Follow these steps to start your own Resource Marketing Program
Tasklist Description Explain to the user what they should do with this task list.
The buyer-driven sales process has changed the way companies market and sell their products and solutions. Prospects no longer wait to be spoon-fed information from a sales rep, instead they dive into the internet head first and seek solutions on their own. Companies have lost control of the critical moment of the sales cycle where they can set the agenda and stack the deck in their favor. This evolving world of the buyer-driven sales process requires a new approach where prospects can seek out information on their own while companies have the opportunity to guide that process and increase their odds of winning the deal.
The smart companies are learning that the right mix of content delivered at the right time is critical to their success. No longer can companies rely on brute force interrupt-driven marketing, they must embrace the change and participate in solving real problems for their prospects and customers. Enter the concept of Resource Marketing to the overall Inbound Marketing mix.
Resource Marketing fits into this new strategy by making targeted content assets readily available to engage with prospects on their own terms. Implementing this type of program enables companies to interact in a variety of relevant and valuable ways that solve problems, answer questions and stimulate ideas. Resource Marketing enables companies to:
With the buyer in control of the sales cycle from the onset the process companies need Resource Marketing to set the agenda early, establish their unique value and create long term loyalty.
Next let's take a look at three elements of Resource Marketing.
Resource Marketing helps you get in front of the buying process by engaging prospects early with valuable and relevant content creating loyalty and trust. To do this there are three elements of Resource Marketing in play - showcasing your expertise, engaging with the audience and finally identifying the visitors. Let's take a deeper look at each of these elements...
Attract Visitors by Showcasing Your Expertise
Your inbound marketing efforts create awareness and drive prospective buyers to your website. When the visitor arrives you have a very short window of time to grab their attention. Demonstrating your expertise around a particular topic or problem set can differentiate your business and keep the visitor from leaving quickly. Marketing Resources can be selectively woven into the website leading the visitor to a more comprehensive library (aka a listing page, directory or bookshelf) of resources that showcase your expertise.
Engage with Your Audience the Right Way
Resource Marketing is not just about creating a library of your content assets. To be successful you must first understand how your target buyer wants to consume information. Some buyers prefer long form written content while other buyers prefer videos, Slideshares or webinars . Choosing the right mix of resource types will help you to better engage with your audience and keep them returning over time.
Identify Visitors when it's Appropriate
Vistors to the website are anonymous and your success relies on getting those visitors to identify themselves. Unfortunately most visitors aren't interested in a phone call from your sales team minutes after they download their first white-paper. The best approach is to offer initial resources without requiring registration to build trust and gain the confidence of the visitor. Your marketing resources can build upon one another and as the visitor gets more engaged in the process and are ready to identify themselves as interested, you then ask for contact information. Using Resource Marketing in this way can help to reduce the number of unqualified leads and increase the effectiveness of your sales teams.
Let's take a look at how library listing help attract and encourage repeat visitors.
The main goal of Resource Marketing is to capture the attention of the website visitor by offering valuable and relevant content assets. This can be done one a one-off basis offering an individual asset to support a particular event, campaign or topic. The asset can be highlighted on the front page of a website, it can be offered as a call-to-action in a marketing campaign or it can be included in a more comprehensive library of marketing resources.
Some of the best marketing driven companies on the internet who use Resource Marketing to their advantage all have a commonality. Every one of them has a consolidated listing of their marketing resources that are aligned to their buyer. This listing is known by several names including resources page, resource library, marketing library, how-to guides, product guides, content listings and so on.
The Resource Marketing Library is beneficial to companies of all sizes and helps their marketing efforts...
When Resource Marketing is done right there is a viral effect that takes place with the potential buyers and their organizations. For example, the technical person who finds the solution overview and white paper interesting can share the library with the business line owner who may be more interested in the customer case studies and general market research.
Next let's take a look at the different types of information that companies use in their Resource Marketing programs.
A wide variety of formats are available for the content that will help shape the buyers experience and convert them into loyal customers. Marketing resources are the backbone of today's self-service sales cycles. Prospective customers don't begin their journey by calling your sales team. They start by investigating problems and seeking out innovative solutions. Once they find a potential solution or product, they want to investigate further on their own. They watch videos, attend webinars and read about how others solved similar problems. When the prospect is satisfied that the product or solution can solve their problem they may contact your sales team or in the case of most web-based solutions,they will simply sign up for a trial and see if they can reproduce the success of others. All along the way the availability of marketing resources can help the prospect avoid roadblocks and find their way to the value of your offering quickly.
Below are a listing of the types of Marketing Resources that companies use today to support the buyer driven sales process...
Help your visitors solve problems and learn from your expertise. How-to guides are a great way to demonstrate your ability to define a problem and delivery a valuable solution. Make sure to include plenty of pictures and links to examples or supplemental information found on the web.
Its no secret that the preferred method of learning of most website visitors is through video. Video stimulates the visual and the audio senses while delivering the most information in the shortest amount of time.
Webinars are a great way to talk to your audience through a specialized topic or presentation. If you already have webinars recorded, re-purpose them for your Resource Marketing program by adding them to your library listings.
Customer Examples & Case Studies
As the old saying goes "nothing draws a crowd like a crowd". Using customer examples and case studies are a sure fire way to help the visitor relate your product, service or solution to their own needs.
Problem & Solution Guides
Similar to a How-to guide, the problem and solution guide is more focused on a particular problem and showcases your product or service as the solution. The problem & solution guide is a great way to leverage your company expertise and demonstrate that your abilities.
Technical White-papers are long form content that are created to help promote your product, service or solution. These documents can help you demonstrate thought leadership on a topic and make a business case for your product or solution.
Industry Best Practices
Go beyond your own company and help your audience understand the bigger picture trends in the industry. Create quarterly or semi-yearly briefs that explain what is going on in the industry and the way companies are solving their biggest challenges. Add your own color and examples from your customer base to validate the discussion.
Research Summaries and Reports
People love data and love when you share data with them. Track the release of research reports that have information relevant to your target audience. When something of interest makes its way into the public domain create your own take on that research and publish a summary the offers your unique insights.
Tools, Templates & Freebies
There many tools, templates & freebies that you can offer to engage with your audience. Don't limit yourself to your product, service or solution. Think about the tools needed to help the person get to the point where they need you. For example, if you are web development company you can offer a set of basic website templates for free, restaurants can offer free recipes, accounts can give away tax planning tools and real estate agents can offer buying criteria worksheets.
Resource Marketing gives a business the ability to trade information with their website visitors. Companies give advice and share expertise and in return they want contact information that will go into the top of the marketing funnel.
Of course, not all content is created equal and not all visitors should be added to the marketing funnel. Building a database of useless contacts may drive top of the funnel numbers but it won't create a positive impact for the business. This is where Resource Marketing as a discipline can prove itself as an advantage. Knowing the value of the content and knowing the needs of the audience can assist the business in determining which resources are deserving of a registration and which should be given away completely free.
Just like any relationship you have to earn trust over time. Resource Marketing enables the business to offer assets like How-to Guides, Planners, Checklists and webinars on an ongoing basis and require that some of those assets (or all) are exchanged only when the visitor identifies themselves.
Capturing lead information is a tricky business and in resource marketing it is no different. Ask for too much information too soon and visitors will bounce before you can interact with them. Give too much away and you'll never add to your marketing funnel.
Next Up, learn how to get started with your own Resource Marketing program.
Tasklist Description Explain to the user what they should do with this task list.
Different types of buyers are looking for different information. For example, the technical buyer seeks long form content that provides great details while the business buyer seeks information that highlights the problems that you can solve. Knowing your buyers will help you better select your resources.
To improve your ability to engage with the website visitor create separate targeted resource listings that showcase the content that will immediately grab their attention.
Use your Marketing Resources and your library as the call-to-action for your outbound marketing efforts. Highlight new content in your social media feeds or promote a really valuable asset in your email newsletters or on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ads.
Each Marketing Resource can benefit from having a landing page that explains the resource in more detail and gives the visitor the ability to access the information. Integrate your web analytics into your landing pages to help you track your visitors and their activities.
Asking for visitor contact information for low value content will only drive away potential customers. Start your Resource Marketing relationship with a low barrier and build trust and loyalty. Use Lead Capture forms only for high value assets or at a time in the buyer's cycle where they are ready to self-identify as prospects.
When you do receive inbound leads from your Resource Marketing program integrate them into your other processes such as marketing automation or into your sales process.
Guide-a-rama is a resource marketing platform that enables marketing teams to showcase their expertise, engage with website visitors and capture leads. Watch this quick 1 minute video that explains Guide-a-rama....
A Resource Marketing Microsite
Add Marketing resources such as downloadable files like PDFs, PPTs and DOCs or embed streaming media like YouTube and Vimeo Videos and you'll get an embedable Resources page that lists your assets by category.
Instant Landing Pages
Select the lead capture option when you add a marketing resource and Guide-a-rama will automatically create a beautiful landing page optimized for mobile devices.
Lead Collection & MailChimp Integration
Guide-a-rama collects your leads and keeps track of the resources they have accessed. You can have individual leads emailed to you upon creation or you can download the lead list as a spreadsheet compatible CSV file. For those who are using MailChimp to manage their marketing lists we have a pre-built integration that will automatically send the leads into the MailChimp marketing list of your choice.
Amazing Marketing Guide Builder
We've included our Marketing Guide Builder with every Guide-a-rama subscription to enable you to quickly create and publish How-to Guides, Step-by-Step instruction guides and more. The Marketing Guides are built using a responsive layout which means that they look great on an iPad, iPhone and most every other tablet and smartphone out there.
Start Your Resource Marketing Program Today!
Get a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL. No Credit Card needed to get started.