The ROI of Content Marketing for IT Vendors
Given the long and complex sales cycles for IT products, content marketing is a good fit because it can:
- Provide the different types of content, from in-depth explanatory white papers to quick customer references that IT customers need at various points in the sales cycle.
- Help a vendor track of prospects long before they are ready to buy, “nurturing” those who are early in the sales cycle and not making expensive sales calls to them until the prospect is ready.
- Cuts costs while increasing effectiveness and agility by automating the process of tracking prospect’s actions, scoring them, and choosing which follow-up content or actions to take with them.
- Helps demonstrate ROI and guide future spending by measuring the effectiveness of each marketing campaign.
- Improves coordination between sales and marketing by automatically sending actionable leads, with information about what they have read and how they score as a prospect, to the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Some examples of the return on investment IT-related sellers have seen from various marketing automation tools:
- VMware increased lead quality by 50 percent and doubled its close rate for its end user software offerings by using Loop Fuse to customize scoring for prospects, thus improving the quality of its leads.
- Online meeting service provider Dimdim saw an 86% improvement in sales conversion rate, a 150% increase in number of scheduled weekly sales demos and a 216% improvement in the velocity of sales (reduction in time from lead to sale closing) after using LoopFuse to integrate users’ behavioral data into lead nurturing programs.
- Zuora, a provider of online subscription billing and commerce, used Marketo to help drive a 460% boost in average contract value by qualifying, prioritizing and nurturing leads.
- Viridity, a provider of energy resource management software for data centers, used HubSpot (which also provides search engine optimization) to achieve a 17X increase in organic search traffic, attract more than 350 leads, and increase the conversion rate for landing pages by almost 15 percent.
- Opsview, a UK-based software company providing enterprise-level management and monitoring for distributed IT infrastructures, saw opportunities fed to its CRM system rise 95 percent quarter-over-quarter, with a 30 percent increase in pre-qualified leads bookings in the form of revenue rising 178 percent since marketing automation was implemented.
- By speeding its existing email nurturing campaign, security vendor Lumension saw a 225% increase in sales-ready leads, 376% more engagements (such as content downloads and form completion) per lead, and 27% of sales opportunities generated from the list becoming customers.
As they say in the advertising world, your results may vary. Among the variables are how well you choose your automation platform, the accuracy with which you create your scoring criteria, and the quality of your content. But done properly, content marketing (based on quality content) can reduce the cost and increase the quality of your lead generation efforts.