Top of the funnel content - What? How? Why?

"Account-Based" Marketing Programs are "de rigueur" in 2019. Many of these programs are content-based, but to get straight to the point - we see far too many companies using their existing content engines for these projects, serving from their regular flow of Case Studies, White-papers, thought leadership articles and, of course, videos from their sales kick-off conferences.

Sarcasm aside, and as a business running full stack Target Account Programs (Data work, Insight, Content, Outreach, Sales meetings, Lead Nurture, Events) for our clients, so, here’s our take on better use of content across the sales cycle. Here goes:

Top of Funnel

Please! If a target individual is to be served paid or organic content, they are not interested in your product message and this is not about your case study, nor any message about your roadmap. Any content here MUST be about the target customer that you are trying to engage. Enterprise sales teams know that in order to be successful in 2019 they need to demonstrate a deep understanding of a prospect's business, and your content strategy must be the same. Specific, issues-based, personalised content here - all about the customer.

What should it look like?

Issues-based: Focus on the problem that your service solves, and create content that brings the problem to life. Make it sing... so that when your content appears on LinkedIn in a thumb-scroll at 6.30am (one of three times each day your target logs in) - they might perhaps stop, watch - recognise themselves and engage, remember, lean forward.

Honest: Plain English, but specific. Do not dumb down the language or message (after all you've personalised the content and are serving it only to your target buyer right?). Example - Yesterday we shot video of chat with a nice man from LEGO, talking about the challenges of migrating from a big eCommerce platform to Headless. It's content that's interesting for people like him - and is brutally honest. No sales messages... but worth watching.

Creative: We can all see that the sheer volume of content out there now means that so much just washes by us, and yet we can name 8 pieces of "content" in our LinkedIn feeds from 2018 that were long-lasting and are still relevant now. ALL of these had a core creative idea, had been created with care, assuming that their value would last. Think about the stunt from Greggs at that food festival, or the beautiful WawamuStats animation about GDP growth from 1960 - 2018... these resonate and are shared across our social channels. Even more recently the whole 2 minute Ryan Reynolds' Aviator Gin advert was being shared virally across LinkedIn... truly great content lasts.

Irreverent: Don't be boring. One of our client challenges today is to bring the world of "Personalisation" into sharp focus. We are planning some "Alas Smith & Jones" style comedy interviews to bring the challenges to life - we may even include some swear words... or the idea that poorly executed personalisation is damaging. We are going to be brave...

The sad thing is (of course) that there are NO tech companies producing content that we see meeting these criteria.

So, can you really achieve this in a 45 second subtitled video on LinkedIn? Honestly? YES. You will need to be creative... spend time on each of these pieces of content, and put yourself in the place of a prospect - in bed at 7am scrolling through LinkedIn (briefly) before hitting the shower. What would resonate with them?

The benefits we have seen is that this content will make it easier for your SDR teams to engage, in warmer conversations, at the outset - THEN once you are engaged - you can serve Case Studies and "validation" content - after all you know them then right? And they know you.