Content marketing is a widely recognized driver for effective, inbound sales lead generation programs.
And there is nothing wrong with that traditional value equation of content marketing as digital lead generation tool.
While it is true, and I argue is much in my book The Invisible Sale, today’s self educating prospects are increasingly turning to the digital world to research agency hiring decisions prior to talking to any agencies. These referrals continue to play an important role in every ad agency business development program. As your ad agency publishes content on your website and speaks at relevant events and conferences you are effectively establishing a reputation.
One of the biggest benefits of establishing third-party, social proof of your expertise is that it gives your closest friends permission to recommend your agency be hired. If your friend’s motivation is called into question it effectively tarnishes and possibly sabotages the referral.
By establishing a reputation validated through your publishing and speaking efforts you effectively give that friend or former colleague permission to recommend your agency. Can you see how this gives Bob the permission he needs to strongly recommend you and your agency as a resource for his company or his organization? Giving your friends, former colleagues and even current clients permission to recommend your agency is the biggest secret weapon of a strategically focused content marketing program. Research shows that today's a€?self-educated buyersa€? are more than halfway through the buying decision process before they even contact you.
About Tom MartinTom is 20+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and digital gadgets that helps digitally challenged companies create innovative and effective digital marketing strategies. Well, it’s the era of Social Media and content is required each day to be shared and pushed forward in order to get some exposure. The variety of options for customer marketing and engagement ranging from social media to SEO to email marketing to online advertising can be overwhelming. Answering that question starts with a clear understanding of goals, customers and a flexible online marketing strategy that assembles the right mix of tactics and measurement practices. A big part of the answer is through the intersection of social media, SEO and content marketing.
Most corporate marketing is structured to create content around products & services vs. Content fuels customer engagement at all stages of the customer life cycle from top of funnel to ongoing relationship.A Content can educate customers about your products and services. The challenge is for companies to rethink their content marketing strategy and incorporate Social Media and SEO in order to fulfill customer expectations for ease of discovery, consumption and sharing. I’ll be talking about this topic today at SES Accelerator in San Diego, providing specific guidelines for companies that want to leverage the most effective tactics for customer acquisition and engagement through search, social and content marketing.
There is a new kind of economy in the marketplace—the “subscription economy.” Subscription models, like those used by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, create a much lower barrier for entry for customers and allow for much higher adoption rates of new and innovative services. However, delivering an amazing customer experience shouldn’t fall entirely on the shoulders of your customer success team.
That’s why Influitive paired up with the customer success specialists at Gainsight to explain how this can be done. Download the full eBook for more advice on how aligning your marketing and customer success strategies can bring your customer’s experience to the next level.
Cassandra Jowett is the Content Marketing Manager at Influitive, the advocate marketing experts.


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Progressive companies are now using predictive analytics to deliver an optimal service experience before a customer calls to complain or responds to a survey.
While largely heralded as a way to drive inbound leads there is another, even more powerful reason that ad agencies should develop a consistent content marketing program.
Whether in the form of an email, white paper, blog post, or a podcast content is the fuel of any inbound marketing program. But there is another, possibly more important role for content marketing to play in your agency’s new business program. However, it is also true that those same prospects continue to ask their friends and colleagues for advice and input as they research their agency options.
It is this social proof, that others can reference to support their opinion of your expertise.
Some of your strongest allies, the people that probably most respect you, are likely former colleagues and close friends. Think about it for a second.A The underlying motivation behind a referral is the heart and power of referral marketing. Because now they are not recommending your agency because you are their friend or because you used to work together.
Take the first step in building your own Painless Prospecting platform that drives leads while you sleep.
He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. If Social Media and SEO fit together like peanut butter and jelly then content is the bread that holds them together. They want to be educated and their behaviors for information discovery, consumption and sharing have changed. They expect ease of discovery (via search or social), the ability to interact with and socially share content and to interact with others with similar interests (social networking).
On top of that, content must educate and make it easy to follow a logical conclusion to buy.
Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. Your marketing team’s efforts should be aligned with your customer success strategy to create a better experience throughout the entire customer lifecycle. In our latest eBook, Customer Success and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Unlocking Customer Advocacy, you’ll learn how to leverage the strengths of your customer success and marketing teams to develop loyal and dedicated advocates among your customer base.
Surrounding your buyers with social proof generated by advocates reinforces the wisdom of their decision to sign on with you. Introducing members from both the customer success and marketing teams during your first kickoff meeting provides a “soft  intro” so marketing can reach out later. Once your new customer has experienced their first taste of real value from your product, this is the time for marketing and customer success to lay the foundation for advocacy. Have your customer success team identify other users and customer executives who can be converted into advocates by the marketing team.
With a background in journalism and 7+ years in startup marketing, she's passionate about sharing insights, best practices and stories about advocate marketing, and the people and technology that power it. Join this Mastery Webinar for leading-edge thinking and examples of "predictive customer service," including how signals from the Internet of Things can predict service failures and enable the organization to be proactive.


Held May 17-19 in Denver, Colorado, this event will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence.
SCORE 2016 will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence. Common thinking A suggests creating lots of helpful content grows your agency’s website traffic as potential clients are self educating.
As these colleagues and friends move on to companies for which your agency can do work, they have the opportunity to refer you and your firm for relevant new business opportunities.
If you believe someone refers a partner based on ability, the referral makes you more open to the idea of hiring the referred agency. No, instead, they are recommending you as an expert with whom they just so happen to have a relationship. And best of all, do you see how this social proof actually makes your agency more seductive?
So, it’s must for all agencies to start targeting on their content marketing strategies.
Content is a crucial part of a social media strategy and therefore an understanding of customer-centric social content is essential.
It can continue to reinforce the relationship and inspire renewals, upgrades and referrals. A The companies that do those things best, will win the incredibly competitive online marketing race we’re in.
When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.
Creating long-term relationships with your customers— and turning them into successful advocates for your brand—is much easier when these teams work together. Advocates can be found by your marketing team via discussions on social networks and communities across the web, or identified by your customer success team when they’re looking for customer case studies or testimonials.
Marketing may also have the budget to send a card and a small token of appreciation to welcome your newest customer to the family. Take advantage of that by ask them to join your advocate marketing program as soon as they start the onboarding process.
Celebrate the win, both internally and externally with the customer, and start building their success story. Make these new contacts feel valued and provide them with content and programs tailored specifically for their relative positions and roles. Attendees will also receive two special reports focused on research and best practices for CX leadership. If done well, the content entices these invisible client prospects to identify themselves by downloading something from your website or subscribing to receive a newsletter or your agency’s blog posts by email.
But, should you doubt the authenticity of the referral, you actually penalize the prospective agency (in your mind).
However, the abundance of publishing tools and platforms nowA makes it possible for companies to create content and media that rivals some news organizations. Because in the absence of third-party social proof, it could be assumed internally by your friend’s co-workers, that your friend is only recommending you out of respect for your friendship and past working relationship.



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