As writers, we have all experienced that moment when we think to ourselves, why the heck am I writing this if no one is going to read it? And if your marketing department has been focused on content for basic demand generation, then your marketers have probably experienced that same thing. They’ve put a lot of time and energy into creating content with the hope of turning MQLs into SQLs, but unless the right people are finding it, all of that work goes down the drain.
If only there was a way to help ensure that the right content got to the right people (and even better, at the right time). Well, guess what? There is! You have probably heard the terms ‘content hub’ and ‘ABM’ being thrown around in recent times. That’s because the two go hand-in-hand.
Content hubs can accomplish a couple of things for you, and if used correctly, can increase account penetration to generate leads from a set of pre-identified, high-value and high-potential accounts. This is the foundation of a robust ABM strategy.
An ocean of content
Because companies have realized that content is king, most have jumped on the production bandwagon, creating a crowded ocean of content to swim through. This can be overwhelming for the user, even though they went looking for it in the first place. It can be intimidating to find ‘too much’ and it is a struggle to sift through all of the information to find what’s relevant.
Content hubs can help to address this issue by making content feel more accessible to the people who want it. Additionally, content hubs can let you select and categorize content that is relevant to end-users, which is great because the right content at the right time in front of the right person can be highly valuable as far as lead generation and sales acceleration go.
Plan for the future, but write for today
Content hubs are an excellent framework for creating content plans for your marketing team. In short, your efforts will be lost if your marketing team is just writing to write, with the hope of creating something that will be relevant to someone, somewhere. Even if you are hitting the mark in some spots, content holes result in a marketing strategy that is wildly out of tune.
Creating a content plan allows your team to set clear goals and avoids wasting valuable time and money by scheduling content with a clear purpose. This ensures that end-users are taken on a well-designed journey that ends with customer-driven engagement with your sales team.
Not just a hub for content
As our colleagues at Getit describe, a content hub doesn’t have to be just a content hub. If constructed well, content hubs can establish your company as a thought leader and attract the attention of the big players, like CEOs, in the process. And we all know that CEO engagement is a valuable asset when it comes to decision-making.
These days, content hubs are not just a card catalog of content. They need to be constructed from an ABM strategy point of view. By having multiple customer-facing sub-domains, with differing targeted focuses based on personas, it’s possible to increase account penetration and lead-generating opportunities using content that targets your set of pre-identified accounts. After all, there is an average of seven decision-makers involved in the B2B buying process. So, your content hub should speak in a voice that addresses individuals directly involved in the buying process and with a sensitivity to their specific pains.
This is the strategy used by the high-powered client mentioned in the Getit case story. It played a huge role in converting 12 percent of MQLs to SQLs, bringing major influencers (C-level) to the table and helping the brand stand out among a sea of competitors.
Some seeds grow faster than others
Don’t forget that content and your content hub is the foundation that your marketing strategy is built on. Having a well-designed content plan and visible space that you can customize for target personas is going to support your marketing and sales teams in engaging with key accounts. But behind every user profile is a real person – and relationships take time to blossom.
The most successful content marketing campaign is a continuous, long-term process, and MQLs will need to be nurtured with a steady stream of relevant content as they mature to become engaged, sales-ready leads.
Consider this study, which found that out of all the leads in the sales funnel, only three percent are active buyers at any given time. And while the study suggests that seven percent intend to buy in the short term, 90 percent fall into one of the following:
- Not yet ready to buy
- Do not have a need
- Just aren’t interested in what you’re offering
This not only emphasizes the need to target other people in the account who can influence a purchase decision (through other ABM activities), it also means you need to work on engaging these individuals for a long time – maybe even years.
High-quality content is your bedrock
The bottom line is if your content isn’t well-written, insightful and fresh, there is no chance it’ll resonate with users, no matter what sub-domain they click into.
Providing a steady stream of great, lead-generating content is a lot of work. Additionally, good content planning can be a challenging endeavor even for the most experienced marketers.
There are a lot of important pieces to consider, such as buyer personas, the buyer journey, an editorial calendar, content workflow, team organization and a lot more! But with some strategizing, you can take your current content production activities to new heights!