MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute recently put out a report on B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends. The report looked at B2B companies overall marketing effectiveness and found that 42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing.
When you take a deeper dive into the report, it seems there are identifiable factors that contribute to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of companies’ content marketing programs. The report shows that whether you have someone overseeing strategy, the number of tactics used, the number of social media tactics used and the amount of budget allocated all may impact a companies’ content marketing effectiveness.
However, it seems the factor most closely tied to whether or not a B2B company feels effective at content marketing is the existence of a ready-to-implement strategy. Taking this into consideration, here are three tips for more effective B2B content marketing:
- Create a content strategy.
If you have no strategy behind the content you produce, it is like trying to do archery in the dark; and blindly shooting arrows without a clear target is never going to be effective. In order for your marketing content to get people to take the actions you want (e.g. fill out a form, send an email, make a purchase, etc.), you need to think about who the audience is and how they will be able to use it. For every piece of content you create, there should be a clear intention and goal behind it, whether that goal is brand awareness or lead gen.
Part of creating a B2B content marketing strategy involves mapping out the stages of your sales cycle and developing content each stage. This entails early-stage, educational content (e.g. blogs, videos) to help with discovery as well as late-stage content that verifies the value prop (e.g. case studies, use cases)—and everything in between. By setting up your content marketing strategy like this beforehand, your prospects can find content that is relevant and valuable regardless of where they are in their buying process.
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