For today’s B2B marketer, content is the fuel that feeds the demand generation engine. But when lead generation, lead nurturing, customer marketing and social media programs all require a constant feeding of new, compelling content, what do you do when the pace of new programs outstrips your ability to generate that content? Answer: you get creative. Here are 5 ideas for campaigns to run when you simply have no more content to give:
1. Run a survey. A survey is the ideal “no content” campaign because it creates its own offer. A well-crafted survey allows you to collect valuable profile data, learn what matters to your customers and prospects, and even identify qualified leads based on responses to key questions. When the results are in, add your analysis, and then package the data and commentary into a “survey report” that you can then leverage in demand generation, lead nurturing, social media, PR, even as a Webinar.
A survey has the added benefit of projecting your company as an industry thought leader on the survey topic. One tip: to maximize response, be sure to ask questions that your audience wants to answer (for example, to learn how they measure up against their peers), not just questions that you need answered for profiling purposes.
2. Host a game or sweepstakes. Games and contests aren’t likely to generate a high percentage of qualified leads as a rule, but they can still serve a serious business purpose. Games can be used effectively to collect or update basic profile data (name, company, email), uncover additional contacts within customer or prospect accounts, or build up an existing database. And they can be a refreshing change in what otherwise might be a steady stream of white paper offers and Webinar invites.
3. Drive subscriptions. Do you broadcast a monthly newsletter to your database? Do you offer email subscriptions to your blog? Make that newsletter or blog the offer in your next campaign, and sell it just like you would any other informational offer like a white paper or Webinar – by promoting the value of the content, and by describing what the reader will learn/gain by becoming a subscriber. Along the way, you’ll pick up new prospects who fit your target demographic or at the very least have an ongoing interest in the challenges and problems that your solution addresses.
4. Promote social media connections. Especially in the context of lead nurturing, the more ways a prospective customer is connected to your company – by email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc. etc. – the better your chance of educating that prospect and maintaining brand awareness to the point that he/she thinks of you first when the relevant need arises. Remember, it’s not enough simply to invite people to “connect” with you and your company – like any offer, social media needs to be “sold” in terms of its real value. What will the reader learn/gain/discover by becoming a friend, follower, or connection? What will he/she read about before anyone else?
5. Market your Website’s resource center. You may feel that you’ve used, re-used, and recycled every scrap of offer content on your Website at one time or another, but perhaps what’s next is to market the Website, and in particular your site’s resource center or resource library, as a whole. If you’ve built up a good-sized library of white papers, videos, archived Webinars, technical briefs, case studies, and the like, market that library as a useful resource for anyone researching your product category, related trends, or the business challenges that your company solves. As marketers, it’s easy to think “oh, I just told them about that white paper 2 months ago” but the ugly truth is that your audience has a very short-term memory. Maybe marketing the library as a whole is a way to bring older content back into the light.
For more creative ideas about offer content, download a free copy of our white paper: “How to Choose Your Carrot: Effective Lead Generation Offers for High-Technology Marketers”.
And if your website doesn’t have a resource center, start working on one! Great post and great ideas!