For those of us in marketing and sales, fall means more than pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather. If you’re like us, your mind is on not just 2022 planning but also thoughts of how you’ll make the most of the final months of 2021. So how will you reel in more sales before the year draws to a close?
Good question. You already know that lead generation is a critical part of your marketing. It requires a thoughtfully crafted strategy and long-term nurturing. But generating qualified leads can also include some scrappier tactics you can execute pretty easily right now. Give your Q4 marketing plans a turbo boost with these approaches to content, events, sponsorships and social and paid media—none of which require much planning or lead time.
The "R" Word
Chances are you’ve already created some really strong content this year and maybe well before that. But how often do you repurpose that information, finding new ways to leverage it? This is key to feeding the insatiable lead-gen beast, and now is as good a time as any to see your content with new eyes.
Maybe you give it fresh packaging with some design tweaks, or perhaps you can break up a longer piece of content into pieces to create a series. The draw on your resources of time and money is typically much less when you can recast what you already have; and the odds that your customers or prospects will have already seen (and remember) the content in its previous form are very low. Especially if the content is evergreen and bears repeating on an important topic.
Here are a couple more examples of ways to repurpose your existing content to give it new life:
Blog Posts > Ebook:
- Ebooks (and related formats like guides, playbooks and whitepapers) are hard-working content since they can be gated. That means your audience must fill out a form to access it, giving you more information about prospects and, of course, turning them into qualified leads. (I’ll talk more about promotional options for Ebooks below.)
- If you regularly post to your company blog, look there first. Start by identifying themes or topics around which to gather related posts. Can you organize them in a logical way that takes a customer through an experience or educates them on a topic they care about in a logical way? These posts then become chapters to your Ebook. You may find that you have most of the content you need for an Ebook, but need to create just one or two additional chapters and perhaps an introduction to fill it out. That’s still an easier lift for your team than creating a 30-page Ebook from scratch. There are plenty of sites with templates you can pick up for an Ebook, guide or white paper, thereby shortening design and production time, too.
Customer stories > Webinar, case study:
- Don’t let any kudos and kind words your clients have shared with you go to waste. Turn them into case studies your marketing team creates to show how your product or service works in the real world. Those generous customers who happily shared their story may also be up for talking about it in a webinar or other event. Not only does this let you showcase the vote of confidence from a peer in public safety, but your customer will naturally talk about the tangible results they’ve seen in working with you. It’s not possible to put a value on the credibility established through a person-to-person connection like this. (Read more about the value of letting your customers tell your story and how to master it.)
- The virtual event also gives prospects the chance to ask questions of someone whose job may look a lot like theirs. If you’re lucky, your client(s) may even be willing to co-promote the webinar, boosting your registration numbers. (A word to the wise: Be sure any content you share isn’t sales-focused, but rather educational. So instead of spending time demonstrating your product, let attendees see your customer’s journey, especially what they learned and what helped them along the way.)
Growing Your Reach
Once you’ve chosen the content to promote to your public safety customers, you need to get it in front of them. A willingness to invest in sponsored activities can vastly expand your audience reach. Here are some of the most effective options we’ve seen for sponsorships:
- When you pay a fee to sponsor a virtual event through an industry media or association partner (such asEMS1 in the EMS industry or theNational Emergency Number Association (NENA) in 911/emergency communications) you’ll get help organizing and developing the webinar, as well as advertising it to their large email lists. A sponsored webinar typically costs around $5,000 to $7,000 and is promoted to a list of 20,000 or more email addresses. That’s a pretty large audience you’re able to reach. The pre-webinar campaign to drive registrations is fantastic advertising for your organization.
- If your client is joining you as a co-host, they’re hearing about your organization through the experience of your customer, demonstrating thought leadership as webinar presenters and peer proof with your customer experience. Great combo.
- Post-webinar, you’ll receive an email list from your media partner with the contact information for webinar registrants. In other words: leads! In addition to reaching out to attendees, this is an excellent way to build your email list for future marketing communications. If your sponsorship includes a follow-up email to attendees from your media partner, that’s an excellent time to share a link to new or repurposed content.
- Also important to remember: In nearly all cases, your webinar will be recorded and promoted for up to six months after the event, giving this content a fairly long lifespan.
- Again, you can opt to send a sponsored email (aka Eblast) through an industry media outlet likeUrgent Communications,All Things ECC,EMS World orFireRescue1 or through an association likeNational Volunteer Fire Council or theInternational Association of Chiefs of Police.
- This is an ideal way to share some of your premium content, like an Ebook, white paper, trend report, guide or the like, and direct visitors to your site, where they can download the content in exchange for sharing their contact information (new leads). They may also take a spin around your site, so make sure you have clear calls to action—whether it’s an email newsletter sign-up form or a link to a “let’s talk” page—that make it easy for new leads to get into your sales pipeline.
- You may also want to try multivariate or A/B testing with the subject line of your Eblast. By testing different messages, you can continue to fine-tune your messaging to see which resonates most with your audience. Keep in mind that Eblast inventory can go quickly, so reach out to any media or organizations to check availability and book your Eblast send date(s) as soon as you can.
Email Lists (lease or buy)
- A strong emphasis on email list-building is always a marketing best practice, but because purchasing or leasing and cleaning up a list is a fairly quick process, this is another route to consider for your Q4 efforts to promote content and capture leads. To reach public safety, organizations such asSafety Source offer lists for lease for a period of time (usually one year).
Paid Social Media Campaigns
- One of the best things about social campaigns is that they’re speedy to set up and have great potential for ROI. We’ve found particular success with LinkedIn ads, so I’ll focus here on those. A new campaign should run for two to three months and have multiple ad variations, meaning different combinations of imagery and copy, to test which resonate most with your audience. You can see immediate results with these ads (and LinkedIn tracks analytics), but the real value comes in as you optimize them. Over time, as you tweak content and photos or images, you’re likely to see even more engagement and leads flow into your pipeline.
So even though the calendar says 2021 is coming to a close, there’s still time to make some marketing magic. The key is compelling content and making sure it gets ample exposure, ideally to wider audiences than you typically tap, before we hit the holidays.