What is Content Marketing?
Knowing what is content marketing can help you overcome the challenges of selling your products and services. No longer can businesses focus on pushing products rather than providing solutions. Content marketing is designed to inform, engage and entertain and most of all, tell a compelling story on how your products and services can solve business challenges.
Key reasons why you need content marketing
- Not uncovering enough sales opportunities before the RFP stage
- Specs are written for another solution making it difficult to win RFPs
- Procurement contacts you only to fulfil their quota for more quotes
- Key decision-makers, users and influencers are not aware of your solutions
- Not able to get ahead of the buying cycle when the potential buyers are determining their needs
B2B Sales Funnel
Challenges a B2B Content Marketing Overcomes
Competing Solely on Price
If your products or services are considered a commodity, your buyers’ decision is all based on price. To reduce price sensitivity, your buyers need to perceive you as having superior services with an investment to help them address their challenges. For your content to help your business become top of mind and build trust among your buyers, it needs to:
- Position the business as a thought leader in the industry
- Provide relevant and timely content across the right audiences to address their potential pain points
- Provide information to support Sales, Brokers, Resellers, Retailers and anyone else willing to promote your products; content can include proof points and other sales collateral to drive and reinforce purchase decisions
- Deliver ongoing communication programs to ensure you’re top of mind among key stakeholders in the buying process
- Provide your sales channel with tips, comparative analysis, TCO, testimonials and case studies to sell more effectively
Not Being Able to Reach Your Buyer
Buyers are not waiting for your call to solve their problems. More than 70% of buyers will research and decide what companies they want to do business with before they ever talk to a sales representative. Content easily found and well-distributed helps the buyer make the decision during the early stages of the buying cycle. Here are a few ways reach is expanded:
- Built-up prospect and client databases with opt-in email addresses to send timely content
- Built out social media (i.e., Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) campaigns that reach out to engage followers and encourage social share
- SEO Optimize Website to capture organic searches
- Google and Facebook Remarketing Campaigns – to reinforce the brand and drive action
Example of a Content Strategy for a Manufacturer of Digital Equipment
Measuring B2B Content Marketing Strategy
What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get improved upon.
Success needs to tie back to the business objectives and marketing goals. For tracking program success, measurement is extremely important. You’ll need to list out how and when you measure efforts, the KPIs to be used and what success ultimately looks like.
Metrics that Define Sucess
- Shared content, likes and comments
- Content downloads
- “Contact Us” requests (forms and inbound calls)
- Form completions for events, webinars and gated content
- Website traffic, bounce rates and page views
- Sales volume, conversion rates, sales cycle, frequency and profitability
Having the right partner to build out, distribute and measure your content will improve your ability to exceed your business and communications goals.