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Two Case Studies That Analyze The Benefits From Content Marketing

Two Case Studies That Analyze The Benefits From Content Marketing Ian McGrath
In a recent column on this website, I had mentioned how even the most savvy B2B marketers struggle with content marketing. It is not because these marketers do not realize the potential with this strategy. Rather, it is because B2B industries are often deemed “boring” with little scope for experimenting with content strategies. In reality though, that is not the case.

In this article, we will take you through three case studies where businesses used content marketing effectively to reach their targets.

'Get Optimistic' by Xerox

The 'Get Optimistic' content marketing campaign was launched by Xerox in early 2012 after initial studies showed that there was little to no difference between Xerox and its competitors when it came to value propositions. It seamlessly integrated the company's content marketing with sales outreach. The campaign began with targeted biweekly emails to prospects that directed prospects to a personalized microsite.

This email was followed by a series of phone calls from the Xerox sales team to the targets. This was followed by the launch of a 'Chief Optimist' magazine in partnership with Forbes which was then sent to the prospects. The results from the campaign were staggering. Over 70% of the targeted prospects interacted with the microsite. Compared to the company's earlier email marketing campaigns, readership rose by almost 300-400% and the prospect list grew by close to 20,000 with over $1.3 billion in pipeline revenue. Xerox won the ITSMA Marketing Excellence Award for this content marketing campaign.

Content Marketing In The Shipping Industry

Mention content marketing and the shipping industry is not something that would come to your mind. Yet Shipserv, a leading marketplace in the maritime industry did it and was able to achieve nearly five times the returns from traditional media marketing. It is often suggested that content marketing should be complemented with social media marketing for reaching your targets. However, marketers often fail to realize the importance of this.

Shipserv, on the other hand, handled this effectively although their traditional customer base did not use the social web. The company started with first understanding the information needs of customers. They followed this with blog articles that featured customers – this was a strategy to initiate conversations within the industry. The blog content was complemented with whitepapers that were published on their website. With a treasure trove of original and valuable content for the industry now with them, Shipserv began promoting the content across the social media through blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, videos and podcasts. The returns were stunning. Shipserv increased their contact-to-lead conversion by 150% with the number of sales-ready leads raising by over 400%. The company was able to break-even on its $30,000 social media investment in less than three months.

A recurring reason for marketers to fail with content marketing is that there is little to no effort in terms of marketing the content or integrating it with other sales and marketing channels. Publishing blog articles on your website or producing videos is just 'content'. What markes content marketing effective is marketing your content. When your targeted audience come across your company through a non-commercial content piece, they are more likely to explore your business with an open mind (as compared to clicking on an advertisement). The challenge with content marketing is not with coming up with the right content, but in being able to translate this content into a lead-magnet and be in a position to reach out to the prospects. This is an opportunity that your business would miss if you do not take content marketing seriously.

Ian McGrath is a consulting professional with over 10 years of experience in product marketing. He has spent considerable time in consulting businesses in Australia, India and Canada. He is currently working on an assignment in Bangalore, India.

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