Content is King
First uttered by Bill Gates back in ‘96, repeated in just about every marketing conference over the years. Despite the quote being an industry favourite, a vast number of B2B brands (still) don’t have a content strategy.
In Content Management Institutes 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America (B2B) only 37% of respondents said they had a documented content strategy and only 56% said their organization was very/extremely committed to content marketing. At the same time, Twitter and Facebook have changed their algorithms to siphon off less relevant content in both posts and ads. Bottom line, if you don’t have a relevant content strategy in place, you are losing out on getting on your audience’s radar.
Within the same study, 77% of respondents said that their content marketing approach was mostly/highly/extremely successful. So why the gap?
Small teams and lack of time rank as the top two reasons. Building a strategy, planning, executing and measuring takes time and resources.
We know. Our clients struggle with the same challenges. We believe that a good content strategy is based on relevance, and relevancy enables the conversation to be personalized and valuable. We partner with our clients to leverage their deep business vertical knowledge and our expertise in Content and Audience Insights to deliver a strategy that drives returns.
Here are our top 3 tenets for a Content Strategy that delivers:
- Know your audience. This is one area where B2B marketers have a leg up on their B2C counterparts. Your lead generation funnel should contain businesses and contacts where your product or service could be of value. Understanding geography, company size, revenue, job function allows you to visualize who you are targeting and will shape the voice, creative, and platform for your content.
- Know what matters. What is happening in your industry? Are there legislative changes coming? What is trending? Is your industry in a growth or risk trajectory? Ask your sales team what questions, concerns they are hearing, and shape that into content that responds to a need. Providing value upfront gives incentive for the conversation to continue – give before you ask.
- Know where your audience is within the Marketing Funnel. The same way you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date (well, hopefully not!), your content should align with where you are within the relationship. Below we’ve broken it down in its most simplest view: top of funnel and bottom of funnel, respectively. As the relationship moves forward, your content can become more detailed and may evolve from just pushing information to ‘pulling’ select and relevant data back.
Top of Funnel
Generating brand awareness means your content has to stand out from the crowd. Use clever subject lines and thought provoking content titles to introduce yourself- while remembering your audience. Partner with thought leaders, industry experts to share insights for your industry. Use social platforms, pages and groups where your audience is more likely to be found, for that initial conversation.
Middle of Funnel
You’ve got their attention – now create content that demonstrates your value to the audience with strategic or industry insights. Webinars and white papers provide an opportunity for your audience to learn something that will help their business or advance their own careers.
Bottom of Funnel
You should have learned quite a bit about your audience by now so build content targeted to their specific needs and address their pain points. Free product trials, event invitations and persona driven messaging can help your content continue to be relevant as your audience moves through the funnel.
And don’t forget Retention. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and by the time you are here, you know your customer and how they engage with your product. Unique and gated content can reinforce the relationship by demonstrating their value to your business.
Ready to start building your content strategy but need some help? Contact us today.