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Content marketing is disseminating information to your customers in the form of words, images, infographics, videos, and blogs that eventually translates into building customer engagement, trust and establishing a company’s image without writing any sales pitch. Interesting!!
But there is more to it. Content marketing is not a formula; instead, it is an approach which helps you reach your target customers by giving them something that adds value to their existing knowledge base and encourages them to buy.
Today, B2B companies are using nearly 30% of their digital marketing budget in content marketing. It has grown as one of the most influential media of communication between companies and their customers.
Knowing why you are doing content marketing is very important. While creating workflows, assigning responsibilities, and building a content calendar is an essential activity, but knowing the various reasons behind content marketing is pivotal.
Take a step back and look at the big picture, understand whether your brand needs it or not at first place. If the answer is ‘Yes,’ then what will be its ROI? What additional resources do you need to execute the content marketing?
Begin with the end in mind is the key to content marketing, therefore dive deeper and know why your brand needs content marketing. Some of the reasons are enumerated below:
When you share content in diverse forms with your consumers, it creates an impact on their minds. Content marketing helps you distribute your varied content on different media and establish your brand identity which is very important for the beginners.
When you are present where you should be, it has an impact on your SEO and Google rankings. When Google ranking increases, it increases the number of visitors landing on your website. More visitors, eventually mean more business and revenue. Therefore, content marketing plays a vital role in improving search engine ranking and bringing traffic.
When you write better content in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, and emails, it turns customer awareness into something more meaningful. A great content pays the way for more customer participation, helps in building a better relationship that can add an individual’s experience with your brand.
Building brand perception takes time, and it gets created from various sources. Content marketing is one of them. People gradually learn to identify you from your content, its presentation, tone, and style; that helps you in becoming a brand in the eyes of your consumers.
Content marketing is a handy tool in generating a lead when you write engaging content on your website or other social media platforms; it encourages your customer to sign-up to know more about your product and services. Therefore, while the objective of content marketing is to attract your customers, it eventually leads to generating more leads.
When you do content marketing in the right manner, it increases sales. The primary objective of content marketing is not only to convert potential leads into customers but also to retain customers and to maintain them as loyal buyers for future. Your content assists your consumers in deciding to purchase.
When you write enticing content, share your opinions about pertinent topics, you become a trusted resource. People listen to your thoughts and refer your opinion before they make a buying decision. Therefore, content marketing also helps a marketer emerge as a thought leader.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to content marketing, different brands and different company sizes pursue different content marketing strategy. While a consistent presence on social media gives expected results to one brand, blogging, and video marketing fits the nature of other business.
Let us dig deeper to understand how content marketing is done:
Nothing can substitute the experience of a live webinar when you want to generate qualifying leads. They are scalable and compelling and demonstrate what you want to communicate with your customers. Although expensive, it speaks about the viability of your product and proves to be a powerful tool for companies in B2B marketing.
Come what may, the blog remains as one of the most effective and surest ways to deliver your message to your customer. It adds to customer’s knowledge and assists customer buying behavior. B2B marketers can use blogging to their best of their advantage and generate revenue.
Email marketing brings positive value for B2B marketers. Its biggest benefit is not only the way it gets delivered to the customers but also in it being the best tool for nurturing the lead. Crafting regular emails forms an integral part of content marketing and is one of the most dependable strategies too.
Undoubtedly the cheapest and the most consistent result producing platform, which is integral to any content marketing effort is social media. When done thoughtfully and with absolute consistency, social media marketing creates results that no other platform offers.
White papers are valuable research and data points that give not only information about the business but also elucidates on industry trends, stats, government regulations, etc. In B2B, the white paper holds their importance and should be considered as a critical element for content marketing.
When you want to pass on your message to your customer in a quick form without taking much of his time, infographics are a handy tool. It is entertaining and visually appealing, therefore should form a part of any content marketing effort.
Through case studies, a customer is advocating your brand; you are mentioning how you helped his brand in reaching new heights through various marketing efforts. Such case studies engage customers who have the same pain points, and it inspires them to take help from your company. It is a great approach and should form a part of your content marketing strategy.
Check the video below to get an idea about content marketing methodology
When you adopt content marketing in your marketing strategy, there are a few tactics which you should know about. Whether you are B2B or B2C, these tactics will make way for your success.
Let us list down the most important ones for you:
Create content that connects with your audience: Everything you create should work towards building your brand and connecting with your customers. The objective should be to reach the target audience and not the largest audience through content marketing.
Deliver value: This is the golden rule, deliver value at every touch point you interact with the customer. Educate, advice, advocate, entertain, inform and inspire your customer at every point to make your content marketing effort fruitful.
While selling, sell tactfully, do not push your customer to buy or load him with a lot of unnecessary information or messages, and don’t just speak for yourself, sell subtly.
Make use of user-generated content: Any content marketing effort is futile if it does not involve the ultimate user. User-generated content is a fantastic way to engage your customers and make them feel valuable.
Different content mix: Do not just stick to one content type, instead create a combination of different content that suits a B2B company and more specifically your brand.
Seek feedback: Feedbacks from your customers help you improve your brand image, therefore make sure that you ask your user to give feedbacks either on your website or through an email.
Optimize and audit your current strategy: When you optimize and monitor your current strategy, you get to know what you were doing wrong or which activity was the most result producing. Therefore, it is an important tactic to monitor and optimize your strategy from time to time.
Plan a distribution strategy: A content distribution strategy is crucial as it brings your content in front of your audience. Therefore, plan a robust and yielding content distribution strategy.
Build relationships: The last but not least content marketing tactic is to focus on building relationships rather than just conversion or revenue. It gives far-reaching results, and building relationship with customers has other notable benefits too.
The inclusion of Artificial intelligence and virtual reality:
Brands have to embrace AI and VR in their marketing mix else there are all chances that they might lose their customers to their competitors.
Influencer marketing will be on upsurge:
Influencer marketing will move away from the hands of big brands to the smallest level of business; it will spread its wings across all spheres of business.
Original content will top the list:
In 2018 too, nothing will be more important than the creation of original content. The marketer will focus on newer ways to create fresh and unique content to mark their presence.
Personalization and customization will be necessary when marketers will deliver product or service to its consumers in 2018.
The future of content marketing is at an all-time high this year and will see a quantum increase in the years to come. A little bit of change in their strategy and marketers will enjoy a host of benefits from their content marketing strategy and will earn more. A few changes that the marketers will have to embrace:
Tying It All Together
Content marketing is a time taking action, it does not produce results overnight. It might take few months to even a year to see the results of a content marketing strategy. However, the effects can be significant, and it can become your most cost-effective marketing channel.