Content marketing has revolutionized the marketing world. In recent years, we’ve seen businesses shift from cramming product ads and sales pitches down the throats of potential buyers to a more customer-centric approach. This new marketing model focuses on learning more about the motivations and challenges that customers face, using content to educate and inform customers while taking a more subtle approach to product marketing. But businesses didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to change their ways. Rather, the transformation of the buyer’s journey is rooted in the ability for buyers to leverage digital content in order to conduct their own research and make more informed purchasing decisions. In fact, 70% of buyers journey is now completed online – before they even engage with a sales rep.
While the remaining 30% of the journey is a critical part of the puzzle for sales teams, this new shift opens up a vast opportunity for businesses to think more strategically about what they are doing to influence the first part of the journey. Enter content marketing.
Content marketing isn’t about delivering a sales pitch; it’s about creating and sharing information with prospective buyers to attract and nurture qualified leads – eventually converting them to customers. If you don’t deliver the resources your buyers demand, your competitors will. A content marketing strategy is essential for your business to compete in this age of information.
Fuel Lead Generation
Content is the fuel for your lead generation campaigns that help fill your sales funnel. However, before you start creating content, you must understand your buyer personas in order to create content that speaks to them. Directly addressing their pain points and offering valuable content for which they are willing to exchange their contact information enables you to collect data from sales-ready leads using gated content offers on your website and email campaigns. By the time your sales team receives their information, they have a more detailed view of potential buyer behavior, allowing them to have more strategic conversations with them during the sales process.
Promote Social Media Engagement
Let’s face it, for most small businesses, managing multiple social media accounts becomes a chore. Oftentimes it’s hard to know if you’re making an impact with your social media. Content gives you the “meat” you need to promote your business on social media. While company updates and promotional posts are an important piece of the puzzle, leads and customers really crave content that helps them stay educated. Sharing a blog post on how video conferencing improves productivity is bound to be much more interesting to them than the company picnic you had last Friday. Always create content with social media engagement in mind, the more times it is shared on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook the more opportunities to convert leads you get.
Position Yourself as the Subject Matter Expert
A sound content marketing strategy showcases your subject matter expertise (SME) in your industry. As a proven source of quality information, buyers will look to you as the trusted advisor to help them make their purchasing decisions. This not only benefits you in terms of converting leads to customers, but also gives you the material to continue to engage and delight your existing customers to keep them coming back to you for industry updates and keeping you top of mind.
Get the Maximum Impact from your Marketing Dollars
A strategy helps focus the content you create to make it more impactful to target audiences. Whether you create your own content or engage a third-party to do so, content marketing requires valuable resources, so optimizing impact is essential. By creating an impactful content marketing strategy you can focus on the big picture and strategically blend your content initiatives with your existing marketing techniques. Additionally, content creating can help you get the most out of your marketing dollars because you can use the same content for potentially years, whereas if you run a more expensive paid advertising campaign, it is only temporary.
Content marketing puts your customers first and provides them with information to help them meet their goals. Following your content marketing strategy will help you generate leads, create more buzz via social media, establish yourself as a trusted advisor in the industry and optimize your marketing budget.
If you’re ready to implement a B2B content marketing strategy but don’t have the internal resources to dedicate, partnering with a third-party marketing agency is a great option. We can help. Give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.