Manufacturing businesses are no strangers to automation. But the concept has its uses far beyond your manufacturing, picking, and other tangible aspects of your business. Content marketing automation has its place, too, giving you results that speed up your process, strengthen your business, and provide measurable benefits—just like the “real” thing. Having discussed the types and benefits of content marketing, let’s take a look at how marketing services and automation intersect and how you can develop a marketing strategy that makes the most of it.
Every business approaches B2B marketing with different goals. When they’re just starting or reaching into a new segment, businesses need to build brand awareness. Increased conversions lead to improved sales and revenue. Building customer engagement, in turn, builds trust and rapport. And since many businesses go farther when they’re partnered with someone else, good content helps to develop strategic partnerships that benefit all involved. Of course, it’s hardly uncommon for a single campaign to combine many of these approaches, with the balance of each determined by an overarching goal.
For some aspects of your life, “good enough” really is good enough. But when it comes to your marketing, guesswork won’t get you where you need to be. As your campaign unfolds, you’ll need the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to let you know what’s working and what needs to be revisited. Those metrics will also let you know whether you’ve succeeded—and how well—as the campaign draws to a close and you look ahead to the future.
Now that you have a goal and a roadmap, your content will be the vehicle that gets you there. Just as the goals you’ve set can be complex, there are many different components to a successful content strategy. You won’t use all of them at every touchpoint, but it’s important to ensure that relevant information reaches the right people at the right time. You have several ways to accomplish this, and Cain & Company can help with each:
Having chosen your types of content, it’s important to determine where it will reside and how it will reach your target audience. It’s important to keep your website as the focal point of your efforts. We know from experience that it’s easy for a social network to vanish overnight (does anyone still use MySpace?) or for your engagement to plummet because of an algorithm change driven by a desire for more ad dollars. While it’s important to be where your prospects are, sharing your content on Facebook, LinkedIn, and elsewhere, the importance of retaining control over your presence, your SEO, and your bottom line cannot be overstated.
Organic reach is the holy grail of marketing, but all marketing needs the occasional nudge to ensure it reaches the right people. Generating content means having qualified people in house or working with a content marketing agency that can turn your ideas into actionable collateral. But it doesn’t end there, since pay-per-click, display ads, and especially an effective retargeting strategy all require money, too.
We mentioned measuring goals against KPIs. You can, of course, do this at the end of a campaign. But one of the advantages of marketing automation is that it also automates data collection. Use that data!
Elsewhere, we’ve discussed the B2B customer journey. Because that journey isn’t a linear process, your marketing automation and overall strategy are likely to send a somewhat crooked path—especially when you’re starting or trying something new. With that borne in mind, enter each campaign with the expectation that each step in the process above is likely to be revisited and revised as your campaign unfolds, with the effort put forth resulting in a stronger outcome and some very valuable insight for the days and years ahead.
If you’re involved in manufacturing, you know that the finished product will only be as good as the raw materials fed in and the skill of the people putting it all together. Marketing automation is no different, since it relies on planning, insight, and taking the time to generate quality content to ensure quality results. A consultation with Cain & Company is a great first step in doing exactly that, so get in touch today!
Theresa CarlsonMarketing Manager
685 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107