Good Content Produces Quality Sales Leads

By Gail Bamford, Brand Marketing Manager

In the last nine months, marketing to government has really been turned on its head. The government events we all have all relied on in the past for leads have been canceled or virtual events have taken their place. If we hadn’t taken digital marketing seriously before, we sure are now.

We have been forced to refine how we do inbound and outbound marketing to fill the funnel. Not only is content “king,” it is the incentive for potential buyers to consider and evaluate our capabilities, our products and our services. We need to think hard about the right content for each stage of the funnel. And we need to establish metrics that measure our success.

I’ve been participating in regular calls hosted by Government Marketing University with fellow government marketers for the last couple of months. We’ve discussed all kinds of ways we’ve all been dealing with this abrupt change to support our sales teams. Lots of good topics and advice has been shared.

One of the regular contributors on the calls is Chris Parente, founder of StoryTech Consulting. He and I got to talking about how important it is to not only develop strong content throughout all stages of the funnel but to also make sure we are setting measurable objectives and sharing performance metrics.

Filling the Sales Funnel

Good plans include inbound and outbound marketing activities that provide value throughout the buyer’s journey. It’s important to fill the funnel from the top to the bottom with good content. That’s the way to ensure the leads eventually produced are high quality.

At the top of the funnel, we are usually focused on the total addressable market and increasing awareness of the brand. Content might include infographics, blogs, videos and other general information. Typical KPIs to measure marketing effectiveness at this stage would be unique visitors to the website, return visitors and pages viewed per visit.

Next, Chris says that typically, the goal is to turn visitors into content leads by offering a newsletter, so newsletter signups would be an effective KPI for this stage. Gated content – where you do ask for name and email in exchange for access – typically begins here and the percentage of visitors willing to register is another metric for content effectiveness. But it’s still not the time to turn it over to sales just yet.

At this point, you might want to offer a potential prospect a white paper and/or an opportunity to view an educational webinar. In both these cases you can require the prospect to provide basic information about themselves in exchange for access.

Finally, after multiple touches and engagement with the same prospect, you might start to offer more salesy materials like product spec sheets, a demo or even a form to fill out to talk with a rep. An organization’s lead scoring methodology can further determine the correct time to turn it over to a sales rep who can follow up personally.

There are good reasons marketing can’t push too hard, too fast. Studies show that at least 75 percent of visitors aren’t ready to register at first or even second touch. Chris cautions that pushing for a registration right away can turn off a potential customer. It can also lead to greatly reduced site traffic and poor SEO.

Taking time to think through and map out a solid content strategy with well-defined metrics is the best way to support our sales teams with high-quality leads.

 

If you want to learn how to address your current marketing challenges, don’t miss the premier event for government marketers, the GAIN Conference (Grow, Accelerate, Innovate and Network) brought to you by Government Marketing University. Register today for this virtual conference that starts Tuesday, November 10.

Keep up with IT trends in government. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider today!

3 Responses to Good Content Produces Quality Sales Leads

  1. Marc Hausman says:

    While it is absolutely true content creation is the foundation of an inbound marketing program, marketers tend to underestimate the importance of syndication. This involves employing third-party digital channels to put the content in front of buyers. And syndication is more than ads on Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are sites like Government Technology Insider that serve as a platform for syndication, demand generation and analytics.

  2. While it’s true content creation is the foundation of inbound marketing, many marketers under-invest in content syndication. This involves tapping into digital channels to put the content in front of buyers. Syndication is more than buying ads on Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are thought leadership oriented sites (such as Government Technology Insider) that syndicate content, and support demand generation.

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