With a variety of digital distribution channels available and the tools to target custom audiences, content marketing has emerged as a key strategy for B2B marketers who are looking to find potential customers and build loyalty among existing clients. According to Forrester, content marketing will be one of the biggest areas of growth in the B2B market, and 42 percent of marketers revealed plans to increase spend in the category this year.
While content is taking the main stage, B2B marketers have room for improvement.
Why content marketing?
Most enterprise-level companies have a content strategy, yet 50 percent don’t design content to target buyers’ pain points, according to demand-generation firm Annuitas. While companies spend millions of dollars on content marketing tactics, they aren’t seeing the desired result.
The reality is that in today’s market, B2B marketers need to deliver content to prospects before they even know they have a problem. A B2B buyer should read an article and have a moment of realization that they could do more to improve their business. Content should make a prospect realize that there are new ways to operate, which will help them improve their business and entice them to seek out more information.
Yet many marketers haven’t realized this opportunity. Marketers must evolve and adapt their content so that it is useful to prospective customers. There are several ways to make content more effective. For instance, marketers should take the time to get the right message on the right platform. What works on LinkedIn may differ from the ideal content for an email newsletter, and it’s the marketer’s job to understand the media consumption habits of the target user and target accordingly.
How to get noticed
Great content gets noticed. Marketers should look for ways to stand out with content that gets attention. No one is waiting around to read an advertiser’s content, they simply want good content to engage with, no matter who created it. The future of content distribution lies in several channels: social media, email newsletter, mobile website and apps.
Content marketing is more important than ever for B2B marketers and social media is helping distribute content to the right audience. Many business marketers are using LinkedIn to create a conversation with business customers. The site gives B2B companies the ability to target their content to specific industries and job. Email newsletters are also an integral part of a content marketing strategy. These emails can serve as a kind of daily digest or as insightful how-tos that can help potential prospects or current clients better address their business.
What about smartphones?
Mobile also plays a key role in any content strategy. According to eMarketer, 51 percent of the time an adult engages with digital media they are on their mobile device. Mobile content marketing relies on an optimized site, which is instantly available to a reader who is visiting from their phone.
A content-centric app also offers marketers an intimate way to connect with customers. While apps require an investment on the content and development side, they can be very effective. American Express, has the OPEN Forum content marketing program. The app aims to give small business customers “Insights and inspiration to grow your business.” The app includes practical articles that are digestible on a phone, along with tools for small businesses to manage their business.
There are many options to use content to reach prospects. The bottom line is that the content should be compelling and appeal to your target audience. It’s time to adopt a strategic approach to content marketing, which offers B2B marketers a huge opportunity to connect.