By Craig Weiss, Chief Operating Officer, True Influence
You need to listen to your market, especially the in-market buyers. Intent signals lead you to these highly qualified leads. You’ll achieve more precise content syndication.
It’s easy to forget this basic rule, particularly in an era where B2B sales strategies are largely built around aspirational named account lists for qualified leads.
But if you devote all your B2B marketing efforts to reach a handful of companies, you’re not listening to the market. You’re not discovering the real scope of your potential and addressable audience. And you’re not talking to a lot of great prospects who don’t happen to be on a target list.
You’re leaving qualified leads and money on the table.
That’s why Content Syndication needs to be an integral part of every B2B marketing program.
Putting Your Best Content Foot Forward through Intent Signals
As I often say, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to B2B marketing. You need to employ a mix of tactics – email, voice, social, display, and Content Syndication – throughout your entire customer journey model to ensure that you are identifying in-market opportunities and keeping a healthy pipeline of qualified leads
But I will say this: working with a Content Syndication service is likely the single most successful tactic you can add to a healthy B2B marketing and sales program to ensure that you’ll meet your ultimate sales goals.
With well-designed and -executed Content Syndication programs, you can dramatically increase the percent of your market that you are addressing. Content Syndication takes your best content assets and distributes them to prospects with whom you don’t already have a relationship. If they respond positively, they are qualified leads in your market.
The numbers back this up – the top reason (at a whopping 80 percent positive response) B2B content marketers use paid methods to distribute their content is to attract a new audience, according to a recent study.
Content Syndication led by intent signals puts you out in front of the buying cycle. It helps you expand your market, which you have to constantly do if you want to meet aggressive revenue goals and stay ahead of your competition. And it’s essential for informing and fueling sophisticated revenue marketing methodologies, such as Account-Based Marketing.
With Qualified Leads, It’s What You Do, Not Where You Come From
The most important fact to recognize about the power of Content Syndication programs is this:
Where you source a lead is irrelevant, so long as it meets these criteria:
- Ideal customer persona
- Interest in your solution
- Promising initial engagement behaviors
If qualified leads will pass these tests, it simply becomes a matter of time and behavior. You know what they look like – you just haven’t met them personally yet. And it’s not critical that they work at a company on your named account or ABM target list. In fact, if you’ve done your homework and built meaningful B2B personas, newly discovered accounts should be promptly added to your named list.
That’s how you grow your market.
And to realize this growth, you have to start with the wide net of Content Syndication programs.
Keep the Content Syndication Welcome Mat Out There
At this point, let me be perfectly clear – we here are True Influence are firm believers in ABM and other advanced revenue marketing methodologies that focus your resources on the best in-market prospects. We believe in these concepts so much that we have engineered strategic ABM features, such as buying group modeling, into our InsightBase® account acceleration platform and demand generation programs.
ABM is enormously powerful, particularly as you move leads down the funnel.
But when you are looking to grow your audience, it makes sense to cast a wide net, and then let leads tell you the best ways to market to them. You have to paint with as wide a brush as possible without ignoring your core customer personas. And then you need to address the needs and opportunities that you uncover.
In fact, micro-targeting at the engagement phase of the customer journey makes little sense, unless you are augmenting those efforts with third-party intent data intelligence. (Of course, intent data is our wheelhouse here at True Influence, and we do implement intent to drive our PersonaBase content syndication programs – a little more on that later.)
Again, let me be clear – I am not advocating that you mill up a bunch of junk leads to dump in your marketing platform. But you do need to keep your eyes and ears open. With a strong commitment to the three qualification pillars of B2B personas, interest, and initial behaviors, Content Syndication programs executed with credible partners like True Influence are a great way to ensure that you have the necessary volume of qualified leads to consistently fuel your ABM programs.
Find Prospects At All Points in Their Journey
You may have noticed that as I’ve discussed growing your audience, I haven’t used terms like “top of the funnel.”
This points to another key value point of a well-executed Content Syndication program – it can help you find prospects and accounts at all points of the purchase journey, not only at the initial engagement stage.
As our CMO Kay Kienast says, the best assets to offer via Content Syndication are the ones that you’ve found resonate with your ideal customer personas in your own database. This is true not only at the top of the funnel, but at more advanced stages of purchase research and consideration. B2B purchase decision-makers are always shopping, and you need to keep your message out there.
Think of Content Syndication as a value-added way to tap into databases that other providers have built. That database is going to include a mix of contacts who are at different stages of their purchase journey. Offer a full menu of assets and see what works in these new channels. Because again, it doesn’t matter where a lead is sourced, as long as it exhibits attributes and behaviors that predict closed business.
Certainly, most of our PersonaBase demand generation customers are interested in keeping their pipelines healthy with a steady flow of high-funnel leads. But we also work with them to fill gaps at all stages of their sales pipeline.
This is where intent data market intelligence becomes such a powerful tool – we can use it to identify accounts and prospects that are currently exhibiting interest, and then reach out with syndicated content that qualifies prospects at various purchase journey stages.
Once you collect enough response data on your Content Syndication channels, you can adjust your programs accordingly. It’s an affordable way to touch a broad audience segment, and then pull back a bit to focus on nurturing and other programs to get your pipeline moving.
Intent Signals: A Vital Part of the B2B Marketing Mix
As I said earlier, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to finding new customers. At True Influence, we recommend that our clients employ a mix of source channels and tactics. You need to respect the behaviors of your target market and customer personas and let prospects interact with you in the way that they find most comfortable.
That means sending email to folks who simply don’t want to click on a banner ad. It means being in paid search results for folks who spend all their time in Google. It even means picking up the phone and calling people who I like to call “digital non-responders” (really, these people do exist, and they often have big offices).
And across these channels, you need to be offering your best content to prospects, whether they are already in your database or not. Most marketers who responded to a 2017 benchmarking survey said they use Content Syndication as a core lead gen strategy, but they also recognize benefits in brand advocacy and building a reputation as a credible source of information.
It pays dividends across all your marketing activities.
Content Syndication Opens New Doors
Content Syndication is an essential tool for business-to-business sales and marketing teams to reach new audiences and keep their revenue pipelines healthy. Marketers need to view it as the tip of the spear for lead nurturing and advanced ABM strategies. If you’re not putting your best content in front of new prospects via Content Syndication, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your business.