A Sureshot and Inverta Series
Part Four: How to Synchronize Campaigns Using Content Automation
Did you know that 78 percent of customers believe that organizations that provide custom content are interested in building relationships with them? More importantly, 61 percent of the average customers’ buying decisions are influenced by custom content. It’s no wonder then that the average small business will spend between $2000 and $10,000 per month in 2021 for custom content.
Pushing the Boundaries of Your Content Budget
Regardless of what your content budget may be, the best way to squeeze every last bit of value that you can from your current content investment is to recycle, repurpose and automate absolutely every aspect of your content process. When you automate content collection and delivery, it empowers you to keep customers engaged by sending synchronous omni-channel campaigns that are personally relevant to them. In our final installment of the marketing synchrony series, we will cover a few of our favorite best practices for fine-tuning your current content strategy and sending synchronized campaigns. Before we do, here are a few more inspiring statistics on why your content matters:
- 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and leads
- 94% of people plan to make a purchase from a business they follow
- 71% of B2B customers review a company’s blog while on their buying journey
- Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
Create a Content Calendar
Although 2020 threw a wrench in countless content calendars, they are still invaluable as a map for your future success. Essentially, they provide an outline for all of your marketing content to follow and empower you to build an audience by serving as a reliable source for well-written custom content. We recommend taking the following steps when creating your calendar:
- Base Your Calendar on Customer Needs – You know that guy at work who’s always talking about himself? Don’t be that guy. Your content should be focused on solving the problems of your customers. People are looking for answers, not sales soliloquies.
Gather your team together and brainstorm what the typical challenges are for your ideal customers. Once you’ve identified six of their primary issues, build your content calendar around that and tackle one issue per month. Give yourself bonus points for addressing issues that don’t tie in to whatever you are selling. Doing this will establish you as a trustworthy helper, who is genuinely committed to solving customer problems.
- Choose Your Channels — Make a list of the channels your customers use and plan to engage them on those channels. If you are worried about how to add multiple channels, we recommend adding one new channel at a time, and getting comfortable with using it before adding a new one. For example, if you already use email and direct mail, but were thinking of adding SMS and an RSS Feed, try SMS first for a month or two until you feel confident using it for your campaigns. Then, and only then should you add your next channel.
- Offer a Variety of Content — Blogs are great and research shows that 70 percent of people prefer to learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements. However, blogs are just the beginning of what you should offer. Below we’ve listed a few different types of content to consider adding to your mix, so that your customers remain engaged:
e-Books Infographics Case Studies White Papers Videos
Podcasts Quizzes Quotes Newsletters Polls
Slides Calculators Presentations Webinars Q&As
- Plan Your Social Posts — Managing yourbrand’s voice across multiple social channels is fairly simple these days, especially when you use a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout. These tools all feature built in calendars that allow you to plan and schedule future posts for multiple social sites. The folks at Mighty Networks, a community building platform, recommend providing your audience of customers with a variety of regularly scheduled content so that they become accustomed to engaging with your content according to their interests. For example, you can post a blog every Tuesday, host a poll each Wednesday, feature a thought-leader quote on Thursdays, etc.
Conduct a Content Round-Up
Once you have created a calendar that outlines the pieces you want to send, it’s time to take an inventory of the pieces you have. Ideally, you should have a library of marketing content you have created over the past year or two that can be reused and repurposed. As you scour the files, be sure to remember that campaign pieces that seem old to you are completely new to someone who has never seen them before – so re-use them in drip campaigns for new prospects. If you don’t have a content library to draw from, now’s the time to create one. Going forward you will be glad you did.
Search for Content Enterprise-Wide
Your marketing files aren’t the only places where good content is lying in wait. Be sure to check with leaders across other departments to learn what content they are producing and whether or not it’s something you can re-use as is, or have your team repurpose. As you find yourself engaged in conversations with fellow company leaders about content, make note of the customer insights they have and look for ways you can help one another, such as sharing the cost of a whitepaper or ebook. Hopefully, you are already sharing data with one another via an integration platform. If you are, then you will have a much easier time using a content automation tool (CAT).
Build a Content Wish-List
Now that you have inventoried what you have, you can make a list of the pieces you will need to create – either on your own or with the help of a professional content writer. We recommend investing in long-form copy items, like white papers, ebooks and blogs first. Once you have these items in hand you can easily glean key points from them to create high-frequency short-form copy items like social posts, SMS campaigns, direct mail, emails and more.
Connect Your Content Sources and Automate Campaigns
As we said before, connecting databases and content warehouses across your organization is an essential step to achieving marketing campaign synchronicity. With everything integrated and sharing clean data, you are now ready to add a CAT to your stack.
A good CAT will perpetually search all connected sources and automatically pull content for you and place it into the appropriate campaign templates. You can even set up your CAT to automatically send campaigns that feature content personalized for your various segments. Sending campaigns this way puts you on the fast-track to actually doing Account Based Marketing (ABM).
In addition to making it more economical to scale personalized campaigns, CATs also make it possible to coordinate (synchronize) campaigns across channels, which dramatically enhances your customer’s experience (CX).
Check Out Our Entire Synchronized CX Series