When was the last time you saw an ad from a brand new company, clicked it, went to a landing page and bought a SaaS product with an annual contract value greater than $10,000?
And that’s why the traditional sales funnel or marketing funnel is dead. Especially when it comes to higher ticket SaaS products.
In fact, buyers complete 57% of their B2B purchase process before engaging a vendor. Buyers use word of mouth recommendations, third-party review sites, and peer-to-peer suggestions to drive their major decisions.
Simply put, there’s a lot of activity going on in the dark funnel…and it’s happening whether you know about it or not.
So what can your company do about it? How can you get your message across if you don’t have a prospect’s email address? How can your company demonstrate its thought leadership without dropping a prospect into an email drip sequence?
The answer: Create a marketing flywheel powered by a branded podcast.
“What’s the biggest problem with the marketing flywheel? There’s just one wheel.”
What's the difference between a marketing flywheel and a marketing funnel?
The marketing funnel has been an integral part of marketing strategies for a long time. It’s a tool that highlights the buyer journey, and many marketers have used it to convert leads into customers. The main stages of the marketing funnel are;
- Awareness: this is the first interaction customers have with your brand and products. They know you exist but are not interested in making a purchase.
- Consideration: at this stage, buyers are interested in your products and are shopping for alternatives.
- Conversion: this is where you turn the buyer from a lead into a paying customer.
- Loyalty: at this point, the customer is impressed with your services and is now a brand advocate.
The marketing funnel was effective because it helped marketers visualize the buyer’s journey and create marketing materials based on the customer’s stage.
Things have, however, changed, and the relevancy of the marketing funnel for B2B organizations just doesn’t have the same impact as it did five years ago. Buyers no longer make decisions the way they used to, and their purchasing processes are influenced by factors beyond your control.
The marketing flywheel is the new business revenue generation model and it helps streamline your marketing, sales, and customer success departments. It gives you a holistic look at your marketing processes and helps you identify the areas in which your business is experiencing the most growth and the biggest areas of opportunity. Like a flywheel, if you eliminate the areas with friction, it gains momentum and spins faster.
Want to build a content marketing flywheel?
Content Logistics is a podcast we produce for B2B marketers looking to build a scalable content engine. Camille Trent, Head of Content at Dooly.ai, interviews the marketers behind the best content marketing flywheels to uncover the tactical aspects of content production — from first draft to first customer. This podcast teaches everything from developing a sound content strategy to drafting, optimizing and distributing that content to grow your audience. Listen in and figure out how to become the best content creator and distributor within your own organization.
Why do B2B marketers need to use a marketing flywheel?
The marketing funnel failed to answer one crucial question; “how do we keep the customer at the center of our marketing strategy?” Marketo recently conducted a survey among CMOs, and it revealed that 86% of them believed that they would own the complete customer experience. This can only happen if they fully understand the customer’s buyer journey from their first interaction with their brand and then develop marketing materials that engage them at every stage.
Since the marketing flywheel is mainly focused on customer experience, it helps you define the buyer journey better and focus on nurturing them into brand ambassadors as opposed to simply driving conversions. This ultimately makes your sales and marketing processes more measurable.
In addition to enhancing customer experience, the marketing flywheel also makes it easy for you to identify the areas experiencing friction within your sales, marketing, and customer service departments. Once you know the challenges faced by customers in any stage, you can address the challenges within the content you create.
The flywheel model is mainly based on customer satisfaction and helps you identify ways in which you can leverage happy customers to bring in more business. Most importantly, if you use this model, your customers will eventually help you grow.
What's the hardest part of creating content for your marketing flywheel?
There are 3 main actions to take in order to get your audience moving through the marketing flywheel;
- Attract: During this phase, your customers are strangers to your business, and you need to attract them by sharing helpful content. And “helpful” content often has little to do with your company. It’s all about providing some information to help solve your customers’ problems. The key aim is to gain their attention and eliminate any barriers they encounter as they try to learn more about the types of problems your business solves.
- Engage: In this phase, the customers are more interested in buying from you, but you have to give them the freedom to engage with you through the channels where they are most comfortable. The main goal is to start fostering relationships as opposed to closing deals. You have to look at the bigger picture and the benefits that come with nurturing long-term relationships.
- Delight: You’ve already closed the deal at this phase, but your interaction with the customer doesn’t end there. You have to help and empower your customers to achieve their goals using your products and turn them into loyal customers. Delighting your customers is really all about expanding upon the help you provide.
Since there are so many different components to the flywheel, it can be difficult to create content for all of the stages. The biggest mistake marketing departments make with the flywheel approach is when they create content in a silo.
For example, let’s say a marketing department wants to create a blog post around industry trends. In most cases, a marketing team member will conduct keyword research, draft a creative brief, and assign a writer to the project.
And this approach is just fine. But the issue here is when your effort leads to only a single piece of content – a blog post. The information you worked so hard to gather is only in a written format. Most teams don’t repurpose the blog post into anything else. No video. No audio. No image. No LinkedIn post. It just lives on the company blog.
How to use a branded podcast to generate content for your marketing flywheel
Podcasts are so much more than a single audio file.
With a podcast (especially a video podcast), you have the ability to start with an outline and then create a variety of different formats from a single episode.
A branded podcast actually works in tandem with your traditional marketing flywheel.
On one side, you have your modern flywheel. On the other side, you have a conversation flywheel.
One wheel puts the customer at the center. And as you distribute helpful content, they become fans of your brand. The other wheel uses conversations to create written, audio, and video content.
By using conversations in your content strategy, you create content your customers care about…in all shapes & sizes.
These two wheels give your customers the best experience.
Here’s a breakdown of how the content development process would work after you record a video podcast episode:
- Develop outline
- Capture content
- Transcribe interview
- Identify major themes / quotes
- Edit episode
- Develop blog post / featured article
- Develop show notes / summary
- Repurpose video podcast episode into short teaser videos, audiograms, social images and more.
Want to see how other B2B marketers generate a flywheel with a podcast?
Recorded Content is a show for small, scrappy marketing teams who are looking to launch & grow a successful B2B podcast. In each episode, we provide stories on how to overcome the challenges of launching, running and growing a show. We tackle issues with technology, content marketing, distribution and more. We help you become a B2B podcasting hero with an amazing show.