Content marketing best practices for b2b marketersArticle
Companies have now evolved from acknowledging the importance of content marketing and experimenting with it, to achieving content creation expertise and executing marketing programs with utmost ease. Some companies such as Logicalis and Hubspot have given the world some memorable marketing campaigns by combining various content assets to give their customers valuable information thereby establishing thought-leadership. Logicalis, which is an international IT solutions and managed services provider, was looking at content marketing to increase topline by getting new business. They devised a campaign using content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, and developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging, based on the prospects’ interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, they closed nearly $8 million in new pipeline business.
This is just one example of how a B2B company leveraged content marketing to attain its marketing objective. As a marketer, there are some best practices that you need to adhere to in order to succeed at your content marketing practice:
- Create content that’s relevant and shareable
Content created by you in the form of videos, blogs, infographics etc should provide your audience with relevant information to guide them from the time of their research till after sales-engagement. It is also important to ensure that the shareability quotient of this content is high.
- Think content, then channel
With the rise in the number of new platforms, from Pinterest to Instagram, marketers are under pressure to adopt more and more platforms while spreading their brands’ message, inorder to sustain their competitive advantage. Pressed for time, ideas and resources sometimes marketing make the common mistake of devising their content marketing program around a channel strategy. As a marketer, you need to decide on your “brand’s story” i.e your communication strategy and then decide the various channels to communicate the story to your audience.
- Tailor content for your target market
It is important to identify and study your target audience and their content consumption habits in order to organize and plan your content creation and delivery around it. If your target audience visits forums more than social media sites, then it makes more sense to engage and disseminate content in forums. As a marketer you must also produce content in different formats to target different consumption habits of your audience. For instance, if your customer bases’ mobile consumption is relatively higher than desktop use, you must make your content more mobile-friendly. This can be done by creating a mobile version of your site, by sending targeted messages via mobile and more.
- Conduct in-person and online events for lead generation
Your content distribution medium will depend on your objective. If your content marketing efforts are aimed at lead generation, opt for events as your distribution channel as our study found that they are the most powerful content distribution channels for lead generation as they offer the highest Return on Investment (ROI).
- Use videos for brand awareness
If your content distribution goal is aimed at increasing brand awareness, then videos are the most effective marketing medium. This is because this format is easiest to consume and share as compared to other marketing mediums such as email or ebooks.
- Leverage case studies and white-papers to transform customers to brand advocates
The ultimate aim of a marketer is to convert a customer into a brand advocate, who has unending faith in their offerings and keeps coming back for more. It is found that case studies are perfect content assets to reinforce a purchasing decision in the minds of a consumer.
Blindly embracing content marketing will not reap positive results. However customizing these practices according to your business needs will ensure that your content marketing efforts are successful.