Content Marketing and Marketing Automation: How Content Strategy Depends on and Benefits Demand Generation
Even as marketing automation becomes more accessible, there is still often a silo between demand generation and content marketing. As content marketing moves into the performance era and marketers must prove the value of their work, it’s crucial that demand generation and content marketing teams align. Without insight into demand generation metrics, content marketers won’t be able to demonstrate ROI. And without content, demand generation efforts will never reach their true potential. In this post, I will walk through how and where content marketing fits into the marketing automation landscape.
I’ll also share examples of how NewsCred has bridged the gap between demand generation and content marketing for ourselves and our clients. When thinking about the buyer journey, content marketing often gets perceived as a top-of-funnel play, while demand generation exists at the middle and bottom of the funnel. As a result, it is imperative that content marketing teams closely align with demand generation teams to ensure that they’re receiving credit for content that drove leads. NewsCred’s content marketing platform has a powerful feature to show when content marketing drove high-value conversions, such as email subscriptions and form fills, and resulted in those leads entering marketing automation platforms. Marketing automation platforms pass much of the attribution data to CRMs like Salesforce, but the final reports will always come from marketing automation.
We’ve seen time and time again that content leads are 3-5x more likely to convert than cold leads, so it benefits both content and demand generation teams to align on strategy. For content marketers, it’s crucial to understand the KPIs that exist within this platform so that they are correctly working with demand generation teams to get attribution for content. As efforts like account-based marketing become more popular, and as audiences become more demanding of personalized, considered marketing touchpoints, then having a content strategy throughout the funnel will become increasingly important.
vRealizing IaaS as a Code Multi-Developer Story with vRealize Automation and LifeCycle Suite Content Management
We are continuing to cover the multi-developer story for IaaS contents as a code. In the previous blog we have shown step-by-step process on how to set up IaaS content development environment using vRealize Automation with Infrastructure blueprint that is available for download from vRA 7.4 appliances. Similar to Software Development Life Cycle where multiple developers check-out source code from SCM repository, modify it in their Development environments, perform unit tests, check modified source code into repository for it to be deployed to production, vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager provides functional support for conceptually similar Content Development Life Cycle with its internal Common repository and integration with external SCM systems and embedded vRealize CodeStream for code delivery stages automation. Before being able to work with IaaS Content in local Development environment, we need to configure Content endpoints in vRLCM. For a reference, this blog is a very good hands-on introduction to initial Content Endpoint configurations, including one for GitLab.
As a brief reminder, Content endpoints can be created from the Content Management – Endpoints menu. Populate Development Environment with Production content from LCM content repository. Now we as Developers are ready to work on the deployed IaaS content: modify it, add new dependencies if needed and integrate with other content that can be captured separately. In real life situations, Developers can make more complex changes to Blueprint and/or its dependencies – all these changes can be handled by LCM Content Management very similarly to shown in the following sections. Rapidly provision IaaS content Development environments from vRealize Automation Production environment.
Configure Content management endpoints in vRealize Lifecycle Manager Content management functional area. Populate Development environments with replica of Production IaaS content for development. Capture/Recapture modified/added content into central LCM content repository with unit testing.
VMware releases vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for DevOps
Today ‘project Houdini’ has freed itself from the shackles with VMware’s release of the vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps 1.0.0.DevOps for infrastructure. VMware vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps helps IT teams to apply the same DevOps best practices of version control, unit testing and continuous delivery to infrastructure content such as VMware vRealize Automation service, XaaS blueprints and Orchestrator workflows. Tools like source control systems, automated testing, repository management, and release pipeline automation can all be combined for automating SDDC content lifecycle management. VMware’s vRealize Code Stream provides a way to model and automate the software release process. It also embeds a repository management solution, JFrog Artifactory Pro, that can be used to store code or binary objects like VM templates.
The vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps provides out-of-the-box release pipelines along with vRealize Automation’s Advanced Service Designer forms and workflows. The release pipelines from Code Stream allows customers to automate the lifecycle of vRealize Automation content and move them across various vRA instances or tenants as part of their development, test and production stages. The Management Pack will speedily deploy vRealize Automation content across multiple tenants on a single instance or across multiple instances of vRealize Automation and vRealize Orchestrator. In essence, the vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps enables ‘DevOps for Infrastructure. The vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps runs on top of a single vRA 6.2.3/Code Stream 1.2/vRealize Orchestrator 6.0 appliance.
These platforms were also used in the continuous integration and testing process of the management pack itself. The vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps is available for free to customers of vRealize Code Stream and vRealize Automation Advanced & Enterprise and can be downloaded here.