Prospect Engagement is more than Content Creation

by Maria Pergolino on January 7, 2010

I have heard a few times from marketers about how they are not ready to use marketing automation because they don’t have a library of content available for lead nurturing.  I disagree with this idea and believe that you need to engage all prospects after a lead is generated, regardless of the size of your content library.

Marketo started interacting with prospects long before they had a bunch of white papers.  The first nurturing campaign was based on blog posts and other people’s content.  Marketo then added new pieces to the nurturing program as they built out content.  Now all of our nurturing tracks are infused with a mix of content- including white papers, webinars, blog posts, analyst reviews, and more.

Let’s say someone signs up for your company’s one white paper on VOIP.  You could still easily have a lead nurturing program without creating any other content.  Here is an example of a simple three month drip campaign: 

Day 1:   Thank you for requesting the VOIP paper, including link to paper
Day 15: Information about the future of VOIP, as posted by an analyst on their website
Day 30: Summary of a longer blog post about VOIP that your company did, with link to the post
Day 45: Information about big industry announcement, like X number of companies switching to VOIP, sharing excitement about the change, and linking to a post about it on a news site
Day 60: Summary of a video that your company participated in, even if not on your site, including link to the video
Day 75: Information about new books in your industry, summarizing why they may be interesting to read, and linking to the books
Day 90: Summary of and link to another popular post your company posted on your blog

In this example I used content by analysts, book authors, and other industry leaders to share my message without ever having created another piece of content other than some blog posts.  There are lots of options for this external content including:

  • Blog posts on your company blog
  • Blog posts by other bloggers in your industry
  • Guest blog posts on other sites
  • Analyst thought leadership
  • Partner thought leadership
  • Industry News- linking to news sites
  • Book reviews- linking to Amazon
  • Trade shows, industry events
  • Plus, any other thought leadership you can find that would be relevant to your prospects
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    Because each of these emails are html and because they have links in the emails to content, you can collect opens, clickthroughs, etc. just as you would using your own content.  And because the campaign is going out to people you know it doesn’t matter that the items do not go to offers with registration.  You will still have all the benefits of sharing your own content.

    Don’t get me wrong, my job revolves around creating content and I am consistently working on new white papers, because I do believe they provide value.  The key is to understand that it’s not all or nothing.  You can still have a successful demand generation program that includes lead nurturing and scoring even if you only have one white paper or one webinar.

    Also, by not focusing on the quantity of content you have, you can focus more on the quality of the content pieces you do produce.

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