Fact: Everyone’s at home. And working from home— what once many thought to be infeasible— was adopted almost immediately by organizations worldwide. Consumption of digital media has increased alongside this change, and so does the amount of content and clutter that both consumers and brands contribute to every digital platform you can name.
You consume social media and digital stories on a daily basis. By this time, you’re probably just scrolling past through many brand posts and ads on your newsfeed subconsciously and even opted out of newsletters you don’t even remember subscribing to.
It’s easy to skip those content and move on. But if you’re the brand on the other side, you don’t want to be one of those posts. Talking to consumers is also very different from talking to businesses. There are a lot more decision-makers involved and usually have a lot more factors to consider.
But truth be told, content can easily become clutter for either B2B or B2C businesses. When everyone is competing for the same target audience’s attention, so much effort and resources can go to waste from just consumers purging their mailboxes and scrolling on autopilot. But the reality is, you don’t need to deplete resources for everyone to know about you; just the right people. And the answer to delivering the right messages at the right time to the right people is content marketing.
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is all about consistently providing value to a clearly defined audience. Otherwise, your content can quickly turn into clutter that doesn’t contribute to your marketing objectives.
Businesses of all sizes use this technique to market because it’s an effective way to achieve goals anchored by value. Each content should be tailored to address a customer’s need at the current stage of the buyer journey and nudge them towards the next phase.
Understanding the buyer’s journey
Content influences people at different stages of the buyer journey. The way you communicate with someone you still need to convince from someone who is a long-term client will be very different.
Awareness When customers have symptoms of a problem or opportunity, they will start their research on possible next steps. Relevant and optimized content can place you right where they are searching. You can demonstrate your expertise and increase your visibility with white papers, checklists, and industry reports.
Consideration In this phase, customers will compare their options and understanding available approaches to solve the problem or take on an opportunity. Attracting customers is one thing but keeping them attracted long enough to convert is another thing. Use this time to make it easy for your customer to evaluate and decide by giving them content such as webinars, trials, and demos.
Conversion The purchase decision is your opportunity to swing their decision in your favor with case studies, testimonials, and even ROI calculations.
B2B Content Marketing Tips You Can Do Now
When the buyer journey is clear to you, it is easier to create a content strategy that converts your target audience. Leverage that advantage and use these ten best practices to help you achieve your objectives.
Offer valuable gated content Generate quality leads by offering useful and relevant content in exchange for a user’s contact details. 80% of business decision-makers prefer getting their information from articles than advertisements. Talk less about how great your products or services are and instead show them how you can help them. Lead magnets such as infographics, templates, whitepapers, and guides that give impact are what your audience will look out for.
Think long-form but also bite-sized In-depth blog posts and articles that educate, entertain, or engage your target audience show expertise and credibility. It also helps you pack it with relevant keywords for search engines to find you.The average human attention span is 8 seconds. With bite-sized content, you can still deliver your key message before your audience gets bored and moves on.
Utilize targeted landing pages for your offers Give your target audience content that matches where they are in the buyer journey. You must also be strategic with the keywords you use and the order of your content on each page so it creates a narrative that helps them understand what you do and how you can help them. Who are you? Why should they trust you? How can you help them now and later?
Use actionable words Using emotional, persuasive, and actionable words will grab attention. And so do exclusivity, time-limitedness, and guarantees. Choose words that evoke emotions and trigger an action such as the following:
Back your content with data Business decision-makers won’t spend a buck with just grandiose sales points. Facts, statistics, and results that back up your assertions and points display educated and unbiased information that cannot be easily challenged.
Interlink relevant content Connect previous articles and content pieces when you have new ones. Inbound and outbound links help visitors stay, reduce your bounce rate, and boost your authority to search engine rankings. Make each link valuable to your customers and keep them engaged, so they go back to you for more information or convert from a prospect to a customer.
Segment your audience Not every email you send will be appropriate for everyone on the list. Marketers reaped a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.Split your customers based on their buyer persona, stage in the buyer journey, or behaviors and actions taken within your company. Personalizing your communication to your buyers shows that you take time to care about and help them with their needs. Blasting generic emails to your entire database or placing ads anywhere there is space and hoping for a fluke does not guarantee conversion and may even drive your customers away. Quality also triumphs quantity.
Run A/B tests Conducting split tests lets you know what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing allows you to see what kinds of content, headlines, and calls to action resonate best with your target audience. A/B tests can be done at any component of your campaigns, such as your visuals, copy, landing pages, and even the platforms you are publishing them in. Do so one at a time to pinpoint what is more effective until you come out with the best package of content that converts.
Qualify your leads Leads that you get should meet the qualification criteria of your goals before you start converting them. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting time following up and pitching to clients that don’t meet even the minimum requirements to get started.
Track, analyze, and optimize Evaluate your content based on topics, formats, visuals, and even the profile of people who interacted with them. You can identify patterns, check for gaps, and improve or stop what doesn’t help you achieve your marketing objectives.
Change your strategy based on insights you’ll find and calibrate your next steps while taking them into consideration. You can use tried and tested tools that can help make the whole content marketing process simpler.
It’s time to get ahead of your competition. Remove yourself from the clutter and start thinking about how you can give value to your audience.
Still not yet sure how to grow your business with content marketing? We can take you through the steps. Talk to us now.