Yes, you need to have a marketing automation system in place to leverage content into opportunities and closed sales. Trying to do content marketing without marketing automation is like trying to drive a car without an engine.
Content Marketing is all the rage lately. If you're a CEO or CMO, you might be haranguing your people to create a white paper or "do a webinar" just because that's what the buzz is lately on the C-suite golf course. It's a rare web site in this modern marketing age that does not have some content posted. It's relatively easy to create a paper or an application note or even a webinar. But it's harder to turn your content into sales.
Let's consider the automobile as a metaphor:
- Marketing automation is the engine that turns your content into sales.
- Content is the fuel that powers the engine.
- The automobile in gear represents growth.
A common foible in content marketing is to develop a great piece and post it on the web site. The idea is similar to the old business strategy of building a better mousetrap, and the customers will line up. Yes, it's true that content posted on the web site will help with SEO, but that isn't enough. To get a return on your content, you must tell your target audience about it. This is accomplished with a targeted outbound campaign.Good content marketing includes inbound and outbound tactics to leverage the content thoroughly. Marketing automation is the tool that drives your outbound, measures the inbound and enhances the engagement.
So now you have created content and you've started to tell your target audience about it, and you might even be getting some good positioning in the search engines. At this point, your engine is started, and your automobile is idling. To get your auto in gear and moving, use marketing automation to allow the people in your target audience to get to know your firm better. As Jean Luc Picard would say, "Engage." Without marketing automation, it's challenging to further the engagement or relationship.
Once you have the initial content established, you can use many different engagement tactics provided my marketing automation to earn the attention and credibility of your target audience:
- Database Segmentation
- Landing pages with registration forms
- Triggered emails based on website visits
- Email nurturing
- Event registration and follow up
- Targeted offers based on buyer personas
- Tracking results of digital and offline advertisements
- Overall measurement
If your goal is to grow revenue, content that is merely posted on the web site will fail. For content marketing to be successful in growing a business, it must be coupled with smart use of marketing automation.