of delivering profitable marketing automation, lead acquisition, demand generation and analytical solutions to a wide range of SMB and enterprise level organizations. As Vice President of Marketing Automation Services at Reach Marketing, William combines 1) marketing strategy 2) content development 3) data management and 4) marketing technology, to help clients grow their top line. William is qualified as a Marketo Certified Expert.

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