How do you cultivate a stream of useful sales leads for your business?
There isn’t one thing that you can do in isolation that will guarantee your prospective clients find a way to your door. Marketing with valuable content is a long-term strategy that covers many different activities and many different flavours of content. But there is something that will raise the odds in your favour of the right people seeking you out, and that is to create campaignable content.
We’ve talked before about the need for stock and flow content. Stock being the big heavyweight pieces that deliver over the long term, and the flow being the more ephemeral stuff – blogs, tweets, Instagram posts.
And we’ve written about ‘how, now, wow’ content – the how and now being the helpful, explanatory, relevant, regular streams of content that you use to stay connected to your audience, and the ‘wow’ being the content that stops people in their tracks.
Consistency is good
Over the last few years, we’re seeing more and more businesses getting into the swing of the ‘how’ ‘now’ flow. They’re blogging, they’re sending out newsletters and they’re active on social media. All of this consistency is good and necessary.
But we’re seeing fewer people investing in the big stuff, the ‘knock it out of the park’ WOW! content that makes a big sales impact, before settling back to draw in leads year after year.
But without the ‘wow’ you’re missing a trick
There’s no doubt that creating campaignable content takes a lot more effort. It’s more expensive, it needs more thought to plan, more time to produce, and often an investment in design to make it work.
It takes strategic thinking. And if you’re deep in the groove and getting results from your blogging and social media efforts – inbound leads, good conversations – investing in something more substantial might not feel like a priority.
Sometimes the tricky question of not knowing exactly what content your ideal buyers would find irresistible is what stops people from investing in the Wow content pieces. That old chestnut of ‘what’s valuable for my business?’ looms even larger if you contemplate going really big with something!
But, if you want to up your game, creating some campaignable content could be worth adding to your To Do list.
What is campaignable content?
High value, highly targeted content. It’s not a new idea, it’s where old-fashioned sales campaigns meets newfangled content marketing. But unlike the traditional view of sales campaigns, this approach is far more customer-focused. Rather than starting with ‘we need to sell more x’s’ it begins with ‘what exactly are the buyers of x looking for?’ And rather than making assumptions of what exactly buyers are looking for, it listens to them first.
Qualities of valuable, campaignable content:
- Is tied directly to a high priority service/product/offering
- Has a sales target attached
- Involves clients in its creation
- Will be sent to a well-researched, targeted list – with a proactive outreach plan
- Knows precisely where it sits in the buying cycle
- Leads to the next step in the buying cycle
- Builds relationships: actively invites people to take a clearly defined next step
- Is PR-able, and talk-worthy
- Makes you feel proud
- Keeps delivering leads, year after year.
The value of campaignable content for your business
Campaignable content gives your business development activities the boost of momentum that is sometimes lacking from content marketing activities. You will have to set a target, refine it, draw up a list, think hard about the buyer’s cycle. You’ll have to connect with your audience while you’re creating it, throwing up business development opportunities even before you press ‘publish’. And you’ll really have to consider ‘what next?’ So they love this content – it answers their questions exactly but now what? What do you want people to do? What is the next natural piece of content/action?
Campaignable content pulls up the content around it. It raises the quality of everything else you’re doing. It’s active, not passive.
“You can’t stay in the corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – Winnie the Pooh
The real beauty of this campaignable, stock content is that it will have long-term sales benefit, pulling in leads for you long after you’ve moved onto the next campaign. This sparkling, valuable content has its moment in the sun and keeps on shining brightly, year after year.
3 examples of brilliant ‘wow’ content to inspire you
- Great State’s Great Expectations: The Football Issue showcases in depth research, strategic thinking, and a real passion for the subject. It was enough to pinpoint the Bristol agency on the radar of a Premier League club, and help turn them into new Great State clients. Original research is a brilliant foundation for campaignable content. Make it super useful to your target clients, and these prospects will see you in a whole new light.
- Ascentor’s Board’s Guide to Information Risk is a great example of a solid and enduring piece of content targeted specifically at the decision makers in a long sales cycle. It’s delivered a consistent flow of leads over more than seven years. It’s now gated on their site, but you’ll find it here.
- Take your pick from Velocity’s spread of brilliant, ideas fuelled, nicely designed, effortlessly cool content that stands the test of time and keeps on performing.
What content would wow your clients? We’d love to know.
You might also like:
- Yin & Yang, inbound and outbound <- a case study in business development harmony at Ascentor
- How to write sales proposals that get a big fat YES!!
- We’re making sales so what’s the point of investing in our website?
- The case for valuable content: the results of seven years of blogging