If you’re in B2B marketing, you’ll know that there’s a constant rush to get content out the door, leaving little time to look at how it performs. Put this together with continued reliance on PDFs (anno 1993) that inherently provide no insight and it’s no surprise that content marketing can be challenging for many companies.
Find out how Dan Martin, VP of Brand Marketing at Dice, unlocked content intelligence and boosted content performance by switching from PDFs to interactive content experiences powered by Foleon.
Continue reading to get the full story, or watch the video below.
“I would describe interactive content experiences, with Foleon as a prime example, as the future of content marketing. It has really changed the game in terms of how we create, deliver, and measure content.”
VP of Brand Marketing
What does brand marketing look like at Dice?
“Brand marketing at Dice is all about telling the brand’s story, ensuring that, in every interaction, our audience understands who we are, what we do, and why we do it,” explains Dan.
Dice is the premier tech career marketplace, connecting technologists with employers and recruiters.
“Content plays a critical role for the company. We try to be as helpful as possible by educating employers, recruiters, and technologists, sharing the trends they need to keep up with, and helping them understand and navigate changing work environments,” says Dan.
For many B2B companies, becoming a trusted authority in their space is paramount, and this is no different for Dice. “We want our audience to understand that we understand them. We know all about employers' and technologists' challenges and can help them find the right next step in their career while also assisting recruiters in finding and attracting the right talent.”
Leading the charge with content
A clear-cut way to become a thought leader is to create lots of high-quality content, which Dice has invested heavily in over the years. “We rely on content to build authority, and it plays two essential roles for the business:
- Content has to provide sales value by generating quality leads and helping the sales team position themselves as experts, helping them close deals.
- Content needs to have brand value by helping position Dice as the expert in the marketplace. This is one of those things that’s so difficult to measure, but it’s as important, if not even more important, than sales value.
We conduct a lot of customer research to make sure we’re creating content that our audiences want and need,” explains Dan.
The issue with ineffective legacy formats
If you’re putting a lot of effort into creating helpful, relevant content, you want to make sure it’s well-received and impactful. “We mostly create big rock content or keystone pieces of content and can produce eight to ten of these per year, so they really have to land,” says Dan.
Unfortunately, most companies are still wasting time, money, and energy publishing their most valuable content in ineffective legacy formats. “At the point of distribution, when we completed a piece of content and put it into a PDF and sent it out, that was really the last we saw in terms of consumption. So, from a measurement standpoint, it was a real struggle to understand how people actually are using the materials we create.”
Using legacy formats makes it impossible to justify the time and effort you put into creating content — making the content creation and distribution process difficult because you lose insights into content performance the moment it goes out the door. This may lead to you think at the end of the year: how effective was my content marketing program?
“We got to a point where I felt we had done everything possible with PDF assets. As a content team, we knew that there were a lot of opportunities out there that we weren’t able to take advantage of, and we really had to think outside of the box,” says Dan.
“We wanted to move into the modern era of content marketing and realized that what got us here won’t get us where we wanted to go.”
The requirements for change
Transitioning away from a more traditional approach to content marketing isn’t easy and requires change management. The Dice team had a clear list of requirements when exploring solutions to create content experiences:
- Is the platform intuitive?
“We needed an easy-to-use platform that our creative services and content teams would be comfortable with,” says Dan.
- As important as user-friendliness were the insights.
“Besides how cool the content looks and feels, the biggest selling point internally was definitely the analytics engine because that was the most pressing challenge we had to solve.
“We needed to understand how people were reading each of our content pieces, sharing it, and which portions of the asset people were really focusing on. Every metric is so important in terms of future content creation and understanding; Are we hitting the mark with what we’re doing? Or are we not? And diving deeper; Where within a content piece are we hitting the mark versus what can we shore up?” explains Dan.
- Will it be a partnership?
Dice needed a partner that would guide them through the transition. “We’re talking about a fundamental change and shift in how we’re creating and delivering content. It’s so different from what we did before that we wanted a partner that would help guide us through the process,” adds Dan.
From PDFs to an innovative and exciting new interactive content format
“Foleon had everything that we needed: the intuitive editor that we liked, the insights that we knew we needed, and offered the type of partnership we were looking for. Foleon really eased us into this big transition and helped us through the process.”
Since starting with Foleon, Dice has published a B2C report and multiple B2B reports, such as the Tech Salary Trends report featured in this story. An unexpected but welcomed outcome was that the new content format galvanized coworkers to take another look at content and understand what Dice’s marketing team is doing and why.
“We’re getting a lot of emails about how amazing it looks aesthetically but also functionally. We never saw this level of engagement internally when we created PDF content,” adds Dan.
However, this wasn’t the main impact of Foleon, explains Dan. “From a measurement perspective, it’s been hugely valuable because there’s so much more we can learn about our content performance now.”
“From a brand perspective, Foleon has increased the shareability of our content. The aesthetics and interactivity of the format have really energized and sparked a lot more sharing, which, of course, is a massive part of translating content into brand value,” adds Dan.
Unlocking content intelligence
“Foleon’s analytics engine’s power lies in seeing how content performs and increasing confidence,” says Dan. “Foleon has even given us the confidence to stop gating most of our content because we can now let our content work for us. By making it more easily accessible, we can attract more readership while also gathering more stats on how readers are engaging with it, which we couldn’t do before.”
“We’ve also experimented with mid-gating very successfully. Previously, with our static PDF assets, we were driving significant traffic to our landing pages with a form to download the asset, but our bounce rates were relatively high. The implication was that the recruiters and employers we were reaching were interested in the content, but there was too much friction in the process,” adds Dan.
Foleon’s gating functionality provides a frictionless experience for readers:
“We compared reports in the new format to the same asset in static form and saw bounce rates decrease by more than 50(!) percent, which we believe can be attributed to the inclusion of the gate within the content itself. The ability to provide a look within the content helps the reader verify that they’ve come to the right place and that the content they’re reviewing is likely to provide value. They’re thus more likely to continue moving through the content.”
With unlocked content intelligence Dice’s marketing team can now look at:
- Where is there a drop-off in the readership of the content?
- How are people consuming each page of the content?
- How are they sharing it, and what sections are they sharing specifically?
“The measurement capabilities of Foleon have been everything we hoped for and more, and we’re only scratching the surface of its value,” adds Dan.
Comparing content performance
As the Dice team produces several similar keystone pieces of content a year, it was easy for them to compare the performance of the PDF version versus Foleon.
“For example, in 2020, we released our Q3 job report as a PDF, and it did fairly well from a lead generation and downloads perspective. At the time, those were the only metrics we had available. But, it didn’t bring in as many leads as we had hoped. So we were looking at it like, Did this piece fail? But we just couldn’t tell.”
“Fast forward to 2021, when we published the job report as a fully interactive document with Foleon. We found that it generated about the same number of leads, but upon looking at the analytics, we could see that a huge number of people were viewing the report all the way through. So the sales value of the content didn’t grow, but there was tremendous brand value in that piece. And that’s something we had never really been able to quantify before,” explains Dan.
Having a complete understanding of how your content performs is powerful when designing your content programs. It helps you decide what content you should keep producing (and gives you the tools to improve it moving forward) and which ones you should stop creating.
The fundamental tenets of content marketing
When asking Dan how he would describe Foleon, he says, “I would describe interactive content experiences, with Foleon as a prime example, as the future of content marketing. It has really changed the game in terms of how we create, deliver, and measure content. Even from a strategy standpoint, it’s changed how we do content strategy.”
“It’s such a fundamental shift from what we did before, and yet, it goes back to the fundamental tenets of content marketing. The idea is that if you create helpful, relevant, and valuable content for your audience, your readers will trust you and come back to become customers or advocate on your behalf.”
“It’s easy for marketers, myself included, to get so focused on generating a high volume of leads and traffic that we lose sight of providing the most valuable content and the best possible content experience to individuals in our audiences. If we do that, we generate the right kind of traffic and the right leads for the business because we were helpful to our audiences. Foleon lets us get back to how content marketing is meant to be done,” says Dan.
Advice for transitioning
For companies in a similar position as Dice, Dan has some advice. “If you’re a high-performing content marketing team and want to take things to the next level, definitely consider Foleon. Do your research and understand what you want or need for your program. Additionally, be ready to invest in getting your teams on board and helping them understand the product.”
Going from traditional methods, such as PDFs, to interactive content experiences with Foleon is a significant, fundamental shift, and your team needs to be ready for that. If you want to do it well, you have to understand it’s not as easy as simply putting a platform into place. It requires process changes, which the Foleon team can help you with.
“For us, Foleon has changed how we do things for the better. For 99% of the use cases around content, we’re better off than before. So, I would suggest strongly considering using Foleon for interactive content experiences if you’re looking to upgrade your content programs,” says Dan.
See it for yourself
- Company: Dice (part of DHI Group)
- Featured content: Tech Salary Trends report