“The Future of Marketing is Content Marketing”
The way people consume media has changed. A huge increase in digital consumption has resulted in a B2B content marketing revolution, with an incredible 93%of marketers incorporating this strategy as part of their overall marketing efforts [Australian Content Marketing Research, King Content 2014].
With such great emphasis placed on content marketing, businesses are producing more and more content, and bombarding consumers with information. So how can you ensure your content cuts through the noise and engages your customers?
Involve your Marketing Team
Its very name suggests that B2B content marketing should be the responsibility of the marketing team, however Forrester Research  found that 72% of surveyed marketers involve less than half of their marketing staff in their content marketing strategy.
The marketing team knows the buying cycle and how to target the consumer at each stage of their buying journey. Their in depth knowledge of the consumer journey can inform the content that will solve their problems, and therefor engage at each stage of buyer readiness, ultimately moving them through the sales funnel to purchase.
Know Your Audience
Reaching the right decision-maker with the right information at the right time is essential. Once you fully understand your target-audience and each stage of their buyer journey, you can deliver useful content that enhances their life in some way. In B2B marketing, decision-makers are typically top executives. Consider:
- Where do they read? Online? Print? Audio?
- What do they read? In-depth Articles? Reports?
- What knowledge do they have around your area of expertise?
- What are their pain points?
- How can you deliver a solution that will enhance their business?
Putting your target audience first is key, which leads us to the next point:
What’s In It For Them?
93% of content marketers connect their content directly to their own product or service [Economist Content Survey, 2015], however 71% of executives said that content does not make a positive impression when it feels like a sales pitch [The Economist: Global Survey of Brand Marketers and their B2B Audiences, 2014].
Your content marketing should focus on solving a consumer’s problem in order to add value to the customer conversation. The Economist Survey  found that business executives forge meaningful brand perceptions when content is timely, unique, and when it helps them to understand a complex issue in simple terms.
Measure Your Efforts
Content Marketing Institute  cited branding as the primary reason for marketers to create content, followed by lead generation. Marketers know what they’re trying to achieve with their content marketing, yet only 52% of Australian Marketers have a documented content strategy [Australian Content Marketing Research 2014]. Without strategic objectives and quantifiable ROI, you cannot measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Constantly monitoring what’s working and what’s not is imperative in tightening up your strategy to create content that your consumers look forward to reading.
It seems that today every marketer is trying their hand at content, yet Forrester Research  found 87% of B2B marketers to be struggling to produce content that truly engages their buyers. This presents huge opportunity. If content marketing really is the future – which does looks likely – brands that can master it now will not only improve their customer relationships, but also become a leader in the space that other marketers will follow.