Lastly, let’s review the innermost layer – the area which directly impacts the ideal customer. In the content layer, your organization develops content that aims to do one thing – help your ideal customer.
When you develop a content marketing strategy designed to help your ideal customer and position your organization as a thought leader, it changes everything. Your team shifts focus from “conversions” or “leads” and simply aims to provide value for ideal customers.
At Motion, this content layer is what we have added to the flywheel concept in order to make it complete for B2B technology companies. We’ve found that many of our customers, before working with us, have struggled to identify the types of content to produce in order to establish their organization as the choice in the marketplace. So, we use this strategy to develop a consistent approach to developing valuable content for ideal customers. Here’s a breakdown of the four major content areas for B2B technology companies:
- Industry Insights
- Objective – In order to help customers, this content type aims to provide unique perspectives on what’s currently happening within the industry.
- Examples – Blog posts, podcasts, videos, executive interviews, surveys/research papers, guest posts.
- Industry Trends
- Objective – In order to help customers, this content type focuses on what’s happening next (i.e., trending) within the industry.
- Examples – Blog posts, podcasts, videos, executive interviews, guest posts.
- Pillar Content / Guides
- Objective – In this case, this content type aims to provide comprehensive “how to” guides to give customers a clear roadmap to solve problems they may face.
- Examples – White papers, ebooks, how-to videos, webinars.
- Case Studies / Best Practices
- Objective – In this scenario, content strives to highlight success stories or best practices from peers in the industry. The ideal situation is when this content demonstrates outcomes related to the implementation of steps outlined in a pillar content or guide.
- Examples – White papers, ebooks, interviews, testimonials, podcasts, webinars.
Getting the most out of the framework
Additionally, you can think about your flywheel content marketing strategy in the following terms:
These three factors determine the momentum of your flywheel, or customer acquisition strategy. Let’s look at how each one affects your content marketing momentum.
How fast you spin your flywheel is akin to how much valuable content you publish and share. The more helpful content you push out for your ideal customer, the faster your flywheel spins.
Let’s think about the visual of a funnel. In a traditional sales funnel framework, the largest part of the effort goes into the “attract” stage. But in the flywheel, you’re putting in energy and distributing across all the stages. Instead of just attracting customers and then dropping them, you put similar amounts of effort into their delight and success. For technology companies, this is paramount. You want to ensure that your customers are continuing to get great value from your solution…whether they just purchased today or awhile ago.
Furthermore, this means you need to allocate budgets across marketing, sales, and customer experience areas so that all your efforts are aligned.
Friction is anything that slows down your momentum. Things like poor customer experience add friction, and to keep your marketing momentum going, you want to avoid those.
The best way to do this is to address customer issues when they occur. Don’t put these things on the backburner because when you do, you’re slowing down your entire flywheel.
In addition, if you’ve got highly specialized teams working in silos and are unaware of each other’s goals and efforts – this can also create friction. In order to have them in alignment, you need to make sure their goals are overlapping. And that involves communication that gets everyone involved and on board with the flywheel framework. For B2B technology companies, it’s crucial that your marketing, sales and customer success teams share insights around your ideal customer. In fact, when sharing information across these teams, you can generate a lot of content ideas.
The weight of your wheel is the number of delighted customers in your existing customer base. Increasing speed and decreasing friction leads to delighted customers.
Basically, as you make improvements that increase the speed of your wheel, you gain more happy customers, and they in turn increase the weight of your wheel. All of these actions make it spin even faster (i.e., you acquire even more customers, more quickly.)