Editor’s note: This guest feature was originally published on the Demand Gen Report blog on July 15, 2016.
Successful B2B marketers are able to maximize the shelf life of their content — oftentimes turning a single piece of content into multiple assets to fuel marketing campaigns. Magnetic did just that by formulating a research report designed to gauge how retailers are trying to personalize their offers, marketing campaigns and overall outreach.
Since its launch in October 2015, the E-book has generated 67% of all content downloads from the Magnetic website — the highest number of downloads for all the company’s branded content created in 2015.
Here, Magnetic Senior Director of Demand Generation Kathy Mammon discusses the company’s goals for the campaign, surprises that popped up once the campaign was in the field and lessons learned from the experience. To hear the whole story about how Magnetic won their Finny, tune into our Killer Content Showcase Series webinar on August 25 at 2pm ET.
Demand Gen Report: What were your goals for developing the content/campaign?
Kathy Mammon: In May 2015, Magnetic merged with a company called MyBuys. As anyone that has ever gone through a merger can attest to, there’s much work to be done on all fronts. One of the biggest challenges is how to go-to-market as a newly merged company, with new messaging and positioning based on the combined strengths both companies provide.
For Magnetic, whose company background and culture is rooted in advertising technology, the merger with MyBuys presented a huge opportunity to gain traction in the retail and marketing technology space, in which MyBuys had firmly planted its roots.
Therefore, our main goal for developing the E-book Closing the Gap Between People’s Expectations & Retail Realities was to position Magnetic as a thought leader and expert in the retail space by focusing on the wants and needs of consumers. We then wanted to provide guidance and steps on how retailers can alleviate customer frustration through online and offline strategies and tactics.
We believed developing first party research would be a great way to get a real-time pulse on the marketplace and would establish our brand as an industry expert.
DGR: What made you select your content formats and the overall execution approach?
Mammon: This specific E-book was based on two surveys: one to U.S. and Canada consumers and one to retail companies. We wanted to create a detailed report that was jam-packed with information and stats on the state of the current retail industry while addressing any challenges. We were using this report as our first branded content piece as a newly-merged company, so we knew we wanted the final report to look visually appealing, using photographs of people in familiar environments to match the same look and feel as our newly branded website. And although friendly in look-and-feel, we also wanted to be a retail authority, which is why a longer 32-page format with stats, graphs and well-written content felt right.
One of the great benefits of creating an in-depth content piece is the ability to break it down into smaller content pieces to share and amplify throughout the execution and distribution of the message. From this one E-book, we were able to produce 10 different content assets that spoke to the takeaways in the E-book. Even more amazing, none of the content pieces sounded or looked alike. Here’s what we developed:
- Press Release
- Infographic created internally
- Press coverage, including eMarketer
- Infographic created externally from a publication that picked up our report
- Email for nurture campaign
- Social posts and shares
- PPC Ads
- Blog series
- Bylined articles
- Sales decks
- Stats to be used in future marketing materials
- Sales email templates
DGR: What surprised you most about the process or outcome?
Mammon: One of the most surprising outcomes from creating this content piece was how much our sales team supported our efforts and how proud they were to share and send out the final report.
Sales teams sometimes see marketing content pieces as “fluff” and hesitate to share thought leadership content produced internally. Because of the rich nature of the report, all of the first party research supporting our messages and our value proposition in the industry, our sales teams were proud to send it out or hand it out at tradeshows. And of course having a huge “Killer Content Award Winner” sticker stamped right on the front cover doesn’t hurt in encouraging the sales team to become more familiar with marketing-produced content.
DGR: What are some key lessons learned from this process that you’d like other marketers to take with them for future campaigns?
Mammon: There are three key lessons learned that we would love to share:
- As Jason Miller, content marketing leader and author of the book, Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing Up to 11 wrote, we should all be creating content with the idea of “pull[ing] as much value as you can from one piece of content using bite-sized slices as teasers back to the original source.” And we all think, yeah, that makes sense, let me go create my infographic, webinar, video, social posts, etc. But often times what marketers forget is the awesome sales content that can be created as a result, such as email prospecting templates, stats for sales presentations and case study support. These should all be considered as additional content pieces for amplification of marketing content.
- Don’t throw away your drafts! Throughout the content creation process, we ideate, analyze metrics and numbers and comb through key messages that we eventually abandon for a stronger message we want to share at the time. But don’t forget about these original thoughts! Especially when creating first party surveys and collecting data, there are many times where questions and answers never make it into your final product but could be useful in another content piece at another date and time.
- Make your sales team proud. Whatever the content is you create, be mindful of your external and internal viewers. Pleasing your target audience is just as important as pleasing your internal sales team. Create content they will be proud and eager to amplify for you, which makes your job just that much easier.