B2B Marketing – White Papers and Marketing Automation
Online marketing offers B2B marketers the opportunity to reach millions of potential clients around the globe, but the early phases of your online efforts can feel a bit lonely.
Working online will often make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of an empty field yelling about your amazing service. Everything you say is both true and potentially compelling, but no one is around to hear, and more importantly, act on what you’re saying.
B2B marketers often feel this way upon the completion of a great new white paper. They’ve developed clear and helpful content and their deliverable is expertly designed, and the executives are excited about the potential results.
So what now? Obviously, online is the only realistic distribution method for white papers and other thought leadership pieces, but simply offering the paper on your website fails to leverage the capabilities of online marketing.
The value of marketing automation
In the online space, user attention spans are incredibly short. Even if someone goes through the trouble of providing the necessary information to download your content, it’s probable that you’ll never hear from them again. Marketing automation, however, allows your company to maintain top-of-mind awareness among these lukewarm leads while allowing your sales organization to focus on following-up only on the hot leads.
So, for example, let’s say you require a bit of contain information in exchange for your new paper or report. When the contact downloads the paper, their information is sent to the marketing automation platform. The best systems will then score the lead based on the data the entered. If the lead’s profile is rated highly, the lead’s info is passed to sales; anyone who falls below the preset benchmark is sent into a nurturing, or drip, campaign.
The nurturing campaign then sends the lead information from your company weekly or a few times a month. This content usually consists of other white papers, case studies, reports, and other helpful and interesting information. Ideally, your content both helps them do their job better while positioning your company as a thought leader in your space.
This scenario is a very high-level view of how white papers and marketing automation work together. Without a strong white paper distribution strategy, however, your b2b marketing plan will fail to leverage the invsetment you’ve already made in creating your white paper.