Contently Case Stories is a series highlighting some of Contently’s most successful clients, going into detail about how we worked together to produce great content and great business results.
When Josh Golden joined Xerox in March of this year as VP of global digital marketing and communications, the company was chomping at the bit for a fresh brand platform. Now, it has an entirely new brand strategy, a redesigned website, a new content marketing platform, and a “customer-centric” view of its customer base.
What a difference six months—and a commitment to content—can make. “It’s been a massive shift,” Golden said. “And an exciting ride.”
The shift was a necessary one. Xerox was founded in 1906 and is widely known only as a printer or document technology company. In fact, it delivers specialized services across a wide range of industries, from healthcare to transportation, government, customer care, HR, finance and beyond.
The problem? Not enough traffic to its website ever discovered the breadth of services Xerox offered.
Over the past few months, Xerox has re-engineered its site around content for prospects and customers–everything from expert interviews to e-books, case studies, and Slideshares–all designed to help prospects attack the issues that most matter to them.
“Content is all about educating prospects but also about helping them do their jobs better,” Golden said. “Inform people, and they’ll consider your solutions. But you need to earn that consideration – don’t just expect it as a brand-given right.”
It’s a massive undertaking for Xerox. “Contently offers us the kind of workflow infrastructure we need to run content programs at scale,” Golden said, emphasizing how Contently’s content management engine relays topics to content developers then tracks them through publishing.
The new Xerox.com, created by digital agency VML and UK-based B2B marketing agency Velocity Partners, puts content front and center. In a major ad push, the brand has introduced TV spots, print ads, and online ads developed by both VML and Y&R New York. These were launched around the U.S. Open tennis tournament (of which Xerox is an official partner), using the tagline “Work Can Work Better.”
Xerox’s strategy reflects the new role of the B2B decision maker. Historically, buyers looked to supplier sales reps to learn about new products. Today, digital channels have turned that dynamic on its head.
A recent study from Cascade Insights suggests that 82 percent of buyers view at least five pieces of digital content from the supplier they ultimately choose.
Additional research from CEB found that B2B buyers are typically 57 percent of the way through the purchase process by the time they contact a vendor.“That’s a tremendously strong motivator for us to engage with buyers earlier and help them answer their questions all along the purchase journey,” Golden said.
The brand’s ultimate goal is to give each of its target audiences the information they need to move forward. The content development strategy includes optimizing content for search; distributing content across social channels; and nurturing leads towards a sales conversation.
“A content ‘snack’ might point to an article that goes into greater detail, then lead to an in-depth e-book before we even mention a specific product,” Golden said.
By packaging content this way, Xerox increases the odds that potential customers will listen to what it has to say. “Our approach is to provide helpful, engaging and challenging content for business decision makers,” Golden explained. “It’s all about their information needs first – way before you’ve earned the right to recommend solutions.”
In addition to e-books and SlideShares, Xerox is leveraging infographics,which Golden considers to deliver the best chance of achieving cut-through and getting shared. Given that some Xerox services, like those relating to public transportation, aren’t openly visible to the average consumer, the brand has to take extra steps to make them known. Infographics tell a story that resonates with a broader audience, while also educating customers about key issues.
“This is a learning strategy,” Golden said, “We’re finding out more and more every day about what works.”
To date, Velocity Partners has created the digital content, meeting with Xerox teams to discuss business priorities and devise story ideas that mesh with the brand’s new marketing strategy. Once Golden’s team has vetted these content concepts, they move into the development phase through the Contently platform.
While Golden’s ultimate objective is to produce site content that’s “extraordinarily timely and relevant,” he acknowledges the value of telling engaging brand stories that last. “Evergreen content will be kept relevant,” he said. “We will constantly update it and keep it fresh.”
Moving forward, Xerox is also investing heavily in social media and working to target business influencers who can increase the content’s exposure. “It’s so very important to have a great brand story, and we’ve developed this with the ‘WorkingBetter’ hashtag and philosophy,” Golden said.
In other words, Xerox has taken its own advice: It’s found a way to make content work better.
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to reflect additional information from Xerox.