By Amanda Maksymiw published August 5, 2012

Above and Beyond: A Killer Example of B2B Content Marketing at Work

We all know that there is more to content marketing than simply creating content for content’s sake — it must be tied back into business goals. One company has proven that content can have measurable impact on your company’s bottom line. This company is Eloqua, a pioneer in the marketing automation space. Eloqua has realized some killer results and, as a result, can serve as great inspiration for other content marketers.

Take a look at just a few of the statistics that demonstrate its value:

  • Its first six eBooks influenced $2.5M in annual contract value.
  • Its first Blog Tree infographic lead to meetings with 49 leads.
  • Referral traffic from its blog (the hub of its content wheel) was 250 percent more likely to convert last month than organic search.
  • A client told its CEO that they picked Eloqua over a competitor because they love its content.
  • The Content Grid infographic garnered over 1500 inbound links and over 200 article mentions, whereas product announcements typically garner five article mentions.
  • In one recent quarter, Eloqua’s second-highest performing media campaign wasn’t about a new product — it was about an eBook.

Simply put, when it comes to content marketing, Eloqua gets it. It offers a mix of high-quality content in a variety of forms, including blogs, videos, infographics, eBooks/guides, and more. Furthermore, it presents and releases the content in ways that make it easy for its audience to find and share it.

Here are some key learnings that other content marketers can take from its stellar program:

Highlight top-performing content

Eloqua constantly tracks what content is resonating well and, taking a page out of Yahoo’s book, it tees up the most popular content on its homepage (and cans the least popular).

To achieve results like these, take a page out of Eloqua’s book:

  • Conduct research, analyze your existing content’s performance, and talk to your audience to determine what the most valuable content truly is.
  • Test, track, and measure the effectiveness of your content so that you know where to dedicate more budget and where to cut back.
  • Then, focus on encouraging your visitors to consume the most valuable content by proudly displaying it on your home page.

Focus on creativity

I caught up with Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing at Eloqua, about the trend towards using more data:

“Marketers tend to think in ‘zero sum’ terms. If ‘A’ is hot, then ‘B’ must be cold. Right now ‘A’ is data. Data is hot; big data is hotter still. Data informs decisions, helping companies making smarter choices. Yet just because data is hot doesn’t mean that creativity is cold. In fact, given the sharp rise in amount of original content being published by brands, it has become exceptionally difficult to ‘get heard’ on the noisy social web. Creative content stands out, gets discovered and, most importantly, gets shared. The data say so.” (Note: See the statistics about Eloqua’s success with content marketing above as proof of this point.)

Eloqua just released The Grande Guide to Community Management, a creative take on eBooks that can be consumed in the amount of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.  As we learned in Content Rules from Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, it is important to “reimagine” content, and I think that the Grande Guides do just that.

Tie content into the sales funnel

While content marketing can be used to increase brand awareness and boost website traffic, it is critical for B2B companies to tie the program back into their sales funnel. Eloqua subtly nudges its audience through the funnel by recommending next steps while delivering the right content at the right time. If you are new to this, Eloqua released The Content Grid v2, a great infographic that offers a sample buyer’s journey, with proposed content types to help you get started.

Here is a quick peek:

”The

Remember to map your content marketing program to your sales funnel or, more importantly, your buyer’s journey. Different types of content can work exceptionally well to boost awareness, increase interest, recognize need, negotiate and, ultimately, close the sale.

If you would like to view the above content marketing examples, and others, in depth, download Above and B2B-eyond: A Look at Creative Marketing Tactics Leading B2B Technology Companies Are Using Online.

Want more content marketing inspiration? Download our ultimate eBook with 100 content marketing examples.

Image Credit: Jurvetson

Author: Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda Maksymiw is the content marketing manager for Lattice Engines, a leader in B2B sales intelligence software helping Fortune 5000 companies sell smarter and achieve a 6-14 percent increase in sales productivity within one year of deployment through Intelligent Targeting, Contextual Conversations and Measurable Execution. She is responsible for setting and managing the company's content marketing strategy including creating, producing, and publishing engaging content. Follow her on Twitter at @amandamaks.

Other posts by Amanda Maksymiw

  • http://twitter.com/MediaMorris Sabra Morris Media

    Thanks for this. I especially like the info graphic. Great way to track the relationship between content marketing and eventual sale.

    • http://www.lattice-engines.com/ Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)

      I am glad you liked the post! I can’t tell you how many times I have referenced the infographic when mapping out a content inventory. It is really a great resource.

  • Manya

    Thank you for this post. The infographic is a great reminder of how to tie a particular piece of content to a specific goal. The reminder to be creative is also important. It is too easy to fall into the trap of creating the same old, same old.

    • http://www.lattice-engines.com/ Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)

      Exactly Manya. It’s not just content for the sake of content!

  • Lauren Harper

    Thanks for the awesome post about Eloqua! We are HUGE fans of the CMI.