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The Shale Playbook - an Example of Killer TOFU Content

By John McTigueAug 9, 2012

Last week we published The 2012 Shale Playbook for our client, Cimation, a process automation and IT services company in the Energy industry. This ebook was written and designed to attract new leads from one of our client's target markets, oil and gas explorers and engineers working in the North American shale plays. We published the ebook on Wednesday and sent out an email announcement on Thursday. The influx of qualified sales leads and conversion rates on the Playbook landing page were nothing short of stunning for the first two days of circulation, representing a great example of how high quality top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content should be a high priority in your digital marketing strategy.

shale playbook TOFU content marketing

The Shale Playbook Idea

We came up with the idea for the Playbook in conversations with Cimation about how to attract qualified sales leads through content marketing. The Oil and Gas sector is highly technical, and most companies in the sector are used to publishing case studies, specification sheets or press releases about recent projects or acquisitions. You don't see a lot of creative content. We wanted to "punch things up" a bit, in keeping with our client's desire to enhance brand awareness, especially as an innovator and technology leader. We knew that oil and gas is still a predominantly male-dominated industry and that in Texas, the epicenter of the industry, it's all about football. So we decided to showcase the hottest trend in the industry (the shale plays) with a football theme; hence the Playbook.

The Edge in TOFU Content

So what makes a great top-funnel piece of content? We think it's a combination of great writing, a bit of humor, a unique attitude and great design. So we made the Playbook a shale-rich football playbook, making the analogy between the shale plays (a term meaning a collection of oil and gas fields within a certain geologic formation) as football teams in different locations in North America and the football "plays" corresponding to the different aspects of drilling, production and support needed to get the oil and gas out of the ground and into the system. We had fun creating the links between technical and football, and our designer went "all-in" on the design.

Results Speak for Themselves

In just over a day of circulation, our client had over 100 new unique leads, and their landing page was converting at well over 40%. A large majority of the leads were highly qualified, many of them working in the shale plays themselves for real clients and potential services customers of our client. We will continue to promote and share this TOFU content in all of the relevant online and offline channels. What's next? We have set up lead nurturing campaigns to stay in touch with new leads, provide them with additional shale-relevant content, such as blogs and white papers, and ultimately invite them to move further down the sales funnel into MOFU and BOFU content, signifying an enhanced interest in our client's services.

Image reproduced and data released courtesy of Cimation.





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Additional Topics: Content and Design
The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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