The Unfulfilled Promise of Marketing Automation: Content is the Answer

Blog Posted on: Aug 21, 2014 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

You fought long and hard for that marketing automation system, and it paid off – the CEO approved the expense and now you have your shiny new tool. Now what happens?

If you’re like many marketing departments, not much. Don’t get me wrong, Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, et al. are powerful lead generation drivers – but not only do you have to know how to use them, you need a solid content strategy and you need content.

And this is where many marketing teams get stuck.

First, there’s the strategy. A lot more goes into that content strategy then ‘let’s send ’em some emails’. You need information on your marketing leads and what they’re interested in. What their pain points are, how are they coping now, what does success look like to them, and so on. (There’s probably 10 more blog posts I could write on content strategy, so stay tuned)

Let’s say you’ve tackled the content strategy hurdle, and you have a stellar content plan. Now all you have to do is back up that plan with equally amazing content that’s laser-targeted to each group. Case studies, blog posts, briefs, product sheets… and yes, white papers.

Big question arises here: Who is going to write all this content, you know, in addition to their day job. You tap the marketing coordinator, the product manager, the business development guy. You try to write some yourself on the weekends. Let’s face it, nobody has the time to write compelling marketing content, and not everyone has the skill set.

Without scheduled touches and relevant content your marketing automation tool will collect dust and not deliver the ROI you promised to management. You know you need to do something fast.

Solution: Find a knowledgeable outsourced copy writer. Someone who specializes in marketing content and has experience specifically writing lead generation copy for a variety of media. When you interview some potential providers, ask if they’ve worked with (and written) customer personas. Ask to see examples of successful emails and landing pages they’ve produced and have them explain why they were effective. Make sure they have re-purposed marketing assets for different media so they can help you maximize your content and intellectual property. They should feel comfortable writing in your company’s tone. And be sure that they are adept at interviewing subject matter experts and clients.

Above all, ask for a variety of media examples and read them.

Having a talented, dependable copy writer in your bullpen can mean the difference between success and failure, so vet them carefully. Now all that’s left do is to get your copy writer busy and start your lead generation engine!

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So you think you’re Brad Pitt? Linkedin photo no-nos.

Blog Posted on: Aug 14, 2014 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

Apparently, Brad Pitt has looking at my LinkedIn profile (don’t tell Angelina!)

OK, it wasn’t Brad, but someone named Kevin who’s using Brad Pitt’s photo on his LinkedIn profile. Which leads me to today’s reason for climbing on my Soapbox with a big poster board that says “DON’T!”

LinkedIn is powerful. Your future clients, partners and employers are on there. So are you neighbors and friends. Heck, even your ex’s new flame is on there checking out your profile to size up the competition! (Well, OK, that could be a good case for uploading Brad’s mug…)

The first thing a visitor will notice is your photo. Make a good impression:

1. Try to use a professionally-taken photo

2. Look at the camera and relax! This isn’t going in your senior yearbook – it’s a reflection of you as a professional. What’s the image you want to portray? Confident and approachable.

3. Don’t use a shot from a cruise, vacation or birthday party. Nix the group beer snap. Save it for Facebook (or bury it on MySpace).

4. I’m not fond of family shots either. Or your wedding photo.  Linked In is a professional network. Be that professional.

5. Make sure the photo is high-res (not fuzzy) and well cropped. Don’t waste half of that precious real estate on extra head room.

Leave the Brad Pitt and Megan Fox photos for your personal social networks. You never know who’s looking at you on LinkedIn…





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Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

Blog Posted on: May 22, 2014 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

“You talkin’ to ME? You must be talkin’ to me, Well I’m the only one here.” So said Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver.

When it comes to your marketing content, problem is that your prospect is not the only one here. There are many different types of people reading the same content, and I don’t just mean prospects and customers.

Say you’re a software company. You could have fact-finders, tire-kickers and those with cash in hand all reading your content. Line managers, IT, financial, executives, marketing and sales people. Each has his or her own agenda, interests, challenges and fears.

Your content must address each person or persona. You can do this by creating different versions of each piece (time consuming but effective – weigh the pros and cons first) or by including something for everyone in the same piece of collateral. (Not as precisely targeted but touches the points that each want to know about.)

Make sure you understand who’s reading your collateral, and what’s important to them. Your content must really speak to that person, so they feel it was written for them.

ARE you talkin’ to me??



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