How Our Industry Report Became a Valuable Sales Tool

Posted on June 27, 2016
By Suhash

Start-ups, particularly those in the tech field, have a tendency to break new ground and disrupt tried and tested paradigms. They have the potential to create their own market, or build on an existing market in a way that completely transforms it.
When we onboard a client, the account manager presents them with monthly performance reports. These reports go over all the KPIs that are prioritized, such as average page views, monthly visitors, and time spent. 

We share the patterns, trends and insights that are useful to know. The bulk of these reports are tailored for each individual client - that is, it’s an inward facing report. We look at your historical data, what has worked for you and provide recommendations based on your audience.

The one thing we get asked a lot is, “What are others (our competitors) doing? What readability level do they mostly write at? Is this working for them?”

Questions like these prompted us to consider a more macro-level analysis instead of the micro level analyses we had been doing on each individual client and account.

Is the entire content marketing “movement” shifting towards a certain trend? What about industry verticals? Does content marketing in the tech industry favor long form complex content whereas those in the financial industry favor shorter form simple content? These were the fundamental questions we wanted to answer when we started creating Content Performance Reports.

The BIG Picture

We started with our entire user base as our sample population. From there, our data team ran the usual analyses on individual accounts, and were surprised to see certain trends emerge.

For example, as content marketing matures we see a definite move towards longer form content. Now that people can identify “good” from “bad” content, marketers are focusing on really upping their game in regards to quality.

People want to read about certain topics; if they see a 150 word “article” that only provides generic information, they will disengage.

Your article could be written really well; but it could be structured in a way that does not resonate with digital audiences. Not only is it important to write an interesting article, it is important to structure it in a way that makes it easily consumable for readers. This is something that many content marketing companies do not address.

That’s where we come in.

To gate, or not to gate?

The undertaking of the content reports served a dual purpose.
First, we wanted to identify overall trends and patterns that are emerging in the content marketing space. This would give us a better idea of the industry and equip us with evidence to back up our recommendations.

Second, we wanted to use the reports as a way to generate more awareness for our platform and our unique take on content marketing. We initially thought to gate the reports as a way to build our email list - but quickly decided against that as we prioritized awareness over list-building.

The performance report was a huge hit and resulted in a fair amount of inbound inquiries. Due to the success, we decided to increase our efforts by further segmenting our sample into various industry verticals.

A prospective client could now compare their content against those operating in the same industry.

As time goes on we find new and interesting ways to incorporate the reports into sales cycle. For example; we end our live-demos by showing a few key patterns and measures to reinforce the themes presented in our demo. If a prospect needs material to include in their proposal to management, the reports are an excellent choice. We use it as evidence to back up recommendations we make to clients.

There’s more where that came from

Performance reports have truly become a key part of our marketing efforts and we plan on producing them annually. We also hope to further segment them as more companies from different industries come on board.
Want to see what the content marketing world is up to these days? Take a look at the reports and spread the word!

About the Author:

Suhash is part of the BizDev team @suhash_talwar AR. When he isn’t at work, Suhash can usually be found parkouring across Toronto with a crossbow. That, or reading a book.

 

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Tags: Sales & Marketing, blog, blog report, business growth, business trends, demo, growth hacking, industry report, marketing, marketing demo, report, sales, sales and marketing, sales cycle, Small Business, start up, Trends