by Jenn Vande Zande
Our content marketing and thought leadership site, The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce, (FCEC) was started in 2012 by Amy Hatch. Armed with grit, determination, and a very strategic marketing and content plan, she could see the future of business, and knew that a thought leadership site was the way to get there.
She was right.
In 2016, our content marketing and thought leadership site touched an estimated 24+ million in pipeline. We don’t have paid advertisers, or much of a budget beyond what it takes to keep the lights on these days. In total, we spend about $250K on our site annually, which pays for an editor, NewsCred, and O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul, our agency who designs custom images for our content.
And this year, in 2018, for the first time, we hit an average of over 1,000 page views per day, which was tough – the weekdays always have strong pageviews, but when weekends are added into the mix, it’s much tougher to reach that number.
This year we also celebrated an SAP Hybris partner, Zaelab, gaining a new customer, which was directly attributed to a blog post that we published on the site. Their average deal size is between $750K to $1 million.
A new customer and boosted bottom line from one blog post. Building consistent content that is trustworthy does have powerful and revenue-driving results.
Content marketing and thought leadership: The foundation on which brands are built
This accomplishment didn’t happen overnight; most successes that are meant to last don’t.
But by gaining the trust of our readers, and working hard with contributors to curate and edit their content for a clear voice, we’ve built a loyal readership that turns to us when they are ready to purchase CRM, cloud, and commerce services.
We value our readers’ data and privacy, and only use their information to send them our newsletter, if they sign up for it. There are no hard sells or marketing efforts outside of being top of mind when it comes time to make major purchasing decisions.
Content marketing is much more than blogging – it takes vision, planning, consistent messaging, and the determination to see it through. Thought leadership plays strongly into this, as those with buying authority and the C-suite acknowledge that they consider thought leadership as a top factor when it comes to deciding what products and services they will buy.
In an age of fake news and fierce competition, being the voice of authority builds strong loyalty and trust, which fuels strong relationships.