by Matt McKenzie, Contributing Editor
The results of our 2012 Content Preferences Survey are now available via SlideShare. We asked scores of executives at top B2B companies to tell us how they find, use, share and evaluate marketing content, and they gave us some fascinating answers.
I won’t rehash the entire survey here – the SlideShare presentation tells the story. But here’s an interesting point that deserves a closer look: The notion that “new” content formats like video and infographics are displacing “old” formats like white papers and E-books doesn’t seem to be correct.
As it turns out, the truth is a lot more complicated. We asked executives to rank nine different content formats as either “most valuable,” “somewhat valuable,” or “least valuable.” Most of these formats got a “least valuable” ranking in the single digits, and none of them ranked higher than 13% in that category.
Formats: 2 E-books and 2 White papers
Objective: Acquia is a commercial open source software company providing products, services, and technical support for the open source Drupal social publishing system. The company had several successful webinars in its content library and, rather than start from scratch, wanted to take advantage of these existing resources to create new pieces in different formats. The company chose four webinars to convert into two E-books and two white papers.
Summary of Content: There are countless advantages to repurposing content. Aside from saving significantly on both budget and resources, it takes a proven content offer and converts it to a new format that could be preferable to a new pool of potential customers (if a prospect prefers E-books to webinars, now that person is more likely to digest the information). It also extends the life and value of the investment into the original piece and aids consistency across the brand’s messages. Content repurposing can not only be used to create a new format of a piece, but if the content is slightly adjusted, it also can be used to create an offer that expands upon a topic, and creates deliverables for other stages of the pipeline or other relevant verticals and buyer personas.
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Mobilizing The Store—Webinar & Research
Details: In an effort to provide benchmarks around the massive trend to bring mobile devices and applications into the retail store environment, we worked with this solution provider on a research initiative that kicked off in mid-November and was tabulated and presented within a 4-week timeframe.By developing proprietary data around an area of massive interest, the company was able to engage with Top 100 retailers and also support its brand positioning at a major trade show.
LINK: SLIDE SHARE OF WEBINAR
The New Formula for Generating High Quality Leads in 2011 — E-book & Video White Paper
Details: Well known for their GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar platforms, Citrix been no stranger to content marketing of all types ranging many formats. Earlier this year, they debuted this E-book sharing best practices for generating qualified leads (sample), which was expanded into a full campaign, complete with an accompanying webinar (on their platform, of course) (sample), and a video white paper, which gave busy executives a quick overview.
Building the Business Case for Marketing Automation—E-book & Regional Event
Details: A pioneer in the areas of both marketing automation and content marketing, Eloqua went back to the basics in this E-book to help new clients and prospects clearly understand the value proposition this technology delivers. The piece was featured in the company’s online buying center, which helps prospects self-educate and self-navigate the research phase, and also became a core piece of sales enablement collateral. Building on the success of the E-book topic, Eloqua followed up with a series of successful regional events sharing research and best practices with new clients and topics in key markets.
LINK: REGIONAL EVENT INVITE
A Clear View Of Healthcare Claims - E-Book
Details: Enkata, a leader in cloud-based customer experience analytics and workforce optimization software, used this E-book to support its unique solution for the key vertical of healthcare providers. Helping to support the company’s new paradigm positioning and unique solution for optimizing health care claims management, the E-book helped bring-to-life the significant gaps in back-office processing and presenting business cases for how much these inefficiencies were costing insurance providers.
Measuring Lead To Cash: Data To Dashboard In 30 Days — E-Book, Webinar & Video White Paper
Details: Much like the Citrix example, GoodData decided to take the time and resources they were dedicating to creating an E-book and extend that content for both lead generation and thought leadership. Before the E-book was even published, a webinar on the topic was presented, and then as a follow-up touch to the campaign the company offered a video white paper which summarized key points in a short interactive format, and then linked back to download the E-book.
Shifting Shopper Preferences – White Paper & Infographic
Details: Junction Solutions, is a single-source provider of vertical-specific applications and consulting services, conducted custom B2C research to display how cross-channel shopping is changing shopper behavior, as well as customer expectations in retail. They presented these findings in a white paper, and then followed up by displaying the data in an informative infographic. By tapping into this fast-growing, fun way to display data surrounding a topic without demanding too much time from the reader, Junction Solutions maximized the visibility of the data via social media and other viral channels.
LINK: WHITE PAPER
Blueprint For Using Content To Connect With Buyers – White Paper & Custom Research
Details: Manticore partnered with DemandGen Report to survey early adopters of marketing automation and used the new data to highlight the growing relationshipbetween content and success driving dialog with prospects. The white paper presented the findings with specific data supporting the importance of building buyer personas, conducting content audits, mapping content to specific buyer stages, creating assets that feed nurturing campaigns, and measuring the success of content campaigns.
LINK: WHITE PAPER
LINK: SLIDE SHARE OF WEBINAR
The Store: The Intersection Of All Channels — E-book Refresh
Details: Revisiting one of the most successful content pieces in its library, Oracle’s retail division partnered with Retail TouchPoints to take a fresh look at the central role the store still plays with today’s cross channel consumers. After maximizing the lifespan of the original E-book, which drove thousands of leads and was translated into several different languages, Oracle revisited the topic with new data and a refresh on case studies and has seen similar success with the new piece.
5 Steps to Increase Win Rates and Improve Pipeline Performance — Webinar and White Paper
Details: Presenting fresh strategies and approaches to help companies deal with current economic challenges, this webinar featuring a well-known author and expert on sales optimization techniques generated more than 1,500 registrants. The accompanying white paper shared case studies and insights into how leading companies are using playbooks and analytics to accelerate deal velocity.
LINK: WHITE PAPER
LINK: SLIDESHARE OF WEBINAR
The Roadmap to Scalable & Sustainable Sales Transformation — E-book, Use Cases & Brainshark
Details: After driving more than 1,000 downloads of this groundbreaking E-book, the leader in sales training and coaching followed up with shorter case study snapshots presenting three use case scenarios from leading firms who were already embarking on transformation initiatives.To continue to build on the momentum, Richardson also used the content and key points from the Roadmap E-book to create an interactive video white paper, which has fueled further lead nurturing initiatives.
LINK: CASE STUDY
Driving Customer Engagement and Loyalty With Social Clienteling — Ebook & Executive Brief
Details: Salesforce & Fujistu helped introduced the model for Social Clienteling in the retail and consumer products sectors with this E-book. The two companies then followed up on the piece with an Executive Brief offering a closer look at how the two partners were helping to implement this new strategy at major retailers around the globe.
LINK: EXECUTIVE BRIEF
Obviously, these are just a few examples of the great content campaigns created in 2011. Please feel free to share any examples of powerful campaigns you’ve created or seen this year.
We look forward to another great year of content in 2012!