B2B Microsites: Driving Awareness and Leads - An Interview with Phillip Lin of FireEye

B2B Microsites: Driving Awareness and Leads - An Interview with Phillip Lin of FireEye
Stephanie Tilton - Thu Aug 19, 2010 @ 01:50AM
Comments: 72

In May 2010, FireEye launched a microsite – ModernMalwareExposed.org – aimed at educating prospects and customers about risks associated with malware. The site has proven popular and has driven qualified leads to the company's corporate site. Phillip Lin, Modern Malware ExposedDirector of Marketing, shares insights into why and how the site was launched, and suggestions for other companies considering a similar initiative.

Q. How does your past experience in Product Marketing inform your approach as Director of Marketing?

Many traditional product marketers work with sophisticated offerings and end up producing complex messaging that has to be then be translated into programs and campaigns. Our approach to messaging and marketing was to jointly create four high-level pillars to our product messaging with detailed supporting points to properly distinguish FireEye and best position us within the market. This framework provides more flexibility in deciding what works best in a given outbound-marketing program or campaign.

Q. How frequently does FireEye conduct Voice of the Customer research?

The one we conducted in early 2010 with the help of KJR Associates was our first. We plan to now conduct them at least annually. We also gather lots of informal feedback via the customer advisory board meetings we hold quarterly.

Q. How did you decide on a microsite as the best vehicle for delivering educational information?

During the interviews, we learned that our customers are seeking to learn more about modern malware. With an educational goal in mind, it was natural to create a microsite offering a diversity of content in several formats, such as podcasts, video, eBooks, and white papers.

Q. How much of the content for your ModernMalwareExposed.org did you create from scratch vs. repurpose?

Once we realized how much content we had to create, we determined how to best package it. We created about 2/3rds from scratch.

Q. What were the roles of the three people who developed the site?

One half-time project manager kept all key players in sync. Ken Rutsky of KJR Associates and I were the primary content owners. It took six weeks from the time we came up with the idea of the site to launching it.

Q. How did you determine the content types and topics you would offer/cover on the site? Did you map these to the buying process?

First and foremost, the site is largely educational so it's geared toward the early stage of the buying decision.

We created content that answered the major questions that came up during the survey process. We knew we needed to use multiple content formats to explain the topic – both graphics and text, as well as video. For example, some people were trying to understand how to explain modern malware and the risks to their bosses. The assessment helps with this, by providing information around the basics and a high level view of the types of risks.

We also kept in mind the audience we are trying to serve, namely IT administrators and executives. In our experience, executives gravitate to short podcasts and videocasts, while IT administrators can take the time to dive into an eBook or white paper. Regardless of whether you develop a quick video interview or blog post, or a more in-depth white paper, the core message ends up being largely the same. You just need to make sure you hit the core content formats that your audience expects to see.

Q. Did you develop and work from buyer personas as you created content for the site?

Yes, KJR Associates broke down the core audience into two key personas: the IT administrator who is the evaluator, influencer, and/or recommender, and the IT executives who are the decision makers. These execs are usually former IT administrators who need to understand how malware fits into their organization’s broader IT security strategy.

Q. How did you first promote the site?

ModernMalwareExposed.org was part of a larger product launch of our network security appliances, so we employed basic advertising and PR, and conducted a virtual analyst and press tour. Some publications covering IT security aren't interested in yet another vendor and product story. The site offered a novel and interesting angle into how to solve this security problem, and that ended up landing us great coverage in CSO Magazine, for example.

Q. How does the number of monthly site visits to the microsite compare to the number of visitors to your corporate site?

It's about even, partly because of cross-pollination. Our corporate site draws quite a bit of traffic because many in the industry find value in the level of technical information provided in the blog put out by our research team. We have created lots of good links from the corporate site to the ModernMalwareExposed.org blog and site, and do lots of cross-linking through social media.

We discovered during the surveys that no single word or term covers the topic of malware for everyone. Some call it malware, others call it botnets, and still others call it spyware. We sprinkle these keywords throughout our educational site to appeal to the audience. Going forward, we'll create more content that is specific to each of these.

As far as increasing search-engine visibility of the site, Ken and I created a terminology hierarchy based on the terms used when prospects and customers speak about the problem. This provided a baseline of search keywords to bid on for search advertising.

Those who are deep into product development are inclined to say: "You can't say that because it's not our key message." By using keywords that resonate with our target audience and describe key concepts, we can bridge that gap.

Q. What is your strategy around requiring registration in exchange for access to content? How do you determine when you will require registration?

Our main goal with this site was to get the content out there and educate the market, but we also wanted to understand who was interested in the topic. All basic content on the site is freely available. For the product assessment, we ask for an email address so we can send the customized report. We do require registration for the eBook and white paper, which are meatier content assets. We will be employing progressive profiling going forward to build up our understanding of prospects’ and customers’ needs.

Q. What happens after people register to download one of your assets, e.g., do they receive follow-on emails after getting the email with PDF?

Once site visitors finish the protection assessment, we qualify them as a strong or weak lead. If they're a good fit, we follow up with email and a call to gauge their level of interest and make sure we answered all their questions about malware. We don't heavily market to those who download the eBook and white paper because they are likely early in the research and buying process.

Q. How do you measure the success of the site?

We're looking to connect with those who are at the forefront of improving their network security. The beauty of the site is that it lends itself to leads who actively self-qualify themselves. The more they interact with the site, the better we can determine their interest. For example, the protection assessment doubles as a survey and provides FireEye reps with insight into what the prospect is concerned with as far as IT security. Based on answers to questions on the microsite, we can better gauge if the site visitor is a good candidate for our products.

The number of visits – and consistency of those visits over time – proves the hunger for the knowledge we're sharing. We also track the number of leads as a result of site visits plus the quality of conversation. For example, in some cases, we have found that we'll get a meeting and sign a prospect up for a product evaluation after only three calls.

Q. How do you create the customized Malware Protection Assessment report that site visitors receive via email after taking the online assessment?

Mike Biglan, the CTO of Concentric Sky, the Web developer in Oregon that created the site for us, helped us develop a decision engine. Basically we map site visitor profiles to characteristics and risks that they should be aware of. Mike made sure we kept the logic structured so it's not overly cumbersome. That way we can easily update the content or use the engine for another purpose.

Q. What are your future plans for the ModernMalwareExposed.org site?

We plan to build out more content and expand on the topics. Now that the core content is there and we are seeing traction, it's easier to get approval for budget to create more content. We'll also put out a videocast with our CEO discussing the malware threat, and why FireEye was started so we can engage people about the problem and explain why it takes a new company and product to tackle it effectively.

Q. Will the success of this initiative inform future ones?

It already has. We do a fair amount of event-based marketing, but this has made us realize how much more we should do online. It's great to meet prospects in person, but before that, we need to make them aware of FireEye. Online is one of the best places to do that.

16. What tips can you offer to other companies that want to pursue a similar initiative?

  • Determine your objectives. How do you plan to use the site and what do you hope to accomplish as result? For example, do you intend to share information, discuss opinions, create a community, etc.? Do you expect to drive more traffic to your corporate site, encourage site visitors to sign up for your newsletter, drive revenue, etc.?
  • Review Web sites with a similar objective to serve as templates. In this way, you can show your executive team how and why a new microsite might work for your company.
  • Involve key stakeholders (and only those stakeholders!) Otherwise, you'll be saddled with a complex decision-making process and a drawn-out time frame. Pull together a small group of people: one designer, one core group of programmers, a few people to create the content, and one or two to get the content and site executed and the initiative launched.
  • Establish a timeline and stick to it. And don't gate it with too many requirements.
  • Don't bite off too much. Create just enough content to get the site launched. Quick, easy wins are key to keeping and achieving momentum. As people visit the site, you can analyze their online behavior to determine what they're interested in and develop more content along those lines.
  • Register both .org and .com domain names. The .org address reinforces the educational nature of the site, but most people default to .com.
  • Allocate sufficient budget to drive traffic to the site.

About the author: Stephanie Tilton is a content marketing consultant who helps B2B companies craft content that nurtures leads and advances the buying cycle. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on SavvyB2B.

Related Posts:

Comments: 72

Comments

1. Example Interview Questions   |  my website   |   Thu Aug 19, 2010 @ 07:18PM

Phillip, wonderful interview. Have few people giving way there ideas! I liked the "Register both .org and .com domain names" this helped me a lot in my business website. thanks for sharing!

2. Laura  |  my website   |   Tue Aug 31, 2010 @ 01:26PM

Great insightful interview! One thing that I'd like to know (perhaps from Phillip) is after all the PR and marketing effort, how long did it take you to reach considerable hits per month?

3. Phillip LIn  |  my website   |   Mon Sep 27, 2010 @ 06:41AM

Thanks Laura! It was about 3-4 weeks to reach our current modest state of traffic on http://www.ModernMalwareExposed.org It required some good cross-linking on all our other properties like the corporate site, corporate blog, as well as promoting it via our Sales team (emails, on calls, etc.)

Phil

4. Michael Simmons  |  my website   |   Tue Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:02AM

Nice, concise interview. Were personalized URLs used in the execution of the campaign? It seems that would fill marketing funnel more quickly. I believe microsites are key to good B2B outbound marketing. Digital is flexible as noted in the interview, meaning repurposed sites lend themselves to winning the ROI battle.

I think the actual site is too similar to a corporate site. I would've taken a little bit bigger risk to make a splash with something like this http://accepttheinvitation.com/jonreese.

Regardless, I applaud the approach and congratulate you on the campaign's success.

5. degree in psychology  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 17, 2013 @ 06:35AM

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

6. social work degrees  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 23, 2013 @ 06:11AM

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...

7. settlement quotes  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 23, 2013 @ 10:29PM

It's a nice software that they have. And it can be sold for an expensive price I think.

8. Geraldine  |  my website   |   Fri May 03, 2013 @ 07:25AM

all their questions about malware. We don't heavily market to those who download the eBook and white paper because they are likely early in the research and buying process

9. settlement annuity  |  my website   |   Mon May 06, 2013 @ 02:18AM

letters and also gifts acquired (hard perform we know) : amongst that has been a tiny gem of your letter by means of not just one single, but a few ERA nominations! We all..

10. Title Services   |   Mon May 06, 2013 @ 10:52AM

Question and answer session on this page, I can find out the advantages of B2B. In my opinion, it is quite important to know so that I can do business development more accurately and effectively. http://www.squidoo.com/a-peek-inside-title-services

11. adjustable bed  |  my website   |   Tue May 07, 2013 @ 02:38AM

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.

12. best mattress reviews  |  my website   |   Tue May 07, 2013 @ 02:43AM

Should there be another persuasive post you can share next time, I’ll be surely waiting for it.

13. Anchorage SEO company  |  my website   |   Tue May 07, 2013 @ 07:52AM

Products that can be used by marketing is very hard to find in many other fields. You should be able to give a lot of marketing knowledge to others.
http://www.globaltelesis.com/AK/Anchorage-AK-Website-SEO.asp

14. DSL Anbieter  |  my website   |   Thu May 09, 2013 @ 02:59AM

Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day.

15. google pozycjonowanie  |  my website   |   Thu May 09, 2013 @ 09:03AM

Great, This specific net webpage is seriously thrilling and enjoyment to learn. I’m an enormous fan from the subjects mentioned.

16. personalized t shirts   |   Thu May 09, 2013 @ 09:51AM

Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day.

17. registered office scotland   |   Fri May 10, 2013 @ 05:41AM

People working in the field of marketing has a lot of very big challenge. One of them is where they should be able to sell and make consumers satisfied with their products.
http://www.sfsgo.com/edinburgh-registered-office-address-service

18. Love  |  my website   |   Fri May 10, 2013 @ 06:12AM

These execs are usually former IT administrators who need to understand how malware fits into their organization’s broader IT security strategy.

19. prescott web design  |  my website   |   Sat May 11, 2013 @ 02:16AM

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.

20. alaska-salmon-fishing-king.com   |   Sat May 11, 2013 @ 04:04AM

Marketing is a very challenging field. Marketing is being pursued them to be able to sell services or products which have made ??many consumers are interested in and buy it.
http://www.alaska-salmon-fishing-king.com

21. visalus-sciences  |  my website   |   Mon May 13, 2013 @ 01:57AM

You are allowed to post names, but not links, unless they are approved and on topic.

22. mattress reviews  |  my website   |   Tue May 14, 2013 @ 06:36AM

Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day. ..http://buyingamattressonline.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/what-to-spot-on-the-mattress-reviews/

23. anxiety  |  my website   |   Thu May 16, 2013 @ 12:58AM

Great, This specific net webpage is seriously thrilling and enjoyment to learn. I’m an enormous fan from the subjects mentioned.

24. zynga poker hack  |  my website   |   Fri May 17, 2013 @ 12:40AM

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks.

25. structured settlement buyer  |  my website   |   Fri May 17, 2013 @ 06:04AM

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.

26. airline credit cards  |  my website   |   Tue May 21, 2013 @ 08:28AM

Have the opportunity to do Q & A sessions and interviews with this great person is a very rare occurrence. You'll be able to ask about things.
http://www.airlinemilescreditcards.net/

27. naaptol coupons  |  my website   |   Sat May 25, 2013 @ 01:42AM

A sessions and interviews with this great person is a very rare occurrence. You'll be able to ask about things.

28. Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic - My Hit Tricks  |  my website   |   Sun May 26, 2013 @ 11:57PM

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!

29. psn code generator  |  my website   |   Tue May 28, 2013 @ 02:07AM

I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my blogs but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular

30. Discount dining furniture sets  |  my website   |   Tue May 28, 2013 @ 03:35AM

Kung nangangako ka na gawin ang isang bagay, siguraduhin mo ba talagang sabihin sa. Ang isa sa mga pinakamalaking disadvantages ng maliit na negosyo ay ang kawalan ng pagiging maaasahan. Pinakamahusay na premyo makakuha sila mula sa mga kliyente ay kapag sila ay praised para sa trabaho sa oras at sa loob ng badyet.
http://thehugehouse.org/cheap-dining-room-sets/cheap-dining-room-sets/

31. plastic surgery pittsburgh  |  my website   |   Wed May 29, 2013 @ 01:54AM

You are allowed to post names, but not links, unless they are approved and on topic.

32. structured settlement  |  my website   |   Wed May 29, 2013 @ 06:39AM

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here.

33. Glock Siderlock  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 01, 2013 @ 08:00AM

It's a nice sharing for the interview. It's not easy to pass the test without any preparations.
http://glock-barrel.wallinside.com/post-3933793-glock-siderlock-to-provide-optimal-security.html

34. funny pictures  |  my website   |   Mon Jun 03, 2013 @ 07:34AM

Great, This specific net webpage is seriously thrilling and enjoyment to learn. I’m an enormous fan from the subjects mentioned.

35. HCG diet drops  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 05, 2013 @ 08:42AM

During the interviews, we learned that our customers are seeking to learn more about modern malware. With an educational goal in mind, it was natural to create a microsite offering a diversity of content in several formats, such as podcasts, video, eBooks, and white papers.

36. Safety Equipment Suppliers  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 06, 2013 @ 05:55AM

He is giving a right advices. I really agree with what he is saying.
http://www.nationalsafetyinc.com

37. Vacation Rentals in Seattle   |   Sat Jun 08, 2013 @ 04:26AM

Question being asked is a question that should indeed be Answered easily by the resource persons. There are many sources that actually gets confused then.
http://www.stayalfred.com/rentalsearch/seattle-wa/

38. Relaciones de pareja  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 08, 2013 @ 05:35AM

Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!

39. nikon d4  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 08, 2013 @ 06:16AM

Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day.

40. Sourcing Agents  |  my website   |   Fri Jun 14, 2013 @ 07:58AM

Wow! What an eye opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated, bookmarked, I can’t wait for more!

41. ac repair massachusetts  |  my website   |   Sun Jun 16, 2013 @ 05:03AM

This is a great article, Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting.

42. West Allis Dental Care  |  my website   |   Sun Jun 23, 2013 @ 06:11AM

Great, This specific net webpage is seriously thrilling and enjoyment to learn. I’m an enormous fan from the subjects mentioned.

43. cash for settlements  |  my website   |   Mon Jun 24, 2013 @ 08:40AM

Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day.

44. structured settlement annuity  |  my website   |   Fri Jul 05, 2013 @ 04:33AM

Take your chances and move forward for something huge. Great things can happen without you knowing it.

45. haynes t-shirt  |  my website   |   Mon Jul 08, 2013 @ 05:21AM

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Ill definitely be back. <a href="http://wantatshirt.com/haynes">haynes t-shirt</a>

46. haynes t-shirt  |  my website   |   Mon Jul 08, 2013 @ 05:23AM

Great, This specific net webpage is seriously thrilling and enjoyment to learn. I’m an enormous fan from the subjects mentioned. <a href="http://wantatshirt.com/haynes">haynes t-shirt</a>

47. Driveway Paving  |  my website   |   Tue Jul 09, 2013 @ 07:22AM

Very informative and helpful. I was searching for this information but there are very limited resources. Thank you for providing this information <a href="http://www.premierpavingltd.co.uk">Driveway Paving</a>

48. herbalife  |  my website   |   Sat Jul 13, 2013 @ 05:35PM

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!

49. structured settlement companies  |  my website   |   Sun Jul 14, 2013 @ 01:03AM

The first several months of our site there was no remarks; just give it time; today they come in like crazy every single day! Thanks a lot.

50. Svenska Artiklar  |  my website   |   Sun Jul 14, 2013 @ 02:35AM

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. <a href="http://www.zaman.se">Svenska Artiklar</a>

Previous 1

Post a Comment




powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder