As a B2B marketer, it’s a safe assumption that you know your business and you’re comfortable talking about what your organization can do for your current and potential customers, but how would you rate the quality and consistency of that messaging when it comes to online communications, advertising and marketing materials? If that’s an area that could use some improvement, consider content marketing as a way to share consistent content-driven messaging across all channels.
The chart below from the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends — North America highlights just how important a strategic lead, dedicated budgets and engaging content are for an effective content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, this kind of forward-thinking marketing is still underutilized, according to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Of the 1,217 B2B respondents surveyed, less than half (42 percent) consider themselves to be effective content marketers. While this number is up from last year’s 36 percent, there remains a lot of opportunity in the realm of content marketing yet to be realized.
Gather, Process, Share
Despite the nebulous name, content marketing is something that’s done automatically each and every day when we gather and sort information to share and inform others on a topic. The act of collection and curation is what allows us to make choices and necessary decisions at work and at home.
If you think of curation in terms of your business, content marketing allows you to gather and share information that will prompt conversations about your current business, demonstrate the role your business and its employees play in the community and provides opportunities to showcase the ways you differentiate yourself from your competitors — all with the added benefit of content marketing metrics through web traffic and quality sales leads.
Share What You Know
Successful content marketing is built around quality writing and consistency in messaging and presence. Blogs play a major role in this strategy and 70 percent of those surveyed cited blogs as an effective tactic. Consider using a blog to share interesting and relevant information about your company, highlight in-house thought leadership and create brand awareness, but don’t stop there. Share shorter pieces of information on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. (The B2B marketers surveyed cited the use of an average of six different social media platforms.) See other effective content marketing tactics below.
Ready, Set, Write
We won’t lie. Quality content does take time and no amount of slap-dash writing will make you a successful content marketer. Curation entails boiling down your message to manageable content bites written with the time- and attention-span of the customer in mind. For instance, in an investment of 10-15 minutes, a customer could read a company blog, 2-3 minutes scan an infographic or share information on a social platform in just seconds.
Despite all these positive attributes, you may be thinking that your organization does not have the time to create this level of content, but consider the alternative, content that’s created haphazardly with no strategy and no cohesive message is wasted effort. Instead, start by appointing someone to create an inclusive strategy, whether that is in-house or outsourced to an agency or independent contractor, then begin creating content based on some of the suggestions below such as highlighting what’s going on in your industry or what the company decision makers are doing. Remember that the strength and momentum of a successful content marketing strategy is built one piece of quality content at a time.
Talk to Rank Fuse about creating a cohesive content marketing plan with blogs, social media, search engine optimization and pay per click advertising that will optimize your standing in the search engines.