0 Comments | Aug 21, 2014

The Unfulfilled Promise of Marketing Automation: Content is the Answer

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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