An Introduction to the Content Marketing
Content marketing is a relatively new form of marketing that has been on the
rise since 2008. It has become increasingly popular among companies that have
been struggling with finding effective ways to market their products and
services. A study by Content Marketing Institute found that content marketers
generate 8 times more leads than organizations without an integrated
content marketing strategy. Furthermore, 89% of those surveyed reported higher
customer satisfaction rates from using a content-driven approach to engage
customers online. Moreover, 83% of respondents also indicated they were able to
increase company revenue as a result of implementing a successful
content-marketing campaign. In this article we will discuss some key points on
how your company can develop its own winning content marketing strategy for b2b
Identify Your Audience
It’s important to keep in mind who your business is trying to attract and
how you can appeal to them. The more specific and well-defined this audience is,
the better. Try finding a common interest or factor which ties together your
customers – for example, construction companies might find non woven
it easier to market towards engineers than CEOs. This also
means that you should try as much as possible to avoid broad generalizations
about “your customer”.
Be as specific as possible when identifying who your potential customers are
– the more detailed information that you have about target demographics,
psychographics, etc., the more likely it will be that what you do next will
appeal directly to those people.
Know Your Message
What do you want to say? What do you want your customers to take away from
the experience of seeing your content? Understanding how it ties into what
you’re offering them will help to ensure that your message comes across
Know Your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with this piece of content marketing? What
are your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for its existence, and
how will it contribute towards the accomplishment of those goals?
Create A Plan Of Action
If there’s one thing marketers have learned over the years, it’s that no
strategy works without a mix of creativity and structure. The more detailed you
can be about exactly what kinds of media you’ll use, when they’ll be used, and
why, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to communicate your message
directly to your audience.
It’s worth setting up a schedule or calendar for when each piece of content
marketing will be published. You can get as detailed as possible but it doesn’t
need to be highly specific – just get into the habit of sticking to it.
Always Be Adapting
Don’t let yourself become complacent with any one piece of marketing before
ensuring that you’re still getting what you want out of it. You may have an
idea about how well something is doing at generating interest, but this might
mean nothing if there are other factors involved which are not under your
control. It’s important to recognize when something isn’t working and to be
prepared to shift gears in order to get a better result.
Test Your Hypotheses
If you think that something will work, test it out first. This may sound
simple but one of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is going ahead with a
strategy before testing it out on a small scale. You might have an idea about
how many people you want to reach or what kind of reaction your piece of
content marketing strategy is expected to elicit, but these numbers might not reflect
reality at all – which means that either your message isn’t coming across, or
it’s appealing in exactly the wrong way. By testing things out before
committing yourself completely, you give yourself the opportunity to re-adjust
effectively and focus on what works the best.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they think. You may have a hunch
about how well something is working, but you can never be 100% sure that what
you’re doing is hitting the mark. Remember that every piece of content
marketing will have an audience – no matter how targeted or specific it might
seem at first, there will be people who are not interested in what you have to
say. This is precisely why getting feedback from your most relevant customer
segment can help a lot when creating new pieces of content for future marketing
Measure Your Results
Most content marketing strategy should include the use of analytics and
metrics. This allows you to track how your pieces of content are performing and
whether or not they’re working as expected – and if not, why not. These
insights should be used to inform future iterations on those ideas for better
results next time around.
In some cases, marketers may have a difficult time measuring exactly how
well their content marketing is doing. If this happens to be the case for your
organization, then it’s a strong indicator that you should take a step back and
re-evaluate your strategy – what’s not working, and why isn’t it? And most
importantly of all – what can you do about it?
You’re going to find that creating new pieces of content marketing will be
much easier if you make sure they are as specific as possible. This means
taking the time to segment your audience into smaller groups who share common
characteristics which differentiate them from other segments. These
distinctions might seem small but they can make all the difference at helping
you hone in on messaging which works incredibly well for specific groups.
We’re back to the concept of word-of-mouth, this time presented in the form
of social media channels. The more you can integrate your content marketing
strategy into existing social media campaigns, the less effort that will be
required on your part to get the ball rolling. Remember what we said earlier
about leveraging other peoples’ audiences? This is your opportunity to do
exactly that – by using other people’s large fan bases as a foundation upon
which you can build your own. Even if it doesn’t seem like much at first,
remember that these connections could quickly snowball into something much
bigger than what you might have expected at first glance.
There are plenty of different ways for you to improve your content marketing
strategy in order to get better results. Sometimes the most effective way is by
going back over what you’ve already done and trying a new approach with it, or
modifying it slightly in order to make a bigger impact. Similarly, approaching
things from a different angle can yield surprising results – if something isn’t
working, don’t be afraid to try something completely different instead of
obsessing over what’s not generating any positive momentum.
Trying new strategies is also important when your current ones no longer
appeal to customers or prospective audiences. This may sound like common sense
but some people tend to get stuck focusing on one thing even if they’re getting
diminishing returns on their efforts – without thinking about why this might be
happening and what can be done to fix it.
By all means, keep your current approach in mind but don’t get so attached
that you can’t change things up when necessary. Content marketing is always
evolving and taking the time to incorporate new ideas into your strategy will
help you stay ahead of the game instead of falling behind by sticking with
something that no longer works. Just remember that every piece of content
should be approached differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish
– some pieces may require a totally different approach than others, and
figuring out which one is best for a particular situation is part of learning
as a marketer.