Archives for July 2016

How to Gain C-Suite Support for Content Marketing

By Kate Lee | 07/11/2016 | 9:21 PM

Content marketing

Speak the language of the C-suite with metrics, statistics, and facts that articulate content marketing’s impact on customer acquisition and sales.

Garnering C-suite support for your content marketing program can be a challenge. Your team knows that your strategy is working by evaluating a series of metrics (e.g., shares, website traffic, email click-through rates), but executives do not always understand the value of such measures. It is almost like marketers speak another language.

So, how do you articulate the value of content marketing in a way that your executives will understand and support? Think of it this way: It is like that scene in the movie Jerry Maguire, only it is your boss demanding, “Show me the money!” The C-suite wants to know the cost to the company and the dollar amount of the return for any marketing initiative you undertake. To gain C-suite support you need to quantify success in terms of customer acquisitions and new sales.

Don’t focus on the secondary results, or “soft” metrics like per-post Facebook engagement. Talk the C-suite’s language, and demonstrate how your content marketing efforts led to new customers and what those customers are worth to the company’s growth and success.

Report these six metrics to win C-suite support

  1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This is the total average cost your company spends to acquire a new customer. Basically, what your company spends in marketing costs, divided by the number of new customers it produced.
  2. Marketing Percentage of the CAC: This is the marketing department costs divided the costs of the sales and marketing costs to get the marketing percentage of overall cost per new customer. The figure demonstrates if more is going into the sales team or the marketing team to produce the current result, and the lower the percentage the better.
  3. Ratio of Customer Lifetime Value to CAC: This figure estimates the total value that your company derives from each customer versus what you spend to acquire them.
  4. Time to Payback CAC: This estimate demonstrates how many months it takes for your company to earn back the CAC it spent acquiring your new customers.
  5. Marketing-Originated Customer Percentage: This is where you look at all of the new customers from a set time period and determine what percentage of them started with a lead generated by your marketing team.
  6. Marketing-Influenced Customer Percentage: This figure highlights all of the new customers that marketing interacted with at the time they were still just leads.

Additional selling points for content marketing

Content marketing can make a big impact on your company in terms of spreading brand awareness, growing your audience, and helping form business relationships. Though these benefits are difficult to quantify, try using the following statistics and facts to articulate the value your program could have in a way your executives will understand.

  • As any business knows, it is essential to be where you customers are, and they are online. Your competitors know this, too. In fact, a recent study indicated that that 77% of companies surveyed, across industries, had plans to increase their digital marketing budgets in the coming year.
  • The B2B buying process has evolved, and now content is an essential tool for generating and nurturing leads. Reportedly, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their programs, with lead generation (85%) and sales (84%) being the most important goals.
  • Blog content has long-term value, as what you post today may continue attracting traffic months (or years) from now.Your posts last indefinitely, outliving more traditional marketing methods, such as a print advertisement in a magazine.
  • Consistently publishing quality content can earn your company a reputation as a thought leader in your industry. The public will come to trust your company as a respected source of knowledge, and you’ll begin forming relationships with readers who want to know more about your products and services. People buy from companies that they trust and feel connected to.
  • Content marketing will get you more bang for your buck. Results are not instant, but, with time, you can actually reduce your marketing expenses while increasing your reach and growing your business.
  • Content marketing is a valuable business intelligence tool. By distributing content through social media platforms, you not only engage potential customers, but you get their feedback and learn more about their needs and wants.

What you need to know about content marketing during the slow season

By Kate Lee | 07/06/2016 | 9:19 AM

Content marketing

Keep producing consistent, quality content during your slow season to win business when things pick back up.

For everything there is a season, and that expression holds true for most businesses. When is your slow season? That depends largely on your industry and customer demographic, but you are probably well aware which quarter your sales historically drop off and your customer engagement wanes.

The calendar is heading into a slow season for many companies, especially those in IT systems or the capital equipment marketplace. In these industries, the highest sales volumes typically occur in the first two business quarters. That is when potential customers are busy creating and implementing their new business initiatives and doing the bulk of their purchases for the year.

By third quarter, many businesses are past purchasing and have moved into problem-resolution mode. They are trying to meet the goals they set and stay within budget. Purchasing capital equipment is not on their agenda, at least not for now.

Should you head to the beach during that quarter? Should you ditch your current content marketing strategy because it suddenly is producing fewer leads? According to  Daniel Pastuszak, marketing expert and head of customer acquisition and lifestyle marketing for LinkedIn, absolutely not. 

Tips for effective content marketing during a slow season:

Provide content that demonstrates your expertise and positions you as a thought leader.

Don’t write a sales pitch! In your blog posts, offer helpful advice in an easy-to-digest format. For example, explain a recent case study or trend within your industry in a way your customers will understand it. This type of content keeps your customers engaged with your business, so when it comes time to purchase, they remember you as a trusted source of knowledge.

Share customer testimonials and their backstory.

Nothing is more memorable than telling a great success story. Now is the time to share reviews that demonstrate how your company expertly fulfilled customers’ needs, exceeded their expectations, or provided solutions to a tough challenge.

Cover events attended by your company’s management or leaders.

This can make for a great post on industry-related news, and can support branding the company as an industry leader. Again, there’s no need to include a sales pitch. You’re simply demonstrating how your company is among the movers and shakers in the industry.

Cultivate content that is fun, like customer contests.

Get customers involved with some friendly competition, and show them you are listening by sharing their responses. For example, one of Fronetics’ clients, a wholesale food distributor, recently challenged food service customers to create a meal using ingredients purchased from the wholesaler. They were then asked to post photos of their entries on social media with the contest hashtag. Fun and engaging, this contest captivated the customers’ attention and had them sharing content (and the client’s name).

Write for your (very specific) audience.

That means knowing who they are and what peaks their interest. If creating engaging content has proven to be challenging for your business, consider outsourcing your content creation, or your marketing program all together. Your slow season is the perfect time to boost the quality and consistency of your efforts to engage your audience and expand your outreach.

All businesses experience seasonal cycles, but that does not indicate your sales or content marketing strategies are in need of major revisions. Slow periods are the perfect time to take a deep breath, revitalize, and strategize. Use this time to research information you need to accelerate your efforts for the next hectic season of sales.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.


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