Recently, I sat down with Amanda Nelson, Director of Marketing, at RingLead to talk about how she uses marketing technology to create and promote content to drive pipeline revenue. Her amazing work in the field has earned her many awards including Online Marketing Institute Top 40 Digital Marketing Strategist in 2014
Before we dive into Amanda’s marketing wisdom, here are a few fun facts about her that I wanted to share:
You can view the full video here:
Now that we know a little more about Amanda, I would like to share my top three takeaways from my chat with Amanda in hopes that you will find them helpful and become a stronger marketer yourself.
1) You don’t need to pay a lot of money for marketing technologies
Sometimes, the best things in life are free. That holds true for the world of marketing as well. Amanda suggested thinking about what technologies you really need and what best aligns with your marketing strategy. As marketers, we love shiny new tools, but Amanda gave a dose of reality when she said that you do not need everything. The focus should be on the content itself. It really boils down to your ability to create it, publish it, and promote it in a way that your target audience can actually find it.
When I asked about her MarTech toolbox, Amanda shared a few of her favorites:
- Hootsuite — great for social listening, scheduling and publishing content
- Google Analytics — helps marketers understand how web traffic is performing in real time
- Google Docs — helps teams collaborate throughout the company and work more efficiently
- Canva — startup by Guy Kawasaki that allows for easy creation of social media graphics and online advertising creative
- Haiku Deck — easy slide deck creation software that integrates directly with Slideshare
- Outbrain, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads: drives additional visibility and distribution for your content beyond what can be accomplished organically
2) There is a huge opportunity to do more with what you already have
Amanda recommended taking a deep dive into your Google Analytics data to discover which content is most popular with your audience. Once you have figured that out, you can then look at ways to repurpose that content into new forms.
For example, you may have a blog called “Top Ten Tricks to Generate Leads” which attracted a great amount of traffic to your website last year. The possibilities for repurposing that content are endless. You could make a slide deck to make the content more visual, host a webinar on the topic to allow industry experts to weigh in, create an infographic, or even develop an eBook. You could even pull quotes from that post and turn them into cool social media graphics that allow for snackable content that your audience can consume easily. Amanda threw out a great phrase that captures this perfectly: “Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose” and I’m sure we will adopt that into our strategy here at Terminus as well.
[Tweet “There’s a huge opportunity in #ContentMarketing “Reuse, Recyle, & Repurpose” @amandalnelson”]
3) Relevancy and consistency are key to a winning content marketing strategy
As much as we would love to believe that the prospect goes straight down the funnel from lead to customer, the reality is often much different. Today’s prospect can move up, down or even out of the funnel. Amanda stressed the importance of having relevant, helpful content that meets every need regardless of where your prospects lie within the funnel. As Jay Baer once said, marketers should “Always be helping” and that could not be more true in this case.
She recommended completing a content audit which involves evaluating your funnel and determining what the prospect’s needs are at each stage of the customer journey. From there, you will want to make sure that you have content to meet those needs so that people stay engaged and do not stray over to your competitor.
Amanda also recommends “just staying out there.” Blog every day if you have the capacity to do so or at least produce content on a consistent schedule so your audience is seeing your message and hearing your story at regular intervals. She also mentioned that creating content does not need to be a difficult process. You could simply turn a case study into a blog post or interview a thought leader within the industry. The goal is to grow both your brand and your site through brand journalism. Her perspective is to “create content like it’s your job because it should be your job.”
Authenticity is also key to success. Life is easy if you are a marketer marketing to other marketers. Today’s consumer is very smart and will easily detect if a brand knows what they are talking about. Amanda recommended recruiting guest bloggers to help fill the knowledge gap if you are not an expert in your company’s industry. This helps your brand to build necessary credibility with your audience and become a trusted source for content which ultimately drives more traffic to your site and pipeline revenue.
3) Marketing and Sales Alignment are key to success
Marketing can drive the future of your company. If you know how many leads you are getting, you can start to see what your future will look like. Once you know how long your average lead-to-customer time is, then you can determine what your future sales pipeline will be and how much effort is required to produce desired results.
In regard to alignment with sales, Amanda touched on a key point when she said “If you are not talking to sales, not talking to customers, and not using your own product, how you can be an effective marketer?” She also said that content marketing is a culture. In order to achieve great results, the entire company needs to be on board with the goals you are trying to accomplish. At RingLead, their sales team has adopted a process of “content selling” where the sales executives consistently utilize the marketing content to drive revenue and close deals. The sales team also helps the marketing team by sharing questions that prospects are asking which then allows for additional relevant content creation.
Getting the team to rally around your content marketing efforts is not only important, but it is relatively easy to accomplish through tracking. Amanda shared a great story of how her team was able to attribute significant revenue to a single e-book that was promoted with a single tweet. Having the ability to provide those results helped her team gain credibility in the company by showing how they made an impact. As marketers, we face more and more pressure from the C-suite to demonstrate how content marketing is driving the business forward and Amanda has found a great way to do that through tracking.
It was really incredible to spend time with Amanda and hear about all the incredible work her team is doing over at RingLead. She is a wealth of marketing knowledge and we hope that you found her wisdom as helpful as we did. If you have additional questions, feel free to drop us a note in the comments below or send Amanda a tweet at @amandalnelson.