How Content Creation Can Put Your Q4 Budget Surplus to Work
December 1, 2016
By Suzanne Martin
Having extra budget at the end of the year might seem like any marketer's dream. And sure, it's better than running out of money in Q2! But if your situation's like most, there's no such thing as "rollover budget." If you don't spend your surplus before the end of 2016, it's gone. Suddenly, you're facing a use-it-or-lose-it scenario. What's a marketer to do?
Sure, you could pour your surplus into something fun — world's greatest holiday party, anyone? But there's no reason to waste your unspent budget on a champagne fountain. Instead, spend that money where it can do you the most good: on high-quality content.
Building a well-developed content library will help you drive brand awareness, engagement and sales in 2017. And there's still time to do it in Q4! To decide what kind of content to spend your surplus on, think about your 2017 goals, so you can find the best kind of content to achieve them.
Goal 1: You want more marketing-qualified leads (MQLs)
You know that not every potential buyer will be ready to talk to Sales from the get-go. To avoid wasting Sales' time, it's important to only forward them leads who are ready for that level of commitment. And an effective way to get more buyers to that point is through journey streams.
By entering buyers into email journeys and providing content tailored to their needs, you can address their pain points, overcome their objections and educate them about your company. Trust me, your buyers will appreciate it. According to DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that supplied plenty of content to navigate each stage of the buying process.
To get your journey streams off the ground, it's important to invest in quality collateral. Sure, you'll need the actual emails and landing pages that make up the framework of your journeys. But you'll also need content like white papers, thought leadership, brochures, product sheets and more to fill your journeys. If you can create it this quarter, your pipeline will thank you in 2017!
Goal 2: You want more engagement
There's nothing more frustrating than pouring time and energy into a campaign that doesn't drive engagement. It's not an uncommon problem, though. Think about how many advertising messages your buyers are bombarded with every day. With information coming at them from all directions, it's natural that they'll start to tune things out.
To cut through the clutter and grab buyers' attention, video is the way to go. Syndacast estimates that by 2017, 74% of all internet traffic will be video, and for good reason: it works. In a recent VidYard survey, 70% of B2B marketers reported that video performed better than other types of content for producing conversions. Plus, 51.9% of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
Think about how video could fill the gaps in your 2017 content strategy. There are plenty of video types you could start with, like recorded product demos or short commercials. Then, once you've made your choice, it's lights, camera, action!
Goal 3: You want more MQLs to convert
Let's say getting MQLs to Sales isn't your issue. You have a steady flow of leads heading to your sales team on a regular basis. There's just one problem — those leads aren't converting. What's going on?
Plenty of factors could be at play, of course, but here's one of the biggest ones: For Sales to do their job effectively, they need the right tools. That means Marketing should be providing the content Sales needs to convert more leads. But if your marketing and sales teams still work in silos, how can one team know what the other one needs?
First things first: Sit down with Sales and talk about what they feel is missing from their resource library. Do they need PowerPoints? Phone scripts? Email templates? Direct mail? Whatever they need, creating it in Q4 is a great way to spend your budget surplus, and will get you the closed sales in 2017 to prove it.
Don't let the end of the year scare you — you've still got plenty of time to turn your budget surplus into the quality content you need!
"How Content Creation Can Put Your Q4 Budget Surplus to Work." Suzanne Martin, CMO at The Mx Group, November 2016.
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