By now, we hope you agree with us, that content truly is king. However, it’s not always easy to create or market, especially for a B2B audience. So, we have compiled a list of attributes that are commonly associated with content marketing, some of them you may have already come across before, others, may yet to be uncovered…
- You need content marketing!
Of course, you know what content marketing is all about by now, you cannot scroll through LinkedIn or run a google search without hitting an article about it. But what you may not know, is that it is a necessity for every B2B business. Providing customers with helpful, engaging and thoughtful content is an ideal way to gain trust, exude expertise and win customers.
Here are just a few some cold hard facts that prove you need a content marketing strategy as part of your overall business model:
- 93% of B2B marketers are usingcontent marketing according to a study by CMI.
- The average conversion rate is 6 timeshigher for companies that use content marketing compared to those that do not (2.9% versus 0.5%)
- 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content (Demand Metric, 2014).
- 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it (Demand Metric, 2014).
With numbers like these, you cannot afford to not have a content marketing plan in place!
- The fear is real
If you are afraid of marketing your business, you are not alone. But to start, you need to find out exactly what it is you are afraid of? Do you worry about what other people will think? Is it fear of rejection or failure? Is it a fear that you will come off as pushy, salesy, or spammy? No matter what is driving your fear of self-promotion, to effectively overcome it, you need to work out what the problem is and rectify it.
Once you have addressed your fears, it is time to work through them. The good news, is there is so much information out there online, with videos posted on The Content Marketing Institute, Hubspot, YouTube, and a host of other websites. These videos can help you to hone your brand’s message so that you are offering a real value to potential customers. The key is to continue gathering information, and try what you learn – trial and error is the best way to work through fear. If you still feel that this just is not for you… skip ahead to point number 5.
- There is no quick fix
All good things take time. But the great thing about marketing today is that there are so many tools to help you automate tasks and save time, so you can focus on what matters most, your content.
While there are automated content writing tools and content mills out there, they are not recommended. These quick fix methods lack in-depth analysis and insight and at the end of the day, people are looking for articles that provide real value and answer real questions. It is best to use automation tools to get the content you produce out there – not to create it.
There are platforms such as BuzzSumo, that help you identify blog topics that have received the highest engagement based on specific keywords. This will help you align your blogs with what is trending. You can also schedule social media posts to support your bogs in advance via Buffer, Hootsuite or a host of other scheduling tools. You can
But remember that these tools only help you once you have already developed your content.
Even with all of the hot new tools out there, a personal human touch is obviously still necessary. Trends are here and then gone in a flash, algorithms change, social interactions still need physical responses. A unique voice and perspective are often the biggest factors in any marketing strategy, and the content you put out there can only be aided by these tools, they can’t do all of the work for you.
- It is not easy
Content creation is often a collaborative effort made by several people including the writer, visuals designer, SEO expert and marketing specialist who all club together to provide input on how to understand and target the right audience.
It also requires developing a strategy and documenting that strategy. Before you even start creating your content, you have to spend time understanding your audience. Make sure you are writing content that addresses their needs and pain points, so you can ensure you are delivering real value. You then need to establish the goals of your campaign and set up methods to measure if you are meeting those goals.
Now it’s time to get to writing the content – blogs, social media posts, case studies, infographics, white papers and videos (to name just a few). With copy in hand, it’s time to populate your calendar and share the inciteful content you have developed. Once your content has run its course, it’s finally time to gather the data from your analytics team. Decide what is working and what’s not, and start the whole process anew in line with your findings. If this sounds like a lot – step 5 is just below.
- You can always hire a professional
As the first four points already explain, content marketing can be a challenge. It requires a lot confidence, knowledge, time, research and testing to get it right – and no one can do it all. Chances are, if you are running the day-to-day of your business, trying to keep up with the changes in technology, whilst keeping your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the market, you will not have enough time or energy to create an effective content marketing strategy.
If you think that your business could benefit from a team of experts who have years of experience, and you would like to outsource your content marketing, get in touch at [email protected].