Marketing automation tools do a really great job of tracking your company’s leads’ activities in the background and summarizing all their activities into a single number – the lead score. It’s one of the biggest draws of marketing automation as it provides a quick, simple and standardized outlook on which prospective customers are engaged and how interested they are in your company’s offerings.
Some tools have a standard, out-of-the box model that starts calculating lead score from the first day the system is implemented. Perhaps the default model for your marketing automation platform has even been running autonomously for a few month. Although it’s easy to neglect making any changes, the standard score setup that comes default with your system is not always the best fit for your company.
Scoring should be customized to your organization so you have a clear picture of which leads are educated and engaged and which leads need further nurturing before they can be passed along to sales reps. And since content is one of the most influential tools for guiding customers through their buying processes, every piece of content used by marketing and sales teams must be scored to accurately reflect leads’ levels of interest.
If you want to take your lead scoring deeper with a customized setup that is truly specific to your business, you need to perform a content audit.
Here are three main steps to take when conducting a thorough content audit.
- Take inventory by building a content library. Before scoring each piece of content, it’s critically important that you know which content pieces are in play. Using a spreadsheet or an organizational tool like Trello, create a complete catalog of every piece of marketing and sales material that a prospect might interact with as they move from awareness of your company to purchasing action. List the names, corresponding links in your marketing automation tool, topic(s) each piece details and the format – such as eBook, whitepaper, infographic, etc. This process takes time as you likely use a lot of content to fuel your marketing automation efforts, but the end result is complete representation of your company’s content marketing toolkit.
- Tie your content to the appropriate buying stage. This part of the content audit is perhaps the most important and collaborative of the entire process. Each content piece should already have the target audience identified from when the piece was created, but it is equally as import to determine which stage of the buying cycle each asset fall within. At Dodge, we look at our prospects in 3 stages: awareness, consideration and decision. Your sales team is a great resource to determine which assets are appropriate at each stage as they have a lot of direct interaction with prospects. Kick start your conversation by asking:
- What specific content pieces do you use most when talking with leads?
- What pieces do you send to leads when they are not ready to buy?
- What content do you send leads when they are deciding on a final vendor?
- Determine each content pieces level of sales-readiness. The final step of your audit, you need to assign a level of sales-readiness that all content indicates. If a lead reads an infographic are they 5 percent ready to buy from you? If they view a product specifications and pricing sheet, perhaps they’re closer to 85 percent ready to buy? Understanding the topic and buying stage of your content should guide your conversations on how much each piece indicates leads’ engagement.
Conducting a complete audit of your content is hard work, but the payoff is a more accurate representation of what lead scores mean to your business. Marketing automation is meant to bring marketing and sales team closer in alignment and your new, customized score results in better qualified leads and more productive sales and marketing teams.