Alexander Kesler, president and co-founder of inSegment, uses a wide variety of content marketing tactics to get his company’s message across. In his experience, infographics are great for getting people to share your content, while white papers provide a strong number of leads. I talked with him recently about his company and its content marketing efforts. Here’s what he had to say.
What sort of content do you rely on in your marketing strategy? What gets your greatest response?
We rely on content that provides tangible, actionable information, or demonstrates a more thorough investigation of a product or service. When using content marketing to generate leads, we use white papers, case studies and industry reports more than any other content type.
The greatest response in terms of volume, or the number of actual leads from the initial number of responses, comes from white papers. Case studies generally yield a lower volume, but the quality of those leads is much higher. It can be a good idea to use them together in a longer campaign to produce the highest quality leads – once you see the initial volume from a white paper offering, offer those leads the case study. Those that also view the case study are pretty far down the sales pipeline, and ideal to target.
Blogging is another great content marketing strategy that should complement the tactics described above. When using content to generate leads, users are giving you their contact information in order to receive really high-quality content. Gaining their trust in the quality of that unseen document is much easier when you already have free, well-written content on display online, and there are fewer ways to do that more effectively than a blog.
What other types of content do you use in your marketing efforts? What would you like to do more of, and why?
We also use information sheets, videos and free trial offerings, as well as infographics. Infographics are a great content type for online visibility; they are by far the “stickiest” form of content, or content that is most likely to be shared across social networks.
Moving forward, we plan on incorporating more video for lead generation, as it generates a more engaged user than a white paper might, which may be downloaded by a prospect to read later, but never actually viewed. Video is a great medium because you can get real metrics from it; at a glance, you can see how many people viewed it.
It’s an area that we’re really excited to explore more fully.
How do you decide which types of content to use?
Content types are dependent upon the needs, goals and type of client that we service. Each different client lends itself to a specific content mix, which is based on a unique set of characteristics of the prospects that are being targeted. When determining which content types to use, we have to answer the following questions: what is the goal of this content campaign? What do we want to get out of it? Who are we targeting to achieve those goals? What do those prospect types react to? A great deal of research, strategy, and planning go into what seems like a simple decision.
How does your use of content help strengthen your relationship with current and prospective clients?
As an agency, we see that a rich set of content offerings create a meaningful relationship between our clients and their prospective clients. Providing content to prospective customers demonstrates that your business values them; content actively helps educate users about not just your specific product, but about your industry as a whole, and their options within it. By demonstrating this value, companies build trust with users, as well as positive sentiment.
This trust has short and long term benefits; not only are you more likely to develop a relationship with that individual user, but that trust and positive feelings about your company will be communicated by that user to others, opening up opportunities with other potential customers. Content marketing is a process; nurturing campaigns with a wealth of assets is only effective if crafted correctly and continuously delivered to an engaged audience.
It is time consuming, but the benefits more than make up for the effort.
What’s your favorite piece of advice for others who are just learning about using content for marketing?
Our recommendation is to benchmark the content marketing strategies you plan on using against any other presently successful marketing methods you currently use; set down the same metrics with which to measure the two campaigns. At inSegment, we live by our measurement results; this test will demonstrate beyond any doubt that content marketing is a very effective tool available to digital marketers today. Like anything else, it takes strategy, careful execution, and thorough analysis, but it is one of the few marketing mediums that can accomplish so many goals at once: lead generation, brand awareness, reputation management and increase online visibility, among others.