Part of the challenge that marketers have in creating B2B content marketing programs that deliver on the goals set for them is that it takes more than content + email to = results.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
Program Goal: Building brand awareness for your company, solutions and expertise with newly acquired leads.
Content Offers: Analyst research papers discussing topics of interest.
Do you see anything wrong with the alignment of the goal and content offers?
There's no relationship from one to the other. The analyst research papers promote the analyst's expertise and are likely not specific enough to address the way your solutions will help your prospects solve their problems with your company's help. At least not in any way that would differentiate you from your competitors.
[Unless, of course, you sponsored a paper that specifically covers your solutions. However, I'd advise that this is likely later-stage content that what's needed to address the premise of this program.]
Instead, try this approach:
- Write a series of articles that express your company's expertise in relation to a specific issue that your newly acquired leads may be addressing.
- Quote specific statements or statistics used by the analyst white paper(s) to support your perspective and align your company with an analyst that already has credibility with your target market.
- Offer the analyst paper(s) as bonus content in addition to your articles - this might also be a good time to ask one or two profiling questions to help learn more about the leads in exchange for the analyst paper download-after they read your article.
When you approach the construction of your marketing program in this way, your content offers will align with your goal to build awareness of your brand, solution and expertise. The added bump is the alignment and substantiation from the bonus offer of the analyst white paper.
Using 3rd party expertise can be very helpful to the achievement of your goals for marketing programs. It's all in how you go about using it in support of your goals.
Content is not just about sharing information. It needs to align with a defined purpose/goal in order for you to create content marketing programs that actually deliver the results you're after.
Now, here's the flip side that would make the offers of 3rd party analyst papers work:
If your goal is to become a source for valuable information or to drive download registrations you can then filter into a program like the one above, then use them. Just don't believe that the newly acquired opt ins are actually leads until you do more work on engaging with them with your own content, rather than someone else's.
B2B buying is still about building a relationship and proving that you can deliver on what you promise your solutions will enable. Your prospects aren't buying from the 3rd party analyst, so they're going to need you to put your cards on the table before they take next steps.