Content Marketing Strategy and Marketing Automation – Magic Bullets?

This year has kicked off well with IT, CCTV and Mobile Communications clients coming on board. Interestingly, all were being drawn to the seductive power of a content marketing strategy, inbound marketing and marketing automation. You know, where you just click an ‘app’, sit back and wait for the hot-qualified-prospects to ‘automatically’ arrive…

Magic bullets in marketing are as rare as a ‘free-lunch’, so whats it all about?

‘Marketing Automation’ – its in the words. And uses an ‘App’ or web-platform to automate processes. If a website ‘visitor’ responds to a ‘call-to-action’, asking for a ‘Case Study’ or ‘Idiots Guide to…’, the platform sends it having collected contact details. Automatically with no marketing person involved!

Now we know who’s ‘visited’, they become a ‘lead’ which we can ‘score’ – and ‘nurture’. The more visits they make and actions they take, the higher their lead-score. A high score might trigger another process, such as sending information or getting Sales to call. Automatically.

Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing. The automation process depends on visitors being enticed ‘inbound’ to websites by compelling ‘marketing content’. Therefore, its imperative that content: White Papers, Videos, Case Studies, Data Sheets etc., is focused accurately on their: sector, interests, problems and needs etc. Generic twaddle just doesn’t work.

Obviously, ‘content’ needs to be made visible using strategies that could include: SEO, Adwords, Social Media, Public Relations, email and other-outbound.

These magic bullets sound easy, what questions should I ask before pulling the trigger?:

  • Is our marketing up to speed, and by that I mean ‘do ‘we’ know exactly who to target by: sector, job function/title, interest, technology, problem and need etc.?’
  • Are the company: brand, positioning, solution/product, ‘content’ and website up to the task of serving visitors what they want?
  • Can ‘strangers’ actually find the website through SEO, Adwords, Social Media, Blog etc. so they might become ‘visitors’? And does it communicate effectively, analyse who visits and have good ‘calls-to-action’?
  • Do ‘we’ have resources capable of creating compelling, focused expert-content to entice ‘visitors’ and convince them to exchange contact details for ‘content’?
  • And are ‘we’ prepared to fund and resource a marketing automation process and the content strategy to effectively feed it?

With the right answers, which will be harder for smaller businesses to arrive at, the ‘free lunch’ will be served!