Create a test pilot applying content marketing strategies for lead acquisition purposes, without the need to create new content. And, develop a solution for generating content on a regular basis without the need to hire staff or overburden internal resources.
We pushed forward with the launch of the pilot program to find what type of traction and results we would get. Based on those results, we would figure out a content development strategy and apply lessons learned.
We worked with bankers who had already produced various types of content and were interested in pursuing this type of marketing strategy. We then branded an online channel “Insights & Ideas”, on the Houlihan Lokey web site, using a blog format, as well as on the corporate youtube channel to make the content available. Some of the content was gated (a lead form was required to access), and some was not.
We drove traffic through email marketing targeted lists, Linked-In, and received organic web traffic as well.
Analytics and leads were regularly reviewed and distributed with respective bankers, and interest for content marketing strategies began to grow outside the initial pilot team, and quickly spread across the firm.
After a 10 month period, over 3,000 legitimate leads were captured. By reviewing the data and analytics, we were able to see which types of content were in high demand versus low demand, the type of people and companies it resonated with, as well as the source of varying levels of traffic. Due to the outcome of the pilot, widespread interest grew internally.
Phase II: Generating Content Regularly
A regular monthly content schedule was developed across all product lines.
By rotating content development across one of several team members within each product line, we removed the burden of any one person or team having to create all of the content on a regular basis, as well as the need to hire additional resources.
Additionally, it improved the quality of the content produced, because it was coming directly from the most knowledgeable sources.
Content Audit & UI Design Change
We performed an audit on a larger amassed amount of available content (via an acquisition). The selected content was then tagged according to type, services, and target audience, and removed older content that did not perform well. We removed the blog format to accommodate a wider variety of content sources, yet the content overall remained fairly scarce. We changed the UI to display searchable content based on ‘service’ type, which resulted in a larger display of available content.
Creating Process Efficiency Using Content Templates
Templates were developed to improve production efficiency and maintain brand consistency, across product lines. We removed the need for imagery and created design guidelines for the development of charts and graphs which mirrored a parallel project of the corporate pitch book redesign. Below are examples of templates for white papers and thought leadership articles:
Using Different Content Formats
Content was produced in a variety of formats to appeal to readers across different channels—from PDFs and webinars to animations and videos.
We seized content opportunities—based on the brand goal of instilling a more human approach—by creating a series of “After the Deal” videos that provided insight into challenges clients encounter when undergoing a change in their business. This client-side impact is rarely discussed, and by addressing it, and the sensitivity in which the firm approaches these real-life situations, the content deeply resonated with the firm’s audiences, and set the company apart from its competitors. These were distributed via email to targeted clients and prospects, then re-purposed for sharing on social platforms.