5 Content Marketing Lessons From Stanford GSB
The Stanford Graduate School of Business is recognized as one of the leading business schools in the world. Its executive education programs are world-ranked for attracting established business leaders to its leadership and management programs. With a mission to recruit senior-level executives into its executive education programs in the U.S. and to build the brand outside the United States, the school developed a content marketing strategy that combined highly personalized content delivery and multichannel marketing to both nurture leads and drive conversions.
Why Content Marketing?
Content marketing has become essential in 2013 as buyers demand more personalized, uniquely relevant content. Between search engines, social networks and peer reviews, there's a wealth of content available to customers and prospects who are trying to make buying decisions. The result is that in both the B-to-B and B-to-C worlds, buyers are typically much further down the buyer cycle by the time they begin interacting with businesses directly. In fact, 70 percent of marketing leads are abandoned by sales, but 43 percent end up buying in 13 months.
Content can increase the likelihood that they buy from you! By providing educational content across the entire buying life cycle, and providing a seamless dialogue from first touch to initial sale to loyal advocate, Stanford has been able to increase both engagement and conversion of their target audience. Their quality cross-media content is the foundation of their 2013 marketing campaign.
Top 5 Take Aways
Through vigorous testing and a disciplined approach to their communications, Stanford has learned:
- Effective use of embedded videos in push communications is highly effective in developing engagement, but it is important to test the placement and video length for maximum impact.
- Webinars are effective for lead generation as long as the webinar content is timely, relevant and related to the call-to-action.
- Knowledge content, such as white papers and research, must be fresh and current at all times and is best used in the early stages of the buying cycle.
- Older or static content should be made available as a call-to-action in the middle of the buying cycle. This content would also be excellent for building your prospect databases.
- Incorporating progressive profiling decreases abandon rates on your website and landing pages. Starting with a limited number of qualification questions upfront is best, and progressive profiling is tied to behavior and interaction.
More details on Stanford's content management strategies and results will be shared March 14 at the Noon EST during the Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk Virtual Conference. Content Marketing Gets Smart. Click here to register.
Cyndi Greenglass is senior vice president strategic solutions, and Virginia Cavanan is the senior account executive, for St. Charles, Ill.-based direct marketing agency Diamond Marketing Partners, which runs the Stanford GSB content marketing program. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.