Your Top 4 Most Pressing Demand Gen Questions from the CMI Summit, Answered

The state of demand gen for content marketers is rapidly changing, and Content Marketing Institute’s first-ever virtual Demand Generation Summit (available on-demand for the next 90 days) sought to inform us of current trends—and provide us with valuable insights for the future.

We were excited to present “Turning Your New Audience into the Right Audience: Tips for Aligning Your Content Marketing Efforts with Business Goals,” at this year’s Summit, focusing on the hot topic of audience acquisition.

Rock Content CMO/CCO Mary Ward and Director of Client Services Chris Hart brought their combined years of expertise to the CMI crowds on October 31st, and followed up the presentation with a casual Coffee Talk Q&A on November 2nd, where they answered your most pressing demand generation questions.

What questions stood out the most to us during and after the Summit? Here are our top five Q&As from Coffee Talk, plus a few extra tips and examples we’ve prepared for each.

Your Top Four Demand Generation Questions, Answered

Question 1: What is the easiest way to start out with content experimentation?

“Don’t get overwhelmed,” said Mary Ward.

Easier said than done, right? With so many different formats to choose from, content experimentation can seem like a daunting task.

To combat this, Ward suggests starting small. “Pick your piece of evergreen content. Pick a piece that you know you’re going to use throughout the course of a year or over the course of a campaign, and start small.”

A tip for getting the most out of that evergreen piece? Making slight alterations to that one, larger evergreen piece allows you to repurpose your content in an experimental way. Tons of statistics, or eye-catching charts? You can build those elements into an infographic, but you can also use those same elements to build something like an interactive assessment, like Korn Ferry did here.

Ward’s advice, above all, is to not be afraid. In the current marketing climate, it’s easy to lose sight of your message in a noisy marketplace—so we often stop ourselves from creating assets that aren’t tried and true. As marketers we must break this mold, and prevent our content formats from getting pigeonholed to a certain stage of the buyer’s journey or audience type.

Question 2: Are brand videos/assets good for demand gen?

A great question from Andrew during our Coffee Talk Presentation. Our answer: yes! As Chris Hart states, video’s a unique animal, but we believe that brand explainer or product videos can be a fantastic vehicle for demand gen when they’re tied with an actionable CTA. Don’t get stuck in a specific format—video can also be a great place for content experimentation, whether you want to try out animation, a webinar format, or something totally different.

With 66% of surveyed marketers in the latest CMI B2B report stating that they used more audio and visual content like videos and webinars compared to last year, it’s clear that the use of video—and the need to experiment with it in different formats—will only continue to grow.

Question 3: What’s the best way to measure my content performance?

Content performance was the number one topic driving our Summit discussions. We’re on a different playing field as content marketers than we were even last year, and it’s crucial that our content performance and content marketing ROI can be tied back to overarching business goals.

Mary said, “I think that that would be my biggest piece of advice for measuring your content performance: really figure out what the super far, downstream metric that you’re trying to impact with that piece of content is. And if you can’t answer that question, then you may not be creating the right content.”

Chris added a great tip: “You need to go back to your boss or your manager and say what’s my pain point, what are we losing by not doing this?”

By figuring out your objectives ahead of time, whether it’s customer retention or brand awareness, you can better strategize for your content to serve that purpose and fulfill that need.  

Question 4: Tips for creating content on a limited budget?

Budgets (or lack thereof) are a constant in content marketing operations. When faced with limited resources, our presenters suggested the following.

  • Don’t create content for content’s sake. Holding true to your strategy is key here. With limited resources and budget, your content must be fully supportive of your objectives in order to be successful and provide value to your bottom line. Thoughtful, purposeful content will drive that success.
  • Repurpose your content. How can you take small pieces of a large, expensive piece of content and transform them into different assets? Look beyond that 40-page report and toward smaller, snackable content that will resonate with buyers at all stages of the journey.
  • Ask yourself: what is the pain you’re trying to solve? This tip goes back to our discussion on audience acquisition. Who is your customer, where are they, and what are their pain points? The answers to these questions will provide the information you need to solidify your content creation strategy.

What’s Next for Demand Generation?

We truly enjoyed taking part in this year’s Demand Generation Summit, and can’t wait to see how demand generation continues to evolve over the next year. You can watch our CMI Summit session on-demand by visiting here.

Have more questions that we didn’t answer? Let us know by reaching out on Twitter @scribblelive, and watch the Coffee Talk Q&A in its entirety below.


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