Is a Marketing Automation Platform Essential for Effective Content Marketing?

Yes, you need to have a marketing automation system in place in order to leverage content into opportunities and closed sales.

Content Marketing is all the rage lately. If you’re a CEO or CMO, you might be haranguing your people to create a white paper or “do a webinar” just because

that’s what the buzz is lately on the C-suite golf course. It’s a rare web site in this modern marketing age that does not have some content posted. It’s fairly easy to create a paper or an application note or even a webinar. But it’s harder to turn your content into sales.


Automobile (Photo credit: A*A*R*O*N)

Let’s look at the automobile as a metaphor:

  • Marketing automation is the engine that turns your content into sales.
  • Content is the fuel that powers the engine.
  • The automobile in gear represents growth.

A common foible in content marketing is to develop a great piece and post it on

the web site. The idea is similar to the old business strategy of building a better mousetrap and the customers will line up. Yes, it’s true that content posted on the web site will help with SEO, but that isn’t enough. To get a return on your content, you must tell your target audience about it. This can be accomplished with a targeted outbound campaign. Good content marketing includes inbound and outbound tactics to fully leverage the content. Marketing automation is the tool that drives your outbound, measures the inbound and enhances the engagement.

So now you have created content and you’ve started to tell your target audience about it and you might even be getting some good positioning in the search engines. At this point, your engine is started and your automobile is idling. To get your auto in gear and moving, use marketing automation to allow the people in your target audience to get to know your firm better. As Jean Luc Picard would say, “Engage”. Without MA, it’s very difficult to further the engagement or relationship.

Once you have the initial contact established, there are many engagement tactics available to the savvy MA practitioner:

  • nurturing
  • triggered response
  • sales action
  • invitations to events or activities
  • newsletters
  • activity driven content
  • persona development

Yes, if your goal is to grow revenue, content development posted on the web site will fail you. For content marketing to be successful in growing a business, it must be coupled with smart use of marketing automation.


7 responses to “Is a Marketing Automation Platform Essential for Effective Content Marketing?

  1. Bruce,

    Would it be safe to say that the use of Social media can help to promote your Content Development?

    p.s. Yet again, another masterful post. (Re-blogged to promote your Content Marketing post)

    Jonathan Adcox

    • Hello Jonathan, Absolutely, social media should be included in the distribution plan for a good content marketing strategy. Seems that some of the latest innovation(s) coming out in the MA space is direct interface to the main SM tools. In other words, it is possible to post directly from the MA tool and to track who, what and when your known contacts are talking about you. Great for lead scoring, triggered emails, sales notification, and more tools that MA offers.
      Thanks for the comment and thanks for re-blogging!
      – Bruce

  2. Pingback: Unit 5 Social Media Risk and Rewards (DB): Is Social Media Infancy Hurting Your Business- A look at What Happens when Your Human Resources team Fails. | Northwestern Social Media Marketing- IADT Online

  3. Hi Bruce, I love the automobile metaphor! You’re absolutely right about content providing fuel.

    I’d say that Marketing Automation also provides the ‘Dashboard’ to allow you to see which content works, allowing you to create better fuel. And to tune your engine!

    Happy driving!

    • Thanks for the comment Matt! Agreed, to continue the metaphor, we need to know how fast or slow we’re going, if we’re overheating or if we’re out of oil or out of gas. To answer the question, ‘is marketing automation essential for effective content marketing’ my answer is absolutely “yes”.

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