If you want a Go-to-Market strategy that actually makes your job easier, rather than being just one more process you have to get through, then it needs to be tailored to your business. Your business model, product type, target audience and sales strategy will all affect the type of GTM strategy you need.
But how do you know which one you need? Well, the different styles of Go-to-Market strategy can be broadly grouped into ‘motions’. Your motion is the driving force behind all your Go-to-Market activities. You’ve likely heard of sales-led and product-led, but in this article we’ll be covering content-led Go-to-Market.
Content-led is a lesser known, but increasingly popular, Go-to-Market strategy which uses your content (predominantly your marketing content) to drive brand awareness, sales and growth.
And we won’t be going it alone. To help you understand the pros and cons of content-led GTM, as well as what this strategy looks like in practice, we interviewed Gaston Tourn, CMO of Curio and content-led maestro. With his help, you’ll be ready to implement your own content-led strategy in no time.
What is content-led Go-to-Market?
Content-led Go-to-Market uses content and marketing to drive growth. This means that the majority of your sales come from customers sourced through social media and/or marketing campaigns.
Content-led Go-to-Market is all about building a brand and it takes time. So, you need to be patient if you’re going to make it work. However, there are a lot of benefits to content-led GTM, especially given the direction the market is going in. Increasingly, consumers want to access information on their time and on their terms and prefer to do their own extensive research rather than be pitched a product.
It's really important to make information about your brand and products easily accessible to prospective or recurring customers so they can find what they want for themselves. We live in a world where everything is speeding up and consumers expect information at their fingertips, so you put yourself in a far stronger market position if you acknowledge that in your business model.
Many purchasers won’t be willing to wait for an in-person sales meeting or a sales call, or may not be interested in free trials if they perceive them as gated or convoluted to access. A content-led GTM strategy lays everything out on the table and makes it easy for consumers to serve themselves. The self-serve model is increasingly popular in modern marketing and sales.
Similar to product-led, content-led is all about showing not telling. Video content is by far the most engaging for users and allows you to demo your products and funnel them toward a purchase. Beyond making information more accessible, content-led GTM appeals to the side of the consumer that craves authenticity.
With content-led marketing, you can highlight the voices and experiences of your existing users and show real people using and benefiting from your products. Content platforms shift the focus from the product to the consumer, because it’s all about how the product is received and interacted with by your audience.
Rather than just taking your word for it that your products have value, customers can see the benefits others are reaping from them. By focusing on content, you’re encouraging trust in your brand from your audience.
Social media and content campaigns allow you to tell a story with your products and take your customers on a journey. If customers feel like they’ve traveled with you they’ll be more likely to be loyal to your brand.
Again concerning authenticity, marketing holds a unique position as a team that interacts with the customer without having a relationship blatantly built on exchange and wanting to gain something from said customer. Marketing isn't chasing the sale in the same way as your sales reps, and so have the time and opportunity to develop a relationship with the customer that isn’t as one-sided.
When a customer builds a relationship with your brand through your content, they feel that they can walk away at any point. There’s no implicit expectation that they’ll spend money just by accessing your content, and so they let their guard down. It’s a soft sell, but one that’s more likely to evoke brand loyalty.
Content-led Go-to-Market, with Gaston Tourn
In what circumstances would you choose a content-led Go-to-Market strategy (over other GTM motions)?
A content-led Go-to-Market strategy should be the foundation of any successful GTM plan. In today’s world, customers are becoming more and more skeptical of traditional advertising and marketing techniques. By delivering valuable information in a non-promotional manner, you can establish your company as a trusted resource and position yourself as an expert in your industry. People want to see the real value of a product before they buy it. And the best way to show that value is through organic, informative content.
What are the benefits of content-led Go-to-Market?
Content-led marketing doesn't come across as advertising. People are smart, and they can spot an ad. But with content-led marketing, you're delivering valuable information that's designed to educate and engage, not just sell. When you create content that's genuinely helpful and relevant, you're building a relationship with your audience that's based on trust, not just transactions.
Are there any risks to look out for with content-led Go-to-Market?
The biggest risk is that you might be tempted to focus on quantity over quality. With so many brands vying for attention online, it can be tempting to pump out as much content as possible in the hopes of standing out. However, when you prioritize volume over quality, you risk sacrificing the very thing that makes content-led marketing so effective in the first place: delivering value to your audience.
Low-quality content can quickly turn people off and damage your reputation, so it’s essential that you focus on delivering content that’s high-quality, informative and engaging. This not only builds trust, but it can also help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Focus on quality. There’s no better hack to improve your SEO, build trust with your audience and drive results.
Can you give an example of a time you successfully used a content-led Go-to-Market strategy to beat out a competitor?
When I was the CMO at Appear Here, the online marketplace for retail spaces, our goal was to drive interest in new places and streets. So, we decided to focus on producing high-quality neighborhood guides that showcased interesting shops and local businesses. At first, we thought this type of content might be more geared toward consumers, but it turned out to be a hit with business decision-makers too.
By showcasing the unique and vibrant neighborhoods that Appear Here could help retailers tap into, we were able to paint a picture of what a retail space could offer in a way that was both engaging and informative. This content-led Go-to-Market strategy set us apart from the competition and helped position Appear Here as an innovative brand. And, of course, it was a lot more fun than producing traditional B2B content.
After all, B2B doesn’t need to mean boring-to-boring.
How did you decide a content-led Go-to-Market strategy was right for your business?
To me, a content-led Go-to-Market strategy is always right for your business. Whether you’re selling toothbrushes or cloud-based software, a well-crafted piece of content can be the difference between someone scrolling on by or taking the time to really understand the value of your product or service.
Marketing is content, and content is marketing. A content-led Go-to-Market strategy allows you to connect with your audience in a meaningful way, and that’s what marketing is all about.
Do you have any other comments you’d like to add about content-led Go-to-Market?
When it comes to content-led Go-to-Market strategies, it’s essential to consider structuring your marketing team as an editorial team. Think of your marketing team as the journalists of your brand and your content as their bylines. That way, you'll be able to produce content that delivers real value to your target audience and doesn't come across as just another salesy ad.
A best practice for achieving this level of quality is to adopt a media organization mentality. This means producing content that people would find valuable and are willing to pay for.
NB: This interview was taken from our Go-to-Market Motions Playbook. To learn more about content-led strategies, as well as other GTM motions, download your free copy now.
A content-led Go-to-Market strategy uses your marketing and content assets to drive brand awareness, sales and customer growth. A great asset to any inbound marketing strategy, content-led moves prospects down the sales funnel without the need for sales reps.
This strategy is a great fit for companies whose target audience are skeptical of traditional marketing, or who prefer a self-serve sales model.