Six content marketing lessons from Adobe


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This is the third of a four-part series on B2B content marketing best practices, highlighting and expanding on points made during the SiriusDecisions Summit last month. The breakout session on B2B content marketing in particular featured a ton of great ideas, best practices and reminders. This series highlights a handful of them, with commentary on each. Part one outlined three ways content marketing can make your sales team happy, and part two highlighted six attributes of successful, lead-generating content.

This installment highlights six specific points made during Adobe’s content marketing case study. It was clear that their content program is not only well established and mature, but also driving significant new opportunities for their sales organization at a fraction of the traditional demand generation cost. These six things I thought were particularly worth sharing.

1. Architects of an effective content strategy create sales that never would have happened
This is organized serendipity. You put the right, customer-centric content in places where customers will find it – proactively and reactively. And if you do this consistently, it becomes something you can actually predict and model as part of your demand generation and pipeline development activities moving forward. Predictable serendipity.

2. Buying cycle-based content addresses three progressive objectives: reputation, demand creation and sales enablement
It’s important to understand which content has which objective as part of your overall strategy. Very early in your budding relationship with a prospective customer (i.e. when they don’t even know you yet), you’re trying to establish value and a positive reputation, differentiating yourself from others and driving interest in hearing more from you. Not necessarily learning more about your products or service, but at least getting access to more value-added content. As that reputation and relationship matures, you earn the right to leverage content that generates inbound demand and inquiry. And finally, your understanding of buyer needs and the explicit buyer’s journey can help you create better content leveraged by, through and around the sales process and sales team to facilitate more active closed business.

3. Know which market maturity segment you’re in – new concept, new paradigm or established market
Many start-ups, for example, find themselves in a completely nascent market where ideal prospects not only don’t know that solutions exist, but oftentimes don’t even realize there’s a problem. Perhaps they’ve lived with an inefficient way of doing something for so long that they take it for granted, even when they’re faced with a possible solution or alternative. Established markets, of course, don’t have this problem because the need and opportunity is well established. But you can see how these nuances and differences in the maturity of your category can effect your content strategy, how you need to speak to customers and prospects, and how you need to architect the progression of that story-telling conversation to drive understanding, interest and action.

4. Teach your internal experts to talk about the audience, not the product
It’s natural for most well-intended individuals in your organization to talk about the product. They’re proud of what they’ve built, and expect customers to understand and respect that as well. But discussion of the product without context can fall on deaf ears, or even backfire. If you focus your story-telling on the audience, the buyer or customer and what they’re trying to get accomplished, your product or service becomes an enabler or “hero” of that story. It’s not about the means, but the ends. And that’s what the audience cares about most.

5. On demand webinars drive five times more engagement than live webinars
This is one company’s experience, in this case, but interesting in that many companies assume a scheduled webinar drives more urgency and therefore is a better content vehicle. But using webinars as content to drive action isn’t always about the webinar itself. It’s about getting the prospect or buyer to resonate with the topic, so that you have now someone who likely has a baseline need for addressing whatever problem your webinar addresses. That’s context for ongoing conversation, content and the start of a potential sales opportunity. Driving that via an ongoing, on-demand library of webinars, on that context, makes a lot more sense.

6. The right imagery can drive up to 80 percent higher conversion
Good lesson for those who focus their content marketing efforts on the written word, and add imagery as an afterthought. How often have you, for example, written a thoughtful blog post and then chosen an accompanying photo at the last minute? Imagery matters, and alone can drive significantly higher performance across a variety of marketing and content channels.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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