Integrated Content Marketing Case Study
Lavastorm was facing challenges with both market awareness and sales conversion. With an analytics platform that had advantages over traditional BI and ETL tools, the company was in a unique position where its thought leadership and sales conversations were very similar. In contrast to the situation at many tech companies where sales conversations lag behind thought leadership messaging, Lavastorm was talking the same way to industry analysts and media that they were to customers and prospects.
Two additional difficulties were that the company didn't have customers to use as public references since many of Lavastorm's customers were in the financial services sector, and they didn't have budget to use for paid media campaigns.
In turning to Kevin York Communications, they were looking to increase market awareness and drive leads.
Kevin York Communications developed an integrated approach combining owned, shared, and earned content and activities. To effectively drive messages into the marketplace, KYC realized Lavastorm needed to be telling the same stories across all audiences. In order to do this, they needed one plan rather than distinct plans for PR, social media, email marketing, etc.
Company announcements and product launches would inherently have interesting, newsworthy stories, so KYC focused on creating stories that could fall in between these large pillar announcements. In order to appeal to analysts, media, prospects, and customers, these stories had to:
- Be interesting, sometimes even fun
- Clearly align with Lavastorm's technology (without always needing to explicitly say so)
- Contain elements of innovation, either in product/technology, approach, process, or service
- Talk directly to customer benefits
KYC developed big picture content themes that each included a package of assets :
- A webinar and/or whitepaper
- An infographic
- A series of blog posts
- Contributed content to pitch
- Traditional earned media pitches
- A series of emails
- A series of social media promotions
*KYC directly created all of this content aside from certain components of the webinars and whitepapers.
Examples of some of the big picture content themes include
- Identifying and training citizen data scientists
- Getting more value of out your data visualization tool (such as Tableau or Qlik)
- Maximizing the value of a data lake
Each content theme campaign helped Lavastorm with its goals of increasing market awareness and sales leads.
To support increasing awareness, most of the campaigns resulted in either earned media coverage or contributed content coverage. Several produced analyst briefings to discuss the themes in more depth. Additionally, the Lavastorm blog saw steady increases in views and visitors throughout the course of the theme campaigns.
The company also saw increases in sales leads due to the content theme campaigns. Registrations for gated content increased at least 17% over each previous content theme campaign, while the percentage of registrations that became leads grew steadily with each campaign as well.