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Smart Content Distribution to Boost ROI

content marketing

You put a lot of resources into the content you create, so make sure you maximize its value in your marketing strategy. Smart content distribution strategies can help you optimize ROI from your blogs, e-books, podcasts, and beyond. 

Creating great content takes time, and unlocking its full value doesn’t stop once you publish. After investing significant time ideating, drafting, editing, and optimizing, your team needs to make sure audiences are receiving the right content at the right time to enhance the customer journey and drive valuable content marketing ROI. 

According to Smart Insights, modern content creation takes more time than ever before. In fact, the average time to write a blog in 2019 was almost 4 hours as opposed to just 2.5 in 2014. With all that energy put into the process, it’s only fair to want to see results translate into sales and business growth. To enjoy quality ROI, you need to incorporate your content tactics into your wider marketing strategies and increase reach across all your channels. The good news is that modern marketers have many tactics at our disposal to unlock the maximum value from valuable content.

Before we dive in, it’s important to remind ourselves why content marketing is so important in the first place.

Today’s savvy consumers don’t want to be “sold”; they have more control over the buying process than ever before with the increased prevalence of digital channels, growth of ecommerce, and popular review sites like G2.

If you rely solely on the merits of your solution to generate leads, increase sales, and develop brand devotion, you’ll fall flat and competitors will drown you out. This is where thoughtful and skillful content marketing adds value for customers and engages them throughout the customer lifecycle.

Here’s how you can leverage all your assets to deepen brand awareness, move customers along in their journeys, and deliver value at every touchpoint.

Gate Your Content to Capture Leads

Not all content should be gated, but by gating content strategically, you can capture more leads and grow your audience size. Since blogs draw attention to your website through SEO, it makes sense to keep them accessible to anyone perusing your website. On the other hand, gating more rich content can go a long way in growing your business. E-books, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and datasheets promise in-depth expertise and knowledge that your target customers want and need, so requiring an information exchange allows you to capture contact details while providing useful resources.

If you haven’t already, begin by creating a space on your website to house and promote these assets. Then, create gated forms that allow you to collect information from prospects before they can access the content. Typically, these forms should ask for the user’s name, email, organization, and role. Starting with simple forms that require an email address is a smart move to avoid alienating prospects before you’ve moved them further along in the customer journey.

Gathering this intel will help you drill down your audience segments and deliver personalized journeys that are aligned with and responsive to customer behavior. If someone is willing to provide an email address to listen to a podcast on growth marketing, that’s a lead you can nurture and begin to deepen brand awareness.

Distribute Content Through Automated Nurture Campaigns 

So how do you further engage customers who have shown a real interest in your content? Continue to pinpoint and deliver resources they want through automated nurture campaigns. By gradually offering more in-depth content according to a thoughtful cadence, you will continue to improve the customer experience without overwhelming your prospects and customers. 

For example, your first automated campaign to new leads should contain a simple “thank you” for expressing interest, paired with an additional piece of relevant content that shows your gratitude and improves their understanding of a relevant and related topic. The next automated email might take your efforts a step further by offering a thought leadership blog that demonstrates why your company is an expert in addressing tough problems.

At the next stage, providing a different type of multimedia like a webinar or a podcast gives your contact a break from reading and gives them an engaging way to keep learning. By automating these campaigns, you save time and ensure your content is being deployed to appropriate segments. And by building your automated programs with conditional logic and dynamic content, you can tailor your messaging and content based on the behavioral and engagement data you collect.

It’s important to note that none of these assets being delivered to existing customers should be gated. If a person has already shared their contact information with you, there is no reason to ask for it again. Gated content makes sense for an initial touchpoint, but becomes a nuisance the second time. Be careful not to overdo it.

Tap Your Network and Partners

There are a million and one different marketing automation processes you can employ to place your content in front of the right people. And, as a modern marketer, you should take advantage of as many as possible within the scale and scope of your holistic marketing efforts. But, don’t forget about the people power you have within your existing network. Encouraging members of your organization, as well as other thought leaders in your space like partners and analysts, to share your content exponentially increases your reach and the potential for content marketing ROI.

Cross-collaborating on your content to incentivize your network to share it is also a savvy play. Invite analysts, partners, thought leaders, and key stakeholders within your organization to contribute to your blog. When dealing with individuals and entities outside of your organization, offer backlinks and social shares in exchange for their commitment to include these content assets within their external campaigns. The more you leverage your network, the wider reach you’ll secure for your content.

Your marketing content also has value as a sales asset. Just because a prospect is in the hands of the sales team doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in learning about your offerings anymore.

Members of the sales team can use informative content to engage clients and prospects who are further down the funnel. Materials like case studies and datasheets can spark new conversations and drive home the value of your products and services. Educating throughout the entire lifecycle helps with customer retention, increased spending, and long-term brand devotion.

Making It Count 

Creating quality content takes thought, time, and a concrete understanding of your company’s mission and messaging. But the sheer value you can derive from implementing a sound content strategy and including these assets in your holistic marketing strategies can reverberate throughout the entire organization. By marketing your content effectively and efficiently across channels, mediums, and campaigns, you can build better customer relationships, sell to prospects more successfully, and drive phenomenal cross- and upsell opportunities. 

Work hard for your content. Make it work hard for you. And I guarantee your content will lead to consistent business growth.

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Kyle McCarthy, Senior Content Strategist, Act-On Software
Kyle McCarthy is an Experienced and enthusiastic content marketing strategist at Act-On. He is dedicated to optimizing every stage of the consumer experience to extend the customer lifecycle. He has a proven track record of accelerating business growth through holistic, coordinated content initiatives.

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