article | September 9, 2012
3 Steps to Produce Content to Feed Lead Generation
Answer: Writing skills.
The Internet has changed everything. Today’s marketing is driven off the written word. Text is the catalyst that drives everything — Search, PPC, social media, email, etc. In a content driven world, if your marketing team cannot write well, you will not be successful.
Marketing and sales leaders can end the struggle to produce content for Lead Generation. The answer is simple.
This article provides the insight and access to tools to make a successful transition.
The Struggle to Add Content Marketing as a Capability
Acquiring content writing as a skill for your team cannot be done the same way other skills have been added.
I spent a good part of my career in marketing including leading account teams for an advertising agency as well as directing corporate marketing. When marketers need to add a new capability, we typically do it one of three ways;
This approach worked beautifully for adding new capabilities in the past. Marketers responded to shifting trends by beefing up capabilities such as SEO, SEM, email marketing, and social marketing. Content Marketing came along and we tried to add this capability and it didn’t work.
Today’s marketing is content driven. Writing is a ‘horizontal’ skill required across the marketing team. Similar to expecting strategic thinking capabilities across your team (vs. outsourcing strategic planning), writing is an essential foundation to success.
1. Set Expectations for Superior Writing
Sales Benchmark Index has an incredible amount of Inbound Marketing content. Marketing and sales leaders compliment me all the time on the depth and quality of content produced.
Inbound Marketing is a corporate priority of SBI. This is voiced clearly by our leadership. Thought leaders within the firm are selected for writing assignments. Writing enhances career opportunities within the firm and we have a nice bonus involved. We are provided with writing tools and Personas. Our content is graded for continuous improvement. Failure is not an option.
2. Inspect Success
It is human nature to respect what is inspected. Evaluate the quality of writing with a content evaluation tool. Provide your team with instant feedback by grading each content release. Below you will see an example content grading template. This level of continuous improvement produces consistent positive progression.
Click here to receive a copy of SBI’s Blog Content Grader Tool.
3. Give Your Team Tools to Succeed
Let’s face it, we haven’t expected our teams to write well. Marketing leaders value staff that could think strategically and orchestrate activities across resources to execute programs. Successful marketing in the past placed an emphasis on dedicated writers.
Marketers became experts at editing — but not writing. This approach was ideal for push marketing of the past.
Fast forward to 2012 and the buying process is radically different. Prospects are researching solutions without the sales rep until late in the buying process (According to a 2011 Sale Research Council study, 57% of a consumer’s buying process happens without a rep being present).
Attempts have been made to hire specialist firms or dedicated content specialist to take care of the headache. What you will find is that the hardest work is still waiting for you —- figuring out what to write. You’re still stuck providing context to make content insightful. They will do their best to work from existing content sources, but require significant hand holding. What feels like a short-cut to success doesn’t solve the root problem.
B2B firms in particular require inbound marketing content to be authored on a specialized topic. The writer must have enough intimacy with the topic and industry to infuse the content with contextual understanding. The following tools are required to equip your team for success:
Your marketing team needs these tools. SBI’s Lead Generation offering provides our clients with Content Audits mapped to the buyer’s journey, Buyer Personas, and a host of writing tools for success.
Marketing VP’s and CMO’s need to lead their team in transitioning to what is required for success to feed quality content to Lead Generation programs.
Key Takeaways: Help your team acquire new writing capabilities by setting professional expectations, equipping them for success and inspecting their results.