In many firms, a solid B2B content marketingapproach has become a foundation. However, many businesses are reaching a snag and aren't getting the outcomes they want. What should they do in this situation?
Let's say you see a water stain on your ceiling. Would you insist on a completely new roof? Obviously not. You'd spend the time to figure out where it came from and how tofix it. In B2B, the same may be said about contentmarketing. Many organizations are experiencing problems, but these problems can be quickly resolved by reviewing your plan and identifying ways to improve it.
Let's take a look at content marketing as a whole and see what frequent mistakes individuals make and how to avoid them.
In a new report titled B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, professionals from Marketing Profs and Content Marketing Institute collaborated. This research uncovered some fascinating and surprising information regarding the state of B2B content marketing, as well as some areas where we can all improve.
79 percent of respondents regarded their organization's content marketing as extremely or very successful, according to the report's findings. This is a hopeful number; after all, content marketing was low on the priority list just ten years ago.
However, like most things, there is always potential for improvement. While the majority of the businesses polled are devoted to content marketing and found it to be effective, the study also identified a few issues. This is indicative of the condition of B2B content marketing in general. Below, we've identified five problem areas and demonstrated how to resolve them.
One of the most crucial aspects of content marketing is measurement; after all, how can you make informed judgments if you don't know what's working and what isn't?
Across the board, measuring content strategyis the gold standard in content marketing. 80 percent of B2B marketers utilize metrics to measure content performance, according to a recent CMI-Marketing Profs research. KPIs, or key performance indicators, have been defined by 65 percent of respondents.
So, what are your options? Set precise content goals, such as social mediaengagement, website traffic, and even amount of purchases. Then you must pick which exact metrics will be used to demonstrate your progress.
As you go, you'll notice which strategies work and which don't. The purpose of measurement is to teach you how to change your route to better fulfill your objectives.
Another advantage of measurement is that it provides proof that your content marketing strategy is effective. In the content marketing research, 43% of respondents precisely measure the ROI of their content marketing efforts. This assists you in demonstrating the effectiveness of your plan and its value for money.
Only 25% of those who responded to the content marketing poll said they had a dedicated content marketing staff.
Having a team to generate and implement your content is beneficial in a variety of ways. For starters, it streamlines the process and improves the consistency of your content's quality and quantity. Furthermore, when you have a team working closely with you, the members of your team gain a deeper understanding of your brand, which improves the material they develop.
Remember that this does not have to be a large group. For a smaller company, this could be a team of 1-2 individuals that can develop content and steer the strategy in the right direction.
If your company is growing and you want to create more in-depth content, you'll need to scale your workforce to keep up.
Despite the fact that email is one of the most popular B2B content marketing tactics, just 45 percent of respondents use content marketing to establish a subscribed audience, which is critical for email marketing.
What is the significance of this? According to another survey, 80% of businessprofessionals believe that email marketing helps them retain customers. Another 59 percent said email marketing has an impact on their purchasing decisions. As a result, if you don't gather emails, you're effectively wasting all of this potential.
How can you use content marketing to generate email leads?
To begin, include a call to action (CTA) on each of your blog entries that invites readers to subscribe to your newsletter. This might be a static CTA at the bottom of your piece or a pop-up that lets your readers to directly enter their email address into a form.
Don't just stick to your blog. Include sign-up choices for your newsletter at the bottom of your email signature, on your social media pages, and at in-person events.
A lead magnet, such as an ebook or white paper, is another excellent technique to acquire email addresses. Serious potential leads will value the magnet enough to trade their contact information for it. Promote that important information and lock it down with a landing page and a form that customers must complete out before downloading it.
These are just a few strategies to transform your content into a lead generation machine that is constantly striving to grow your subscriber base.
While everyone seems to recognize the importance of content, many people underestimate the need of documenting it. Only 41% of respondents to the Content Marketing-MarketingProfs survey claimed they have a documented content strategy.
What are the benefits of documenting your strategy? Because it will assist you in being more productive. It provides you the overall picture, such as what you have planned for each day, what topics to cover, and any gaps in your content strategy.
Now is the perfect moment to jot down your approach on paper or on the computer. Begin by defining your objectives: what you want to accomplish and what metrics you want to achieve.
Then figure out who your target market is. This allows you to precisely target your material so that the proper people see it. Demographic data, terms used, and favorite networks are all things to look at.
Now that these jigsaw parts are in place, it's time to create your actual strategy. This includes deciding what topics to discuss and how to present the information. Create a detailed, day-by-day timetable to help you visualize your strategy's direction and stay on track.
Almost certainly, you already have a content marketing strategy in place. However, before you can contemplate how to improve it, you must first understand what you already have in your archives. Take the time to do a content auditand ask yourself the following questions...
- What types of content do I have?
- What content is no longer relevant and should be discarded?
- Is there any content that needs to be updated?
- What gaps do I have in my current content collection?
As time goes on, you'll be able to breathe new life into some of your old material and re-release it to your audience. You will save both time and moneyby doing so.
You'll also figure out where you need to put in some effort. For example, if you have a large archive of blog entries aimed at top-of-funnel consumers, you might want to concentrate your efforts on various formats such as infographics and videos aimed at other levels of your funnel.
The majority of the time, material does not come in a one-size-fits-all package. Every visitor to your establishment will have unique requirements. Some are conducting general study, while others are seeking a specific answer to a problem. The buyer's journey is what we call these basic stages, and it runs like this...
Awareness stage: The buyer realizes he or she has a problem.Stage of consideration: The buyer is aware of the issue and conducts research into possible remedies.The buyer is at the point when he or she is ready to make a decision.Despite the importance of the buyer's journey, just 48% of all respondents in the research provided content for each stage, leaving gaps where leads can fall through the cracks.
According to the content marketing survey, successful content marketers use various content forms depending on their objectives. Those who want to raise brand recognition, for example, write blog posts and develop material for social media posts. Those who are desperate for more leads use webinars, ebooks, and in-person events. Email newsletters and blog postings are used by individuals who want to nurture leads.
So, how can you ensure that you reach every stage of the buyer's journey? First, go over your content and figure out which phase it pertains to the most. Next, think about places where you need to develop more content and what those content's aims should be. Finally, based on the stage of the buyer's journey you want to address, choose the optimal content forms.
However, creating content is only one stage in the process. You must also get it in front of the correct people's eyes. To do so, you'll need to decide which channels to employ. In terms of organic outcomes, the content study discovered that these five networks are the most effective for B2B companies:
- LinkedIn is a professional networking site (95 percent )
- Twitter is a social media platform that allows (86 percent )
- Facebook is a social media platform that allows (83 percent )
- YouTube is a video sharing website (53 percent )
- Instagram is a social media platform that allows (46 percent )
You've probably already used a social media site like Twitter or Facebook. Start there, and then conduct some research to see what other social media platforms your target demographic uses.
An analytics package, even a free one like Google Analytics, will assist you with this. You can check which networks your website traffic comes from, as well as how engaged your prospects are, in this section. If you decide to boost certain content or build a particular social media campaign, this data will also show you which network has the best potential in terms of paid promotions.
You can focus your attention on other components of your content marketing strategy by outsourcing certain aspects of it. Half of all B2B organizations, according to the content marketing survey, outsource some aspect of their content strategy.
This does not imply that you must entirely relinquish control. Being involved in your content strategy is still a good idea. When asked what elements of their businessthey outsourced, 84% said content development, 31% said content distribution, and 22% said content technology.
Examine the regions that take the most time or require more of a competent hand to achieve the finest outcomes. Then consider other outsourcing solutions for those duties. This could be a freelancer or a specialized agency that can collaborate with you to achieve your goals.
While many people measure their content marketing approach, only 43% of respondents specifically measured content marketing ROI, according to the survey.
What are the benefits of content marketing ROI for your company? When content marketers can demonstrate ROI, they find it easier to acquire funding. If executives at your company can't see how much money they're making from content marketing, they might be hesitant to invest more in the future.
Track the activity on your website as a result of your content marketing activities to get a good image of ROI. To figure out how many users are converting to leads on your site, use landing pages and shortened tracking codes.
Track how many individuals become customers when you nurture leads with content like email marketing and webinars.
If you're ready to put in the effort, you can prove content marketing ROI. And your efforts will be rewarded with a boost in your content marketing strategy's confidence.
With the help of tools, B2B content marketing has never been easier. Some are free, but the majority require a monthly subscription cost.
The top technologies in which B2B organizations invest were spelled out in the Marketing Profs-Content Marketing Institute study. The following are the top five tools:
- Analytical software (86 percent )
- Software for email marketing (85 percent )
- Analyses of social media publication (80 percent )
- System for managing customer relationships (65 percent )
- System for managing content (51 percent )
While this does not imply that you should purchase all of these tools, it does provide insight into what other B2B marketers find beneficial.
Investigate what solutions are available on the market today and which will assist you in achieving success with your B2B content marketing strategy.
Create an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Hundreds of thousands of businesses have used Shutterstock for visual graphics. This company does more than just provide image downloads; it also provides useful content to its customers. Its annual Creative Trends Report is a fantastic example. Check out this one from 2019, which includes engaging images, interactive elements, and key data. Year after year, this makes Shutterstock an unparalleled authority in its field.
LinkedIn is a veritable river of knowledge, continually producing fresh tips and how-to blog entries to assist its users succeed on the platform. LinkedIn has become a go-to authority on content marketing as a result of all of this content. Take a look at this LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan example.
Hootsuite excels in creating content that resonates to its target audience, frequently tapping into what's on their minds.
In the same vein, Hootsuite made a video that capitalized on the Game of Thrones frenzy a few years ago. It's straightforward — no words are uttered — but it conveys the message and stays with viewers long after they've seen it.
A B2B content marketing planis intended to bring you in front of your ideal customers and solve their problems, causing them to want to learn more about your company. Your content should elicit a sense of reciprocity in your audience, making them desire to conduct business with you rather than your competition.
Any marketing approach or content directed toward a business or organization is referred to as B2B (business-to-business) marketing. B2B marketing methods are used by any company that sells products or services to other businesses or organizations (rather than consumers).
Content marketing improves your ability to communicate with a wide range of customers. Ebooks and white papers (50 percent), case studies (47 percent), and social media posts (excluding videos) are the most effective types of content for B2B marketers to use for content marketing (41 percent ).