Content marketing is here to stay. It’s increasingly the most important part of any B2B marketer’s practice. But it isn’t easy. How can you make your content marketing better? What can you do to make your content stand out from your competitors? Let Madison Logic’s SVP of Product, Sonjoy Ganguly, break it down for you.
TRANSCRIPT: Hey there, it’s Sonjoy Ganguly again, and welcome to episode 5 of Adventures in B2B Marketing. Today’s episode THE POWER OF CONTENT. It should go without saying that content is essential for b2b marketers.
According to About.com, a whopping 74% of consumers trust brands that provide useful info without trying to sell them something. And what’s the best form that useful info can take? Videos, whitepapers, webinars, infographics…in short, CONTENT. Content marketing is continuing to become an integral part of any marketer’s portfolio. Marketo informs us that 70% of executives rely more on content now than they did a year ago
But there’s a lot of content out there, 90% of executive feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available today. Content marketing is jamming LinkedIn, crowding Twitter, filling up Facebook, even outliers like Snapchat and Instagram are vying for a prospects attention, so it’s no wonder that it’s hard to get people download your whitepaper.
BUILDING A CONTENT STRATEGY
According to the Content Marketing Institute, that only 30% of B2B companies feel their organizations are effective at content marketing (down from 38% last year). That means that more than 2/3 of us are not doing our jobs and we’re getting worse at it! That’s not a good stat.
And while nearly half of b2b marketers (32%) have a well defined content marketing strategy. 55% of marketers don’t even know the effectiveness of their content!
Content marketing without a strategy is like baking a cake without following a recipe. Without it, you’ll add too much sugar, leave out the vanilla, forgo the baking powder… in other words, your result will be far from satisfying.
Here’s 3 things you can do to get started building a content strategy:
- Define your Key Performance Indicators – What constitutes success? These are your goals. It may be site visits, or engagement, but ultimately its leads and conversions. KPIs help yoou understand how your content is performing at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Define your Audience – What is your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)? If you don’t know who your audience is, how do you know you’re reaching them? They may watch your webinar, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. An ICP helps you understand who is a lead and who is not/
- Write an Editorial Statement – An editorial statement is a sort of litmus test to determine how you will create content. An editorial mission defines: Who you are as a company. Who you are trying to reach. How you’re going to reach them. What you want to accomplish when you do
In other words, if your content sounds to sales-oriented, it gets thrown out.
Buzzfeed founder, Jonah Peretti says “Content is King, but distribution is queen… and she wears the pants.” So how are marketers distributing their content?
Primarily: Search. Engine. Optimization.
Content marketing is a prime SEO strategy. Google loves content that is actually helpful. The closer it comes to answering the question your prospects are asking; the better results you’ll have in search.
But SEO is hardly enough. Here are three best tactics for content promotion and delivery:
- Social Media – LinkedIn, Twitter, and yes even Facebook are powerful tools for a B2B marketer. Using a tool like LinkedIn casts a wide net, but at least you can define the fish that are in the net. You can define the tiles, industry, and even the companies that you’ve defined as your ICP. This strategy works best at the top of the funnel, when you’re trying to peak interest.
- Targeted Advertising and Content Syndication – This may sound self-serving coming from Madison Logic, but hear me out. With deep pools of data behind your targeted advertising and content syndication program, you can put your content in front of the prospects who are actively researching products and services like yours. This strategy works well to reach prospects across all phases of B2B buying process.
- Email – Email can be successful at any point in the funnel, but you have to consider the content you’re delivering. At the top of the funnel, begin with something light: a newsletter or a video, something that peaks interest but isn’t overbearing.
LISTENING TO YOUR AUDIENCES
Marketers can be egocentric. Often the expectation is that both content and marketing collateral must tell the brand story, breakdown the benefits of products, proclaim your superiority over that of your competitors. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Content should be about the customer, their issues and concerns. According to the CMO Council 78% of prospects believe that organization providing custom content are more trustable.
To succeed, content marketers should not be talking; they should be listening.
But how? I have four points for you
- Social Media – You should already be using it to move your content. But are you using it to listen to your prospects? Hashtags, trending topics, and blog posts are key to informing content creation.
- Search Engine Optimization – You know the topics that are important to you, but tools like Google Trends help you understand the topics that are actually being searched.
- Site Analytics – Your site is a great resource. What are the terms people are using to get to your site? Are they interacting or bouncing away? Take a lesson from your analytics. If they’re not downloading that whitepaper, dump it for something new.
- Intent Data – The points above are all essential, but they’re really only your best guess as to what your prospects are researching. By using data, by contrast, can pinpoint exactly what topics users are researching in the marketplace. With this information in hand you don’t want to create content about the “finance,” instead you can focus on the terms “investment software” and “online and mobile investing” which are surging in the marketplace. Create content here and you’re on your way to success.
- Multiple data – you don’t want one data source, to be effective, you need to look at many data sources to build a truly scalable and effective audience pool that drives your ROI.
That’s it for today. Clearly content is the future. Your audience responds to it, and its often the best part of a marketing campaign. It can be smart, savvy and fun to make. If I’m going to leave you with one thing it’s this from motivational sales guru, Zig Ziglar, it’s time to stop selling…and start helping. If that’s your mantra, then you’re halfway there.
Tune in next month for Episode 6 of Adventures in B2B Marketing where we’ll talk about how Account Based Marketing is demanding a change in the metrics we measure.
See you there.