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Not surprisingly ‘old school’ paid advertising topped the list, from print and TV ads to bus sides. As marketers move away from these traditional marketing channels, a new trend is developing called ‘Native Advertising’ where brands buy into existing channels and streams with a more content based offering than advertising.
Relevant content is the new currency for today’s marketer. HubSpot reports that brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.
So why do marketers need to become data scientists when writing engaging content surely is a ‘creative’ task? In short, it’s the ‘science’ behind the content that really drives lead generation. Let’s take a look…
The digital footprint
Thanks to the lovely digital natives at Google we all have one. Wherever we go on the net, whatever we search for and how we finally reach a website is all trackable.
That’s our digital footprint. Through great new tools like ‘anonymous personalisation’ we can now change content on our home page based on how a visitor comes to us: by their location, device they are using or social channel they linked to us from. And all this before they have even clicked anywhere!
Understanding the buyer journey
Today’s consumer generally goes through three stages in their journey to making a purchase – awareness, consideration and finally decision.
The challenge for the modern marketer is knowing where in the buying funnel a prospect sits so that they can target more relevant content to them. Make sense? After all, research shows that as much as 90 per cent of web visitors are at the ‘awareness’ stage, not all ready to buy, yet most home pages sell to you on the very first date.
By providing content specifically written for each stage of the buyer journey you can track where prospects sit in the funnel.
The power of marketing automation
The tool kit for today’s marketer is marketing automaton software like HubSpot. B2B marketers say the number one benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more and better leads according to Pepper Global Marketing Automation Trends Report 2014.
Marketing automation allows you set smart workflows that trigger off content as a website visitor interacts with your website. Say for example, someone visits your home page and downloads an e-book. Normally you will either contact them straight away (the old outbound way) which is highly ineffective as they are sitting at the ‘awareness’ stage, or sit back and see if they contact you.
Now with a little science magic, marketing automation software tracks what they do – from sharing that content on social to visiting pages on your website.
Then by using ‘lead scoring’ determines how engaged that lead is, where they sit at any moment in the buying funnel and automatically send out content that’s personalised and relevant to them.
Measuring the data
Now with all this data at our fingertips we know every interaction our visitors are making, we can determine which are ‘most likely’ to buy from us and only pass on to sales the qualified leads that are ‘ready to buy’.
Welcome to a new world of marketing, where science and strategy combine to deliver an output of quality leads – we call this, inbound marketing.
Tony Eades is the Director of Brand Strategy at Brand Manager an Australian creative digital communications and inbound marketing agency based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.