7 min read time
Nearly 80% of B2B marketing teams use content to boost their overall strategy, unearthing new business opportunities and nurturing those engaging with their brand. As 61% of B2B buyers say content heavily influences their purchasing decisions, the use of this valuable channel can make or break your business’ marketing success. Bill Gates once told us “content is king”, and as our buyers start to crave highly relevant and innovative content, our strategies need to rise, meeting their ideals. Discover what content marketing means for your business, what challenges are commonly faced when undertaking this approach, and how to revolutionize your content marketing efforts to create the ultimate strategy.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a unique approach that differs in many ways to the marketing channels usually classed as “traditional”. As content marketing uses the creation and distribution of online material such as blogs, videos, and guides to stimulate interest in a product or service without solely focusing on an individual brand, this channel is seen as a less intrusive, softer marketing approach. Instead of pitching your product to buyers through an email or targeted advert, content marketing attracts new business interest by offering detailed and trustworthy expertise in easily consumable formats. This helps boost product value and interest by integrating your solution into everyday strategies and processes, using your expertise to help prospects reach success.
Unlike many other marketing approaches, content marketing doesn’t rely on a string of continuous campaigns, each one individually designed and separately executed. Creating and distributing a consistent flow of relevant and engaging content slowly builds a highly effective approach, creating a huge network of business insight that practicalizes your product. This enables your team to gain leads of higher quality than those of other channels; prospects heavily invested in your solution who spend an average of 47% more on your product.
Understanding content marketing challenges
To properly revolutionize your content marketing approach, it’s key to ask what can hinder your success so your team can tackle these challenging elements before they affect results. Below, we’ll explore the common challenges faced by those conducting content marketing, changing the way we approach this channel and design effective strategies.
Ideal audience identification
Deploying a fully effective content marketing strategy is reliant upon tailoring assets to meet the needs and specifications of your ideal buyers. Those struggling to properly outline their target audience will face many difficulties when looking to execute a successful content marketing approach. As content assets aim to educate audiences by answering specific questions that only your ideal buyers can ask, failing to clearly outline the criteria relevant to your target audience will cause your content approach to fall at the first hurdle.
Start by asking some simple questions: who is this content for? Who can these assets help, and why do you want to help them? How can they use your product? Generating new business interest from leads who have an incomplete or insufficient use case for your product may benefit initial marketing results but offer your business no long-term gain from a revenue perspective. To run a fully successful content marketing strategy, ideal audience identification is essential.
What is effective content?
The assets you plan, create and distribute are the backbone of a successful content marketing approach, but many businesses struggle to identify what content best suits their audience and produces desired results. Every year, B2B organizations waste almost $1 billion on ill-fitting and ineffective content marketing. Defining what content is “effective” for your business is a time-consuming process many teams are unable to properly fulfill, causing them to create mediocre content that fails to achieve the ultimate goal of marketing conversion for additional sales success.
Content comes in many mediums, from blogs to videos and infographics. Added to this, the topics your content can cover are endless! From ever-green, consistently relevant topics like sales, teamwork or marketing, to the latest news stories and current trends, refining your content asset plan is a process both challenging and essential. Whether your team uses current prospect and client feedback, surveys or external research to gain the detailed insight needed, understanding what forms your content will take, and what topics you will specialize in is key to a successful content marketing approach.
Continued content creation
It’s all very well identifying your ideal audience and outlining the exact content assets you’ll create to meet their needs, but the challenge of creating this content remains a consistent issue for organizations everywhere. Only 44% of B2B marketing teams have the capabilities to create content in house, meaning a majority of businesses outsource their content creation. This can be a smooth process, but for many, juggling a vast array of differing assets across a myriad of deadlines is no easy feat.
Carving out a detailed plan of how every asset will be created, checked and published is the start to building an effective content marketing approach. Some do this through a content calendar, outlining precisely when each specific asset will be released and working backward through the creation process to understand required deadlines. Though each team is different, and whether working with an in house or external resource, ensure your team understand creation challenges and have prepared necessary contingencies to accommodate these trials.
Refresh your content approach
With an understanding of the key difficulties a content marketing approach poses, your team can start to outline a more effective strategy, evolving the way content marketing meets the buyer’s needs, ignites improved product interest and promotes a highly smooth-running, bountiful marketing channel. A revolutionary content marketing approach requires the best modern and innovative tactics; refresh your content marketing, starting with these exciting techniques:
Many marketing campaigns benefit from audience segmentation, targeting emails or adverts to decision makers from individual industries, differing seniorities, even specific businesses. Segmenting your content marketing audience into these categories enables your team to deepen content relevance, producing higher quality leads, better suited to your product. Tailoring content to the needs of a specific industry or the pain-points experienced by individual job roles such as sales managers or marketing executives boosts your entire pipeline, increasing content engagement for heightened marketing success.
On average, your buyers will consume 3-5 pieces of content before asking to speak with your sales team about possible purchasing decisions. Therefore, it makes sense to maximize on current content interest by feeding relevant content pieces to those already engaging with your assets through automated workflows. Recent software solutions enable marketing teams to gather warm lead data from those downloading content, triggering the sending of additional assets in response to their behavior. If an asset surrounding sales team recruitment is downloaded, an automated work flow may instantly send an additional, follow-up asset surrounding a relevant topic, such as sales team motivation. This doesn’t just keep your brand front of mind and continue to build your brand expertise in the eyes of committed prospects, it helps speed up the yield gained from a content marketing strategy.
Become thought leaders
47% of B2B decision makers say thought leadership has a direct impact on purchasing decisions, and an overwhelming majority of B2B organizations have expressed a strong desire for content created by thought leaders. Thought leadership outlines the process of establishing your brand as an expert within a specialist area (pertaining to your product), causing people to actively seek and reward your advice. As every prospect will encounter over 5000 adverts in just one day, standing out as the ultimate authority sways prospect opinion and hugely benefits overall content efforts.
Achieving a thought leadership status should be a key goal for your team and will certainly revolutionize your content marketing approach. To achieve this status, you’ll need to branch out, sharing your expertise at events, through webinar programs, and with third parties, ensuring you reach as many prospects as possible. The key is to focus solely on what knowledge and intel you can share, that will be valuable to your ideal audience; focusing purely on your product will get you nowhere.
Rethink your budget allocation
The most effective B2B marketers allocate a huge 39% of their overall department budget to content marketing alone and still secure a comfortable return on this investment. However, the key to successful content budget allocation is balance. Many businesses invest a large amount in asset distribution to reach a wider audience, but money invested in creating elite assets, incorporating the most modern mediums and showcasing the latest industry research is equally important. Balancing your budget between asset creation and distribution ensures you’re able to maintain the demand for continually fresh content whilst managing an effective amplification strategy, for the ultimate content marketing approach.
Understand your online audience
Identifying the businesses visiting your website offers highly valuable insight into your online audience, their relevance to your product and their current content preferences. Using a tool like Lead Forensics, your team can gain instant access to the businesses visiting your site, for easy ideal audience identification and segmentation. Your team can also gain an understanding of popular website pages, content mediums, and topics, ensuring assets created consistently entice, excite and convert valuable prospects. With contact details for visiting businesses and key decision makers provided, Lead Forensics offers a bounty of high-quality, new business opportunities, set to revolutionize your current marketing processes. Find out more- book your free demo today!
Free guide - It's time to revolutionize your B2B sales with the best tools and tactics for success. Download "Ultimate sales tools and tactics specific to B2B sales" for free now!