What is Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a crucial component of any online marketing strategy and this is especially true of B2B marketing. Despite this, a number of marketers face hurdles with understanding/using it. So, exactly what is Content Marketing and what is all the hoopla about?
Creating Content is about planning & development, production & measurement and seems more like something that the publishing world would be concerned about and involved in. But it is relevant to the advertising world in more ways than one. Let’s go through all the aspects of it.
Why Start With Content Marketing?
Very simply- there has been a massive change in the customer journey. Digital and social technologies have evolved very rapidly and information is abundant and easily accessible. Customers now prefer to turn to these channels before they make any purchasing decision. Current-day business buyers will not have any direct contact with the suppliers until 57% of the purchase process has been completed.
As a marketer you need to think about whether you want them to be able to find relevant information about your own business fast. The minute you leave some scope, your competitors will rush in and grab that customer.
The Purpose of Content
Even before you start making content, figure out what its purpose it. Content marketing is essentially about your customer. Keep in mind that you are creating it because your customer needs & wants it. The aim of content marketing is to ensure the creation of informative & helpful pieces such as white papers & animated gifs.
Anything you create has to prove to be of value to your customer as this will drive engagement with them and can help in driving sales & reducing churn. It is important to structure content well to ensure it increases site traffic & conversions as well as brand recognition.
The Starting Point of Content Marketing
Identify what your marketing goals are- whether you are trying to reduce customer complaints or increase sign-ups. Understand who your target audience is and then create helpful and informative pieces which demonstrate exactly how your offerings meet their needs
Planning Ahead and Budgeting it Right
Have short-term and long-term goals in place and understand what you want to achieve over the month, quarter and year. Look at content from the viewpoint of your audience and then get the planning right. When it comes to B2B audiences, you will have to make some extra effort and will also require different types of content even for a single topic.
Get your scheduling right and make sure it is released alongside events and advertising campaigns. This will help to fill-in all the gaps between the ups & downs of conventional marketing. Focus on creating a content marketing calendar and ensure you allocate a dedicated budget for content creation and SEO.
Building a Social Story
Once you have created your content pieces, have a storyline written for social media marketing too. Make sure that you are planning for a minimum of 3-5 different tweets for every piece and these should be released the week on which the content piece goes live.
Add one excerpt from this piece on your Google+ page & ask for feedback on FB. Don’t forget to add it to your Company-page on LinkedIn. Share the piece with your colleagues and encourage them to share it via their own social networks as well. All of this will go a long way in expanding the reach of your content marketing efforts.
Measuring Content Performance
Since you have created a lot of content around your business goals, ensure that you are tracking and measuring it to see how it’s performing. You will require some additional technology for this, but it’s important to track engagement and capture customer information with lead generation forms. When you are sharing on social networking platforms, make sure you append tracking-codes to your links. Using tracks on-site metrics and CTRs will give you insights into how successful your messaging has been.
Invest Time & Money
Remember that content marketing takes time and effort and a certain amount of monetary investment too. Make a concerted and consistent effort and very soon you will see that the value you provide your audience will help them make informed decisions about whether they should opt for your services and products. Even as they benefit, your business will benefit too!
Thanks for reading,