The Measure of a Brand: Content

mixer-medium_1280Marketers have a couple major hurdles to overcome: generating traffic and leads, and proving the ROI of marketing activities. According to a HubSpot survey of 4,500 marketing and sales professionals, these were the top two challenges agreed upon by 65 percent and 43 percent of respondents.

To address these challenges, successful companies are turning to marketing automation (MA) software, which is also known in some quarters, aptly, as “lead generation software.” While MA is certainly a boon to marketers—helping them to shorten the sales cycle and close deals more quickly—it is only as good as the content it supports.

Brand messaging that engages customers, ultimately altering their buying activities in your favor, is the prerequisite to any marketing campaign or automation. Knowing where, when and why consumers connect with your brand is key to crafting content that resonates with them. That’s why data is a modern marketer’s greatest gift when it comes to developing brand messaging, as it solidifies an understanding of primary targets’ preferences and behaviors.

So, when it comes to the No. 1 marketing challenge of generating traffic and leads, keep in mind that traffic induced by relevant content is the only traffic likely to turn into leads. So, no matter the source of traffic—from social media to search engine, to blog, to email—it must originate from value you’ve presented to your audience. Then, you can employ tactics to turn the traffic into leads. MA technology helps in several ways.

First, automated lead nurturing programs that encompass the entire sales funnel can increase sales opportunities by 20 percent. The MA software includes a sophisticated lead scoring system that shows salespeople where to focus their energies, resulting in greater sales team productivity at a lower cost.

Second, autoresponder email drip campaigns, which are three times more likely to prompt a purchase than social media, can be targeted at segmented populations based on demographic and behavioral data. Despite challengers, like texting and IM, e-mail still ranks highly as a channel for reaching customers. In fact, 60 percent of respondents to a 2015 TechnologyAdvice Research survey reported that they read emails from businesses.

Third, MA software enables marketers to better personalize emails, and personalized emails generate six times the revenue of non-personalized ones. Using merge tags (unique, text-based identifiers), MA platforms make the personalization process scalable to people with shared interests or similar profiles.

Finally, use your MA platform in conjunction with landing pages, and accompanying lead-gen forms, to complement your email campaigns. That is, correspond the content on various landing pages to the mindset of the targeted audience, e.g., business leaders searching for marketing intelligence or medical professionals looking for social analytics. This keeps prospects engaged with your site, increasing the likelihood of turning them into customers.

As for the No. 2 challenge of proving marketing ROI, a conundrum exists: The metric most often used by B2B marketers to assess their content marketing strategy is website traffic (63 percent), but only 21 percent of respondents claimed that their ROI tracking efforts are successful. According to a report by CMI and MarketingProfs, MA software is one of the best solutions to this puzzle. Aggregated reports on surveys conducted by industry experts, such as Regalix and Forbes Insights, indicate that marketing automation helps users measure results.

In addition, they report the benefits of MA itself are improved lead management and nurturing, enhanced targeting and personalization, and streamlining of the marketing and sales process to shorten the sales cycle and close deals more quickly.

As long as your content is relevant and interesting to your targeted audience, MA can help drive business growth.

PegAs with her writing and editing, Peg brings her finely honed attention to detail and her adherence to high-quality standards to bear in her role as managing editor of Content Boost. As team leader, she encourages her staff to strive for excellence in the copy they craft and in the relationships they forge with clients, striving for an optimal customer experience. She caught the marketing bug after seven years as an editor and supervisor at Gartner Inc., the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, and was drawn to the spirit and talent exhibited at Content Boost. Tracing back to her early days working local beats as a journalist, Peg consistently digs deep for insights that bring value to her writing. Outside the office, Peg loves to read when she’s not trying to keep up with her cycling buddies or the weeds in her garden. She can be found enjoying the local scene in her hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.