When it comes to B2B direct marketing in the HR marketplace (and beyond), it's important to differentiate two things:
I've managed hundreds of campaigns for clients big and small, and if there's one thing that never changes, it's this question:
- Content marketing to cold prospects (prospecting)
- Content and product/service marketing for warming leads (lead nurturing)
How many leads can we expect?
Let's get one thing clear - just because someone downloads your white paper, research report, signs up for your Webcast, etc., doesn't mean she's a lead.
Our captain of sales and biz dev, Jonathan Goodman, reminded me of that when I posted the question in our HRmarketer.com LinkedIn Group:
Content marketing converts more leads than demo and other pure-play marketing campaigns. Yay or nay?
Correction - content marketing warms more cold prospects up to you more than demo and other pure-play marketing campaigns.
Let me give you an example. One of our clients, KnowledgePay, a new compensation management software firm, first hit HRmarketer's list of (now) over 80K HR decision makers with a white paper email direct marketing campaign back in May, and the results were as follows:
Not bad compared to some industry standards from MailerMailer's Email Marketing Metrics Report. Of course we included some media pitching, search-optimized press releases and social media marketing in the mix, but the bulk of these came from the direct marketing campaign. And yes, the topic of compensation management is a big one of late.
- 14% open rate
- 9% click-thru rate
- Over 400 white paper downloads
But how many of those were really leads? Most weren't. To date they're still following up, but only a smaller percentage ever become warmer leads and eventually sales.
Marketing and PR is hard work as I mentioned in a previous post. You must continually include your "prospects" in your content marketing campaigns - but at some point your sales teams will need to introduce your products and services and ask them for the sales dance.
This scenario plays out again and again with companies, and even I get excited about new prospects from our own HRmarketer downloads, whether we require registration or not. But they still ain't warm leads.
The content marketing builds confidence with your prospects and grows your credibility, but the point they become a true lead is when they're willing to have a product/service conversation with you based on their organization's needs.
That's when you're getting warmer.
Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)
Labels: content marketing, lead generation, marketing and PR, search-optimized press releases, social media marketing, visibility, website traffic