Role Of Content Marketing in B2B Marketing Strategy
Evolution of Content Marketing
In this post, we focus on how content marketing is essentially rising up to the occasion, as traditional marketing methods already in use by businesses become outmoded and monotonous to customers. This swing could also be shown by stumpy conversion rates, declining website traffic and lesser ROI on a company’s marketing budget.
Today, smart digital marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute and that there has to be a better way. They choose to employ innovative and ingenious marketing strategies establishing their company and key executives as experts in their respective industry.
So, What Exactly Is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Fundamentally, content marketing is the ability to communicate with customers or prospective customers without selling to them. It can also be referred to as “non-interruption marketing” where, instead of pitching your products or services, you are distributing information that makes your customers more informed. The quintessence of this content strategy is the conviction that if we, as businesses, convey reliable, ongoing valuable information to customers, they eventually reward us with their business and loyalty.
The whole idea behind content marketing is to obtain and hold on to customers. How this is done is the million dollar question, but in short, without creating a fuss it can be speculated as marketing that requires constantly producing and filtering appropriate and valuable content with the purpose of altering or enhancing consumer actions. It is an ongoing progression that is best incorporated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on creating media, not renting it.
Well, How Is It Done?
Content marketing is a recent term adapted for an older concept. It runs on the principle that encircles your customers with information and education they require to feel enthused to do business with you. Today, we have added more ways than before to make this happen such as blogs, e-newsletters, websites, social media, video, email and so on. These means, permit marketers to turn into publishers in their own right and tend to be far more money-spinning and extensive than the more conventional communication channels.
And, Why Is It Necessary?
Reinvention can be a great thing; with plenty of opportunity on the horizon. In these transforming times we have already seen that customers have started to shut off from the traditional marketing processes. If you are not making a conscious effort to extend your reach through digital media, you are leaving money on the table and missing out on growth opportunity. With reduced conversion rates, declining website traffic and lesser ROI on a company’s marketing budget as mentioned before, it has now become critical for marketers to move towards sharpening their approach and prepare themselves for a future in content marketing. Content marketing indirectly helps in achieving various goals such as Lead generation, Market education, Customer Acquisition Brand Awareness etc.
B2B Marketing Up-close and Personal
With respect to B2B, content marketing plays a significant part as it drives the engine that creates competent inbound leads and sales opportunities which are a company’s livelihood. Unlike B2C purchases, most B2B products and services involve contemplation, investigation, and consideration prior to a buying decision. As a consequence, producing quality leads is a key purpose of B2B marketing teams transversely in all industries.
More and more B2B marketers use content marketing tactics to captivate B2B buyers with persuasive content in order to educate, enlighten, entertain and direct them alongside their buying experience. Though there are a number of strategies businesses can employ to garner leads, 91% of B2B marketers are utilizing content marketing and making it among the top implemented approaches. Content marketing thus is playing a vital role in serving industrial businesses build sales by improving name recognition and establishing the company’s brand identity.
Five Reasons Why Content Is Critical to b2b Digital Marketing Strategy
Good Quality and Regular Content Builds Trust
Repeatedly discussing the same topics has indisputable SEO benefits. But it’s at the human interaction level, rather than technical level, where the benefits of content marketing are majorly appealing. Talking regularly and in detail about particular topics generates integrity, which leads to you being trusted, and trust is the first step towards a transaction.
Companies Need Stories That Echo
People do business only with people they trust and like. Personal experiences can strengthen relationships and can be efficiently used to make the engagement.
The Dying End of Broadcast PR
All communications need to be two-way. Not always can you tell all the time, you need to listen, react and respond as well. Social media has spread right through all facets of modern business and modern marketing providing a better and interactive approach.
Transparency of the Web
In spite of social media being a viral form of media has the capacity to make or break a business. One bad experience can destroy the reputation of a company as dissatisfied customers realize they are not alone thus balancing the playing field social media content must be used with utmost care, cause one mistake can harm the entire company.
Conversions via Content
Most B2B products and services are imagined to resolve troubles for a particular type of customer. Tackling the tribulations and contributing ways to resolve them, minimize their force and disturbance and in fact gets rid of them from the equation is a dominant way to drive trust and transaction.
Trends Followed in Content Marketing with Respect to B2Bs.
- Content marketing is becoming the core of marketing and helping marketers generate more leads and facilitate thought leadership.
- The regard for white papers become less popular as a content marketing layout when compared to interactive and easily understandable formats such as videos, images.
- YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform when compared to Facebook in order to reach and engage B2B audiences.
- Client testimonials have increasingly become the king of content.
- Marketing automation rises to 61% from 43% as recorded by various surveys since last year.
Different Types of B2B Digital Content
B2B marketing’s key role is to pile up the sales pipeline of fresh prospective clients with the underlying idea being the importance of strong, engaging content in lead generation campaigns. The need to create content that directly influences the sales pipeline is what should be taken most care of as it is believed that 60% of lead generating campaigns are the ones that have a solid content base. Another significant point is, tailoring the content; to resonate with its target audience from different industries is essential to a good marketing campaign.
So what exactly are the types of content that generate these leads and customers value most?
Social proofs swarm the world of content marketing. Given that humans are social animals, this type of evidence from peers can make a prospect feel much safer in engaging with a company. The catch, of course, is that this sort of customer-centric content in spite of being highly reliable and efficient also involves additional efforts to create and get accepted.
According to numerous surveys taken, social testimonies seem to be top of the charts as marketers rate customer testimonials as the single most effective type of content. Likewise, case studies are extremely good in the lead generation efforts as well. Videos, 3rd party whitepapers, and business/thought leadership are next in line for their effectiveness for lead generation processes but do not always come cheap. The other effective types of content can range in this order- Blogs, Webcasts, and podcasts, Product demos, Social Media (Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter etc.), e-Newsletters, Slideshare, Press releases, e-books, polling, so on and so forth. Mobile apps and video games, however, seem to be the least popular forms of content in the coming times.
An Example of the Impact of Content Marketing on B2Bs
A Marketing company called Wizard Media, for their client Jimena Cortes created case study content for each of jimena’s customers. One such case study showcases how Jimenaturned Neiman Marcus jewelry designer’s Facebook community from 600 into 45,000 members in a span of nine months, which grabbed the interest of many retailers. This case study talks about the strategy Jimena applied to covert zero sales into $12,000 in 3 days.
As her profile had content that resonated with her target audience they started accepting her LinkedIn connection and engaged more with the content shared on her LinkedIn groups, because they saw she had value to offer just by looking at her profile. This convinced her prospects that she could gather clients that were willing and able to spend $36,000 per year for her services.
Hence just by the publishing of that case study, Wizard Media, in turn, ended up gaining hundreds of leads and $60,000 by Mixing Content Marketing with LinkedIn Marketing.
The Union of Sales and Marketing: the Future of Content Marketing
Now that B2B content marketing is understood as an important part of the company’s growth that directly contributes to the revenue flow we will witness more and more coalition between Sales and Marketing. The Sales guys will be seen distinguishing the significance by developing new talents such as reading the “digital body language” of the company’s prospects and creating small B2B marketing campaigns, thus making many sales guys into the latest marketers. At many organizations, the two traditionally isolated divisions of Sales and Marketing will now be seen blend into a single team.
Well, that brings us to the end of the first part of our blog post. If you have a strategy of your own you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you’re a reader facing difficulty solving your company’s marketing transition or you have time restrictions tying you down from making it all happen? We are here to assist you. Contact us or follow us on Facebook and we’ll be glad to help or answer any sort of queries. In our next post, we would be throwing light on how content marketing affects the Manufacturing industry.