Ed. Note - We are honored to have Matt Heinz provide this content for our Zephyr 47 Expert Blog Series. Matt is a recognized leader, author, and speaker on demand generation and sales acceleration.
12 Sources of Marketing Automation Content You’ve Already Written
No matter how you’re approaching marketing automation strategies, the single-biggest hurdle for most organizations isn’t the software or the process or the sorting of prospects. It’s the content.
Effective marketing automation requires a constant stream of relevant, engaging and new content to work. That content needs to speak to current and prospective customer needs, well beyond what you’re directly selling.
For most organizations, this hurdle keeps them from implementing marketing automation programs and reaping the benefits. But I’d argue that those same organizations have already written most of the content they need to get started.
Below are 12 sources of content you already have. I’m guessing there are far more in your unique organization, but these should get you started.
Speeches & Presentations
You probably have a ton of these. Some may be primarily a set of slides, but there are (or were) talking points behind those. Check the “notes” section of your PowerPoint decks for pre-written copy. Avoid product-centric presentations and look instead of for places where you’ve shared a vision, or shared best practices and market expertise.
Customer Service Calls
Every day, you’re helping your customers become more successful. Every day, your front-line reps are hearing not just specific requests but context – where the problem came from, what it’s solving, what else is affecting the customer’s day and decisions. Much of this is ripe for translating into customer-centric marketing automation content. If your customer service team is regularly logging customer service calls in a CRM system, that’s a gold mine for content.
Discussion Forum Topics & Contributors
There’s no rule that says your content needs to be completely self-generated. If you regularly read or participate in customer discussion forums, find those who like to write the most and have the most to say. Take snippets of their content and ask permission to use it in your marketing. If positioned right, they’ll likely be excited you’ve chosen them and will help promote the republished content for you to other prospective customers.
Your Vendors & Suppliers
They’re addressing the same target audient and market, and many of them will have content as well. Tell them you want to help promote their brand and services via your marketing channels, and all you need is some of their pre-written content.
Customer Blogs & Newsletters
Why not feature other customers directly? Or even prospects? Helping prospective customers get access to the insights and expertise of their peers is a great way to fill your marketing channels with quality content, most of which is pre-written and ready to go. This is also a great way to build deeper relationships with those current customers, and potentially get access to their blogs, newsletters and channels to reach additional prospects down the road.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely have enough time to keep up with all of the trade publications I want to read. If someone could do the reading for me, and feature the best, most relevant articles for me, I’d be grateful. That’s your opportunity as well by publishing a regular “In The News” section as part of your marketing content. Third-party news is also a great way to feature more relevant content in Twitter and other social channel feeds.
Written Responses to Customer Questions
Do you have a database of pre-written responses to customer questions? Is your customer service team writing custom responses to customers on a daily basis? Many of these are going to be tactical and not relevant to a wider audience, but you don’t need more than a couple good pieces a day to have a steady flow of great, already-written content that needs just some copyediting before it can be republished elsewhere.
How to use the product isn’t your best bet, but how often are you teaching your customers about broader themes and topics? If you’re selling marketing automation software, for example, your training probably includes basic overviews of how marketing automation works. Best practices from other clients. How marketing automation fits into a broader sales pipeline strategy. These topics and more are likely already written and packaged elsewhere in your organization. Find them.
White Papers, Buying Guides & Other Lead Generation Assets
If you’ve been marketing your product or service for awhile, you probably have lead generation offer assets that aren’t active anymore. White papers, presentations, buying guides – tools you perhaps don’t perform optimally from a response-rate standpoint but might be perfect to fill marketing automation content channels.
Your sales team has a ton of these. Different customer types, different industries, different approaches. These will likely need a bit more editing to be appropriate for a marketing channel, but the hard work of originating content will have already been done.
If your case-studies are written from a customer point of view, with your product or service as the enabler of a broader set of success achieved, these can be great. They’re proof of concept for what you’re doing in the field.
What other sources of content have you found around your business, already written or near ready to go?
About The Author
Matt Heinz is a national speaker and author, and his most recent book is Successful Selling. He is President of Heinz Marketing Inc, a Seattle area Marketing Agency focusing on Sales Acceleration. Matt’s career has focused on delivering measurable results for his employers and clients in the way of greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.