Marketers have come to rely on content to engage prospects and customers in today’s new buyer landscape. It is now trendy to create content that educates, inspires, and begs to be shared. B2B content marketing should help leads overcome challenges and achieve their aspirations. This is the primary way to make earn leads and above all, customer trust and loyalty.
A robust content marketing strategy is a must. Its success lies in how well the company understands and engages with prospective clients/customers/buyers. To achieve this competently, businesses need a plan that reflects their goals, an understanding of the top concerns of the target audience―one in which content ideas align to a clear-cut vision that works 365 days, 24×7.
Conversations through Content
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search.
- 39% of a brand’s customers come from search, on average.
- 70% of the links that users click on are organic.
- 75% of users do not look past page one of search results.
- 72% of business owners with an SEO strategy said it improved their bottom lines.
- 80% of B2C marketers rate social media content marketing as the most effective.
The Content Marketing Institute reports that 77% of B2C marketers and 86% of B2B marketers surveyed globally are using content marketing in 2015. And 59% of B2C marketers say they will increase spending on content marketing in 2015.
Enterprises both big and small in virtually every domain have awoken to the need for a robust content marketing strategy. Immersed in a cauldron of competition, firms realize that ‘Content is King’ especially in reaching out to potential and loyal B2B customers in myriad ways. This plan is imperative because the overall volume of B2B transactions is much higher than the volume of B2C transactions.
Major Content Marketing Trends
- Lead generation is by far the number one goal of content marketing, followed by thought leadership and market education. Brand awareness is now the third most mentioned goal, taking the place of last year’s number three goal: customer acquisition.
- Companies with a documented content strategy are much more likely to be effective than those without a strategy. Only 30% of companies have a formally documented content strategy.
- The most mentioned content marketing challenge is finding enough time and resources to create content. The next biggest content marketing challenge is producing enough content, followed by producing truly engaging content to serve the needs of marketing programs.
- Content marketing ROI remains difficult to measure. Only a minority of respondents consider themselves at least somewhat successful at tracking ROI.
- LinkedIn tops the list of the most effective social media platforms for distributing content marketing. The runners up are Twitter and YouTube.
It is an entirely different ball game altogether today and proof of this can be found in statistics which reveal that an overwhelming 92% of companies generate content internally, while around 38% believe that curating or syndicating third party content will work just as well to meet their business needs.
So is there a particular form or pitch that marketing content should assume? And should a hard and fast rule be followed to gain maximum ROI? Difficult as it may be to believe, the answer to both these questions is a resounding ‘No’. That’s because your content can take absolutely any form, as long as you think outside the box! Far from assuming the high ground, your company must endeavor to create content that is simple, concise and one that is able to stoke curiosity.
Businesses that think they can run and thereby save costs, will soon discover they cannot hide from Social Media engagement for too long. Blogging, social media and case studies are in fact the most routinely used content marketing tactics and formats; with blogging alone accounting for a massive 65% of this chunk.
At a time when every second person on the planet owns a smartphone you should turn to mobile app development and maintenance. Additionally, you can optimize your website, by including the latest branding and design elements, so that it performs flawlessly on a range of wireless handheld devices.
Organizational goals for B2C content marketers:
- Customer Retention/Loyalty: 88%
- Engagement: 88%
- Brand Awareness: 87%
- Sales: 77%
- Customer Evangelism: 69%
- Lead Generation: 69%
- Lead Nurturing: 61%
- Upsell/Cross sell: 50%
But just before you take off on a flight of fancy thinking that Social Media and mobile apps are the one stop shop for all your audience engagement requirements, remember that content marketing ROI is not that easy to measure. Tracking ROI in this space is in itself an unenviable task. Still, it is beneficial to review some facts and figures that explain that all your efforts will be well worth it in the long run, if you only exercise patience.