Intent Makes B2B Content Syndication a Powerful Strategic Prospecting Tool
Content Syndication is a great way to expand your audience and reach new, highly qualified B2B prospects with your best content. B2B content syndication connects you with potential customers you may not even know are shopping for what you are selling.
But to see meaningful ROI on your B2B content syndication investment, you need to know exactly where to find these qualified buyers with active purchase intent, and you have to be confident that they match your well-defined B2B buyer personas.
Otherwise, you’re just playing a guessing game. And that can get expensive.
SAP Finds the Right Content Syndication Prospects with Intent
Like most B2B sellers, SAP included content syndication in its demand gen programs. There’s nothing remarkable about that — more than 67 percent of sellers look to content syndication as a lead source.
But Nick Robinson, SAP North America’s Digital Demand Generation Director, found that simply buying bulk respondents from B2B content syndication networks was proving to be a waste of his budget.
Sure, the respondent had interacted with SAP’s content, but there was no way to be certain that the company where the lead works is actually in-market – the respondent may have just have a personal interest in enterprise software. Or the contact might not be in a position to meaningfully influence that final purchase decision.
“We would go to media providers and say ‘give us a very broad segment of responders back so that we can market to them,’” Robinson said. “But what we realized over time was, there was a lot of waste in that type of media buying because we weren’t reaching people that would ever be in the market to buy solutions that we provide.”
Robinson’s new approach? He partnered with True Influence’s PersonaBase™ -B2B content syndication- to harness the power of intent data to find decision-makers within accounts that are actively in-market for SAP’s products.
PersonaBase™ uses True Influence’s advanced purchase intent monitoring technology to identify accounts that are actively researching topics that relate to your products (and those of your competitors, as well). It then couples this intelligence with a database of more than 500+ million B2B contacts to find key decision-makers in companies that are looking to buy.
Adding this layer of sophisticated targeting was a key step in SAP’s move to Account Based Marketing (ABM) and the realization that and investment in smart B2B content syndication can pay big dividends.
“We don’t need to spend as much money to reach the accounts we need to market and sell to,” Robinson said of the results SAP has seen with PersonaBase. “And what that has resulted in is greater efficiency of dollars that we can we can actually spend elsewhere, on other marketing tactics.”
Intent Takes the Guesswork out B2B Content Syndication
As with all marketing programs, B2B content syndication comes with both expense and risk. Syndication programs can demand a healthy chunk of your budget, and if you aren’t reaching the right prospects, your Marketing and Inside Sales teams will end up spinning gears as they try to nurture and book appointments with accounts that just aren’t ready for your business.
Intent signal monitoring reduces these risks dramatically by pinpointing accounts that are actively in market by tracking billions of signals — whitepaper downloads, blog post reads, webinar attendance — that indicate purchase research. Detailed analytics find meaningful trends in this data and maps intent signals to individuals within active accounts and topics.
Your content syndication programs create top-quality leads that convert at a high rate, yielding exceptional ROI.
As True Influence’s CMO Kay Kienast puts in this column at Demand Gen Report:
Quite simply, intent data can help identify higher quality leads by giving you the insight and understanding of when, where and what topics your prospects are exploring.
Your funnel stays healthy, Sales closes more deals, and the market-wide intelligence that drives your B2B content syndication programs gives you a clear picture of the Total Active Market for your products and services.
Content Syndication as a Strategic Prospecting Tool
As you’ve gathered by now, intent-driven B2B content syndication provides a wide range of benefits to your Sales and Marketing teams. But to make content syndication pay off, you need a partner that has the right technology, the right data, and the expertise to design programs that will push your business forward. Content Syndication is more than just a source for leads — it’s a key part of your strategic prospecting strategy.
As you evaluate your next steps, here are a few tips to help you reap the benefits that SAP and other leading companies are recognizing from intent-driven B2B content syndication.
Hone your buyer personas
Before you can successfully find and target prospects who aren’t on your house lists, you need to know exactly what type of respondent matches your ideal customer profile. And many B2B sellers have not laid this groundwork.
Beyond simple job titles, you need to determine the firmographic and technographic details that make a contact a truly strategic prospect. And you need to have a clear picture of the geographic and sales coverage criteria that will make a prospect genuinely attractive to Sales — there’s no reason to nurture a lead in Omaha if you don’t sell in Omaha.
Develop a crystal-clear picture of who you want to sell to, and be sure your B2B content syndication partner has the data and technology to target exactly those prospects.
Lead with your absolute best content
More than 40 percent of marketers report that they’ve lost business because they did not have the right content. Don’t let your B2B content syndication programs fall into this trap.
You’ll find content that works best in your in-house campaigns will also be your most valuable in B2B content syndication. After all, you’re targeting the same buyer personas. And remember that great content does not come cheap. Demand Gen Report’s recent Content Preferences survey found that B2B prospects are most willing to provide personal information in exchange for webinars (63 percent) and whitepapers (49 percent).
Often, retooling high-value topical content across numerous formats is a great way to create high-value assets for each point in your funnel. For example, the research that goes into a whitepaper can be the basis of a great webinar.
Use Content Syndication at Every Stage of the Customer Journey
As you probably noticed, we just advised that you want to develop assets for B2B content syndication campaigns at each stage in your marketing funnel. That’s because content syndication is a great source for high-quality leads at all stages, and a powerful variable resource for filling gaps if your in-house campaigns fall short in a given quarter.
That’s not to say you should view B2B content syndication only as an emergency measure – we strongly encourage our customers here at True Influence to continuously incorporate B2B content syndication in their demand gen strategy. But it’s nice to have a plan B when the pipeline looks a little thin.
Treat Content Syndication Leads Just As You Do Your Best In-House Leads
We often find that our customers either rush content syndication leads directly to Inside Sales, or just drop them in bulk into a generic nurturing program. Neither of these approaches make sense.
A smartly crafted B2B content syndication program, including intent signal monitoring, will indicate the purchase intent of every lead it generates — just as if the response were generated from an in-house list.
Remember that decision-makers read between three and seven high-value pieces of content before they want to talk to Sales. Unless your metrics tell you that you’ve caught a hot prospect at the right time (and that does happen), find the correct entry point in your nurturing workflows for every content syndication lead. They will perform exceptionally.
Always be willing to learn
A key benefit of content syndication is that as you cast a wider net with your best content, you may find out a little more about exactly what constitutes your ideal customer profile. As we said earlier, you should always be focused on your core buyer personas, but B2B content syndication programs will, but their nature, introduce you to prospects you haven’t met yet.
Quantifying why these prospects are interested in you and why they lead to sales — particularly through the added lense of intent — will grow your understanding of your market and further refine your strategic prospecting strategy.
B2B Content Syndication Comes of Age
With the added focus of intent, B2B content syndication has evolved past beyond simply being a source for more bulk leads that meet a few basic demographic filters. Content Syndication is now a key part of strategic prospecting for Account-Based Marketing and other data-driven sales programs.