Content strategy means nothing without changing the business itself.

In connection with the latest news from Yandex, the number of references to the term “content marketing” on the Internet has grown to some incredible meanings.

All this has already happened. Not here, abroad - in spring 2011. Content marketing existed before the eleventh year. And even someone was actively trying to do it. But abroad, a wave of content marketing was raised by non-marketers with prestigious diplomas and a good track record - it was raised by ordinary webmasters. And the reason for this was Google Penguin, introduced in April of that very 2011. The sanctions went, and the people howled: what to do, how to live now, how to develop your website?

Content marketing is the solution! At first, everything seemed simple and clear: create expert content, publish on your website, distribute it through all available channels. Get loyal users, convert them to satisfied customers.

But real life makes its own adjustments.

Problem {govno} content

Content marketing has become one of the key answers to the question "How to develop websites now"? And this, admittedly, led to disastrous consequences. Unfortunately, in Runet - with the growth of genuine interest in content marketing - the number {content} of content has begun to grow.

The amount of {content} content will exceed all conceivable and inconceivable values, and, as a result, the person will begin to filter most of the content he encounters during the day. And this is not about bad content, about spam content, about doorway content. This good bulk, and now, if you look good. {Go} the content of the heyday of the CM has one specific feature - it disguises itself in every possible way as content that is useful, necessary, in demand and, sometimes, viral. We confess that we ourselves fell into this trap. We have learned the technology of creating content that has signs of utility, necessity, demand and even virality. This, by the way, is already very much. Not all of them have gone this way from those who begin their steps in the CM.

Did we get the result? Yes, oddly enough, received. Just turned out to be at the right time in the right place. Eliminate the information vacuum. It worked like this:

But u really cool content (damn! I don’t like this term either, but I can’t think of an analogue of what is called great content abroad), the very content that only works in the CM has one property that it doesn’t have (or almost no) { Content} is useful actions that are an integral part of this content.

What do I mean by efficiencies? A person was looking for an answer to his question - after reading he should get an answer to his question. The person was looking for how to solve his problem - the content should help him deal with this problem. Naturally, all possible types of conversions - subscriptions to a newsletter, a call to the company, filling out a questionnaire, sending a message, writing a comment - can be such useful actions. Like or sharing stuff in a social network is a useful action. A recommendation sent by ICQ to a friend is a useful action. Bookmarking a site is a good thing. In general, if your content after reading by the user leaves nothing but annoyance for the time spent - then this is exactly what it is: {govno} content.

But that's not all. All efficiencies should be performed strictly defined target audience - the audience of your potential customers. If there are a lot of useful actions, but all of them are done by some other audience, and not by the audience of your potential clients - it may be easier for you to work with this other audience, you have found "keys" and "clues" for it. And in this case, again, you are on the path or are already creating his majesty {govno} content.

Material on the topic: What is quality content in terms of search engines

About the black hole of content marketing

But the problem {govno} content itself is not so terrible for business. The problem is that, coupled with the "black hole" (which will be discussed below) {govno} content enhances its action many times.

So, what is the "black hole" of content marketing.

I'll tell you our own story.

We started to do our own content marketing in the summer of 2012. Prior to this blog posting and on third-party sites were episodic. The response in the form of growth in the number of leads was received very quickly: after three months of work on the implementation of the KM strategy, the leads from the blog became familiar to us.

With the growth in the number of leads, we were forced to restructure the sales department. But first we created it. Yes, do not laugh, but before that we worked without a sales department at all. "Sales" we have not been allocated to a separate department, sales were engaged in "ordinary" managers to manage projects (accounts). But only by creating a sales department, we began to redo it immediately, change something, reassemble it. And so it lasted more than two years.

Naturally, considering ourselves to be a modern technological and progressive agency, we began to introduce a “sales funnel”. It was the end of 2012. With tables with real and predictable data on ROI, KPI and conversions, my entire desktop was overwhelmed. I am writing this and rzhu now in voice.

It would seem that everything is simple. Content marketing in the companies in which it is implemented plays a huge, often exceptional role in creating and scaling sales. But he does not solve the whole problem.

But we will continue to dive into our "kitchen". We do not deal with "cold" and "warm" ringing. We only work with incoming applications. I can take absolutely any month, but I will take the last “closed” month as of the current moment - March 2015 (I am writing this article in April, the month is running out, but not yet finished, the picture will not be complete).

In March of this year, our company sent 98 commercial offers. This is what is called a medical fact. This gave us 13 new customers who transferred us money to our current account: 5 long-term contracts (for integrated Internet marketing) and 8 contracts for some one-time work. Totally, out of 98 companies that received commercial offers from us, we brought 13.26% to sales. Well what can I say, it is necessary to rejoice, you say, the figure is not so bad. I grab for the head, 98 exposed kompredov - this is not leads. Not every application reaches the stage of drawing up and sending a quotation to a potential client. Lidov, customer calls, there was much more, the loss - catastrophic.

What kind of "black hole" lay between our leads and the sales department? Why do we generate more and more leads, and the number of exhibited compromises in March 2015 is even lower than in November 2014? There is, of course, an increase in the number of exhibited compromises - if we measure the same period last year, but it is significantly lagging behind the growth in the number of calls.

I ask myself these questions a long time ago. For two and a half years we have been trying to build and rebuild our sales department. Maybe the problem is in people? Let's go look for people. We are luring away star "sales" - nothing changes. Maybe our “young salesman's course” is not enough, tritely, the sales team lacks the competencies to sell our services? Let's seriously load them with knowledge, we will spend on the whole chain of promotion of sites in our agency, we will call them for the flyers of projects and accounts, let them sit and turn. We sat, povnikali. Zero result.

"Black Hole" devours leads. And this is a cruel truth.

The third force that is missing

The very nature of content marketing assumes that you create not a funnel, but a huge whirlpool - and it draws people into communication with your business. This is how good content marketing works. But, you know what the problem is? 80% of the leads that are created thanks to content marketing are leads that are very conditional. For some reason, for some reason, sometime they turn to you, but do not become your clients. Not in the near future, at least.

The whole truth is about the leads born of content marketing: they are ready to share emotions, thank you, clarify something on the phone, express your problems, ask for advice. But if they are picked up at this moment by the sales department, which works as the sales department should work (it sells services), your leads seem to fall under the "cold shower". They instantly cool down. "Oh, damn it! Yes, you are the same as everyone. We share with you our joy, our problems, our discoveries. And you are a compromise to us." And this is said by business representatives, our target audience, and not some random visitors.

And this is the bitter truth: KM is like a black hole in which most of the leads disappear. There remains only a handful, as you think, of "quality" references.

Often this becomes a pretext for the next war of sales and marketers. "Our marketers are idling," say sales. Marketers, who have spent so much labor and money on implementing a KM strategy, can only shrug their shoulders. It's useless to argue: business leaders don't care what your customized goals show in Google Analytics. They look at the result, which at the start of work on the implementation of the KM strategy is very slightly different from what it was before the introduction of the KM strategy in the company.

That is why it is so important to understand that CM without restructuring the entire business will not give you what you expect from it. Transforming your business to content marketing is not just a change in your marketing department. It is not enough to gather journalists, develop a content plan, launch publications in the blog.

The whole point is that traffic and leads are not the final goal of content marketing. It only begins with leads.

The fact is that customers, for the most part, do not understand anything about the services or products that you offer them. In our business, it is like this: unqualified clients seeking to get what they do not need at all, for a budget that is very far from real - this is a common situation. And this is true in all businesses. What, the customer of video surveillance should have a good understanding of cameras and DVRs? Not. He must first get this missing expertise, and then he will decide whether he should contact you or not.

To give expertise to everyone who applied, and not to sell the service at any cost, is the task that needs to be addressed at the stage after the user contacts the company and before the sales stage. Immerse yourself in the business of turning as deeply as possible. Understand his genuine, not imaginary needs. Help with advice. Change the sales cycle if necessary.

Implementing CM in a company requires new skills that marketers and classic sales do not have. To “meet” a lead should not be a sales person, but a business technologist, business developer, business consultant. I do not know what to call this specialist, but I know what he should do. His main skill is the ability to dive into the client's business. And the core competence is no, not Internet marketing, but business management. Hence the conclusion: a person is not suitable for this position without a real business experience or at least a business consulting experience of a large number of real businesses.

A business technologist should "meet" your leads at the first point of contact. He is not obliged to sell anything. His task is simple - to develop communication with the lead. And then the key question: how long? To the logical point to the final. If the final is the sale of your services to him, then we transfer the lead to the sales manager. But the final may be any other outcome, not necessarily the sale.

The business technologist closes the “black hole”, giving the leaders well-structured expert information.

Subject: Case: how disabling active chat invitations reduced the number of our calls 12 times

Problems of implementing the "third excess"

In words, everything is simple, but not in real business. There are questions to which the answer is extremely difficult to give, but without answers to these questions it is impossible to get off the ground. These questions are:

  • Where to take business technologists? There are not so many people who deeply understand the business processes, and at the same time are ready to work as hires.
  • Where to get resources (time, competencies, time, time, time again) to guide those 80% of “poor-quality” leads?

I do not have answers to these questions yet. I myself am in search of answers to them. I study a lot of materials on English-language sites on this issue (yes, we are not unique, all the same questions arise now and abroad - for those companies that have implemented or are implementing inbound marketing and content marketing in particular).

What do foreign experts recommend? I will list those recommendations that seemed to me the most interesting.

  1. These people must be fanatics. They really should be interested in what they do. Given that such a thing as selling a service is excluded from their KPI, they should not sell anything to anyone. And what should keep the interest in the work of these people? On one thing, on the desire to help someone else’s business every day to become better. That does not mean at all that they should work on enthusiasm - such employees should be paid well. But as the main motive here, a high salary is clearly not enough.
  2. They must constantly see new opportunities. This is what distinguishes the entrepreneur - the providence and the prediction of new opportunities. They should see new opportunities even where they are not. It is much more useful for business technologists than the inability to see new opportunities in general.
  3. Business technologists are not office clerks. If he is sitting on the phone all day, then something is wrong here. A business technologist without going to the "fields" (to the client in the office, to the production, to the warehouse, to the sales "point", etc.) is impossible.
  4. A business technologist must have extreme communication skills. According to one study on the US market (too lazy to look for a link, I'm sorry), even in small companies, it’s not one employee who is responsible for making important strategic decisions, but a group of employees - from 3 to 7 people. And with each of these employees on the client side, your business process engineer must find a common language.

All this is purely "izmyshlizmy", admittedly. How things will turn out in reality - I do not know. But we already understood this path for ourselves and internally accepted it. We are already starting to introduce a new approach to sales, and what happens after that - I will describe a little later when enough experience has been gained.

Material on the subject: Internal and external content marketing: case

Opportunities and discoveries

As I imagine it now.

You need to get rid of {fine} content. He was needed at a certain stage, but now you can refuse it. I will clarify just in case: I do not consider {govno} content all that we have published in the blog before. But we have materials that were created only for the receipt of search traffic - which is no secret. This content did not give any useful actions, and if it did, they were not committed by our target audience.

It is necessary to introduce business technologists in the chain of communications with clients - employees on the agency side who are not motivated to sell services at all. And they should be somewhere at the very beginning of this chain.


Why all this - I sometimes ask myself the question. After all, we already feel good, develop quickly, are absolutely self-sufficient and profitable? We want to be the largest player in the market of integrated Internet marketing and increase in sales through the Internet - I have no other answer.

Watch the video: Quality vs. Quantity: Creating a Content Strategy in 2019. Melbourne Australia, 2018 Keynote (April 2020).


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