But even the best thought leaders often follow a simplistic content promotion strategy that completely ignores the idea of a sales cycle. Basically, they pump out some new content, promote it, and repeat.
The results is an over-emphasis on the recent instead of the relevant.
Most companies have a few pieces of core content that were usually produced early on — the ones that summarise the whole story in one place. Or the ideal introduction to the market/app/technology/issue.
These powerful pieces often get buried under layers of new content — but the new material may not be the best starting point for every prospect. Over time, a company’s content tends to get more and more specific. You cover the broad landscape, then zoom in on issues. But new prospects that know nothing about you would be much better off starting with the earlier ‘landscape’ pieces.
We like to get our clients thinking about the sales cycle and what content is right for each stage in it. A first-time web visitor should be led to the big-picture pieces. Subsequent web visits or emails could help them progress further, ideally based on insight into who they are (job title, industry) and what they’re doing — what pages they visit, what papers they read, what links they click on in an email.
We’re starting to work with a powerful tool that does automated lead nurturing based on demographic and behavioural scoring. This makes it easy to target the right content at the right prospects as they progress through the sales pipeline.
As a result, clients can serve up the most relevant content to each prospect, instead of just the most recent.
Any thoughts on your own use of content through the sales cycle?