What is the secret to content marketing success for
B2B brands? Largely it comes down to delivering the right pieces to the right
audiences at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
A firm that truly gets this is BetterWorks. The
performance management software company excels at creating content – from informative
whitepapers to engaging webinars and beautifully produced case studies – that
perfectly cater to potential customers’ needs at each step of the sales funnel.
Recently we chatted with Masha Finkelstein, Director
of Demand Generation, and Aaron
Levin, Product Marketing Lead, to learn more about how BetterWorks approaches
its content strategy and development.
out the Q&A below:
Q: Before we dive in, can you quickly explain what BetterWorks is?
is a software platform that enables companies to implement a continuous
performance management process.
Traditional performance management has been
annual reviews where managers and employees discuss things like compensation,
More and more companies are looking to change
that by having frequent, ongoing conversations with their employees throughout
the year. That way they can provide meaningful feedback earlier, rather than
waiting for the end of the year.
Our software helps companies do that continuous
performance management through structured goal setting, feedback, conversations,
Q: What role does content play for BetterWorks? What are the goals for
the content you are creating?
A: We use content throughout the lead
So, we start with broad content marketing; we
create pieces to educate our prospects about the space in general. Then there’s
content that helps us educate about the products specifically. Then there is
content that helps to answer questions which individual leads might have.
Q: What types of content are you creating?
We have a wide range, including e-books, white
papers, data sheets, webinars, infographics, and blog posts.
And within each medium, there are multiple areas
of focus. So, for example, we’ll create specific types of blog posts for search
engine optimization. Or we’ll do some white papers where we work with analyst
firms and publishers in HR space to come up with content.
We aim to create content that covers all
aspects of the buying cycle for our customers. Whether it’s early on and they need
thought-leadership type content – or maybe for a webinar or a white paper –
all the way down the funnel to the very end where someone may want to
understand how exactly our products work. For that we might provide a detailed
data sheet. And then there are all the pieces of content in-between.
Q: So, you’re mapping the content to the buyer’s journey?
A: The buyer journey as well as our target
personas. For our products we have both decision makers and influencers who we
are engaging with.
Moreover, we have different types of buyers.
So, for enterprise companies we may need one type of content whereas for
smaller or mid-size companies we might need something else
Q: How are you creating content? Is it all done in-house?
A: Almost all of it is created in-house. We
have a team of content writers for text pieces. For something like the videos
we will use outside resources. We go in knowing what we want to do – the script
and all that – but will work with an agency for the filming and editing.
We also create some partner content, for
example with the Harvard Business Review or MIT Technology Review. Also with
some more HR-specific publications.
Q: We noticed that you guys are creating a lot of video,
including for things like case studies which are traditionally presented via
text. Is video an intentional area of focus?
A: It’s definitely intentional for us.
Video is a great way for us to let customers
share their stories. Nothing is more powerful than hearing from customers
themselves, rather than us writing what they are saying.
We have an annual conference where we invite
tons of prospects and customers to participate and we take advantage of that
for filming. We will ask our customers if they are interested in stopping by
and being interviewed for a case study.
Our sales team really benefits from the focus
on video. They love being able to send out pieces that relate to what they are
talking about. Each of the case studies that we create has a different theme,
so when our salespeople are talking with a prospect they are able to match up
which video will be most interesting and send it over.
Q: How do you ensure your content
reaches its intended audiences? Which distribution channels work well for you?
A: We use a number of different channels. For
example, for some accounts we’ll use Terminus to reach the right targets across
the web. LinkedIn works really well for us too; it allows us to get highly
granular with our targeting. As does paid search.
Then there’s emails. We do a lot of emails. Whenever
we see someone is interested in something on our site, we send them down a path
of similar content. We also do real-time nurturing, so we trigger an email to
send a certain time after someone visits or takes action.
Q: How do you measure success? Which metrics do you pay close attention
A: We track marketing attribution carefully,
and what matters most is pipeline and revenue. We want to make sure that all of
our channels are contributing.
We believe multi-touch marketing is very much
multi-touch, so we believe our ads should influence organic traffic and our PR
should tie into our paid spend. All of that, the marketing attribution, is
definitely an art and a science.
Q: Are there any digital tools or
platforms that you find particularly useful?
A: We have a pretty large technology stack.
Some favorites when it comes to content: for marketing attribution we use
Visible; LookBookHQ is great for delivering the most relevant content; Terminus
for an account based marketing platform.
And something new that we’re testing is PFL,
which is a direct mail provider that plugs directly into our marketing
Q: Final question: Do you have any favorite pieces of BetterWorks
A: One is our HR Executive’s Guide to
Developing a Feedback Culture. It’s a white paper we
recently produced which captures what we do very well.
In general our webinars are great. They have
been really successful. For example, we’ve done some with Josh Bersin, who is
an incredible thought-leader in this space. It’s amazing how many people have
been interested in attending those.
One of the things that’s made our webinars successful
is that we’ve stayed closely tied to the sales team. They’re the one talking to
prospects every day, and they know what questions people have. We use the
webinars as a way to speak about those topics and answer those questions.
That’s how we ensure our content is truly helpful for the people we’re trying