With over two-thirds (69%) of senior B2B marketers citing less than ‘high’ confidence levels in delivering sequential messaging across multiple channels, how can they improve their approach in line with the overarching goal – to drive and develop B2B multi channel strategy? What repurposing techniques are key to achieving this?
Sequential messaging and content repurposing are not only essential for aligning your messaging to deliver seamless channel experiences, these established practices also address two top pain points previously identified from our first party research:
- Not producing enough content at pace to immerse target audience (50%)
- Not producing enough formats to support different channel content consumption behaviors (50%).
As the average buyer spends more than 10 hours a day using digital devices, it’s no wonder cross channel integration and alignment have become such an important contributor to B2B multi channel strategy success.
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Every B2B Multi Channel Strategy Needs a Multi-Touchpoint Content Strategy. Why?
Accomplishing your overarching demand generation objectives through an advanced multi channel strategy should aim to transform net new engagements into multi-touchpoint engagers. This is why a multi-touchpoint content strategy is essential; it ensures the multiple channels and touchpoints are continually delivering engaging, timely and relevant content with messaging that resonates with the right individuals at every opportunity.
One leading way marketers are tackling this is through content journey mapping and intent data. They enable the delivery of timely messages via multi channel methodologies to develop always-on, always present immersive content ecosystems that essentially keep your brand front-of-mind.
Master Sequential Messaging in 3,2,1…
Although there are numerous ways to approach sequential messaging, it all comes down to two key elements:
- Understanding what engagement or buying state your target user is in
- Adapting your message to improve its relevance and ability to resonate with the individual or group of individuals with a common state.
Cold, Warm, Hot
A good way to look at sequential messaging is as stages of the funnel, interest vs desire (and all in between) or, put simply, cold, warm and hot. Joining up messaging and content can generate significant benefits, hence why with advertising it’s often easier and more effective to use a combination of cold, warm and hot approaches.
Whether adopting a dynamic approach using cookies and feeds or simply rotating the messaging to enable platforms to understand what state the user is in and optimizing accordingly, so long as the end goals are clearly and well defined, both methods can deliver the desired results as well as an uptick in performance.
Sequential messaging can be used either to tell a story and take a user on a journey from Why you need to increase efficiency > Ways to increase efficiency > How to increase efficiency > Which are the best providers for efficiency? Or, it can take users from Learn More to Trial to Buy Now. Either way, the ability to create a sequence of messaging which drives a user to the next intended stage is why sequential messaging can be so powerful when executed effectively.
7 Steps to Setting Up a Sequential Messaging Strategy
1. Start with a segment, be it your target accounts or target personas. If you seek to understand your Total Addressable Market (TAM) you can model that segment with look-a-likes within the platforms or using AI, to create optimal segments. Where possible, leverage intent data to overlay behavioral targeting as this will enhance your targeting activity and effectiveness across all channels.
2. Develop a strong understanding of your target buyer cycles in order to identify key touchpoints for engagement which can win their interest through relevant and resonating messaging.
3. Utilize these lists in your email, programmatic display and paid social activity to engage, reach and drive a pre-qualified audience to your owned channels. Using introductory content formats optimized for channel engagement will assist in stimulating your audiences to continue engaging.
4. Set up re-marketing lists from the page that your prospecting focuses around and create a follow up message using re-marketing. A category or topic re-marketing approach encourages strong alignment with your audience needs.
5. Further categorize the content within a feed for the platforms or your site XML feed if you wish to take this even deeper. Though, this is dependent on the stage of the funnel the content is at. You can also consider categorizing this within some of the Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) or feeds for paid social platforms. If you intend to use sequential messaging in platform, set out your ad suite in the campaign and then run the ads simultaneously until engagement is sustained, before further segmenting with the next message in the sequence.
6. Ensure all sequential content and Calls to Action (CTAs) are relevant and logical for your target personas. For example, if they viewed one of your infographics and came to your owned media from this, re-target them with the next piece of content in the series or even the full report.
7. Harvest intelligence about your users by capturing and tracking real-time engagements across all of your media. This powers you with the agility to create highly accurate and relevant follow-up messaging that truly resonates with your audience. Utilize this intelligence in your sales follow up and use it to control the user experience, enhancing your message accuracy and relevancy.
How can You Repurpose Core Assets into Multiple Short Form Assets?
Alongside sequential messaging, repurposing larger, pillar piece content into various shorter, bitesize assets is a great way to support message alignment towards providing a seamless cross channel experience. But what core assets should you consider repurposing to create multiple short form assets?
Here’s some to include:
- Topic extensions and campaigns
Rather than focusing on a single topic and producing an abundance of related assets with significant overlaps, think about how the topic can be extended to further your content offerings and display even broader knowledge. Take Account-Based Marketing (ABM), for example. This overarching topic can be extended to include Lookalike Marketing, Content Personalization and Content Strategy, Targeting techniques and so on.
- Matching format to channels and buyer stage for optimization
Breaking your core assets down into easy-to-digest, quick and convenient content that matches and complements specific channels and buyer stages can go a long way in ensuring content relevancy remains high and timely on every channel. The following diagram demonstrates how you can match your content to each stage of the buyer journey – an interesting process for how it allows you to delve into the psychology of each persona’s mind. As buyers pass through the Cold > Warm > Hot stages of the funnel you can match your personas to the sequential messages and align these to their pain points, to build a content journey relevant to each type of buyer.
If your buyer is top of the funnel they are at the Awareness stage – looking for research data, resources, answers and insight. Short form blogs which drill down into specific areas of your whitepaper research and deep dive into topics further can go a long way in showcasing your expertise, knowledge and capabilities.
Videos offer an alternative format which can be shared on social channels to display key messaging in a more visual, quick way, while infographics have the ability to provide top insights on one easy-to-digest page. Engaging videos can attract 300% more inbound links than blogs with only text, so are well worth investing resource in.
Those middle of the funnel buyers are at the Evaluation stage – they are researching whether your product or service is capable of addressing their needs. Whitepapers packed with key stats and first party research insights are an ideal resource for how they act as an essential pillar piece to showcase your first party market research findings and capabilities.
What better way for buyers to make their decision than providing case studies with testimonials and star ratings to give them honest, unbiased feedback from those who have experienced your brand first-hand.
Buyers at the very bottom of the funnel are in the Purchase phase – trying to figure out which brand they wish to become a customer of and buy from. Offering free trials allows them to try your product or service before committing, not only showing your confidence in it but giving them peace of mind before investing. Likewise, live demos are a great way to build their understanding of how well your offering will meet their needs and solve their problems.
- Sales enablement and promotion
Providing your sales team with multiple short form assets not only gives them with more sales collateral to entice prospects with, it also displays the sheer volume of, and knowledge behind, the content you have to offer. It also promotes message consistency by delivering multiple content formats and pieces that align your commercial offerings.
What’s more, repurposing content into sales follow up sequences for your Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) to hook the attention of prospects – alongside marketing nurture – will demonstrate even stronger message alignment towards a seamless channel experience.
- Use of intent data and content intelligence to know what to serve when
Digital intent signals have the ability to capture interests, opinions and trends that are shaping B2B markets, building reputations and influencing buying behaviors. Using these to understand exactly what your audiences are searching enables you to form effective targeting and remarketing messages based on what they are interested in right now.
Run this alongside powerful content intelligence to understand what content your competitors are creating so that you can identify the best opportunities to get ahead.
- Aim to build accumulative knowledge
By feeding knowledge and insights out gradually over time through multiple short form assets, you are effectively helping to build progressive knowledge in and around the topic in question. Again, this showcases your own expertise and indicates strong thought leadership which can go a long way in generating trust in your brand.
Sequential Messaging: Ready, Set, Go…
You’re now equipped with the essential steps to successfully deliver sequential messaging to drive your B2B multi channel strategy forward and gain strong competitive advantage. Combined with effective content repurposing, sequential messaging can help align your messaging to deliver a seamless channel experience that immerses your target audience and complements their channel content consumption behaviors. Investing the time and resource now to get this right will deliver significant rewards for the future.