As old online marketing techniques die out and new ones pick up speed, one particular method remains strong; content marketing. For B2B marketers, B2B content marketing is becoming even more important as marketing becomes increasingly customer-centric and value-based. It generates three times the leads of traditional marketing with 62% less costs. (https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic). But despite 86% of B2B marketers using content marketing, only 38% say that it is working well for them. (https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/03/effective-b2b-content-marketers/)
With the extremely short seconds-long attention span of website visitors (https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1326561.1326566) what can the rest do to make their content more attention grabbing to their B2B buyers?
1. Have a clear and comprehensive marketing strategy
Many B2B marketers know that they need content marketing. In fact, according to the statistic quoted above, 86% of them use it in their marketing strategy. One important thing that makes the difference between a successful content marketing campaign and a failed one is a documented marketing strategy.
In a survey by Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers said they had a content marketing strategy. However, only 35% had documented it. Most just had a verbal strategy to go with. 60% of those with a documented strategy reported success compared with only 32% of those with a verbal strategy. (https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/10/2015-b2b-content-marketing-research/)
The facts are clear, to win over more B2B customers using content marketing, you have to create, document and follow a clear and comprehensive strategy.
2. Create value through content
Why do you create content on your website? Is it simply to rank higher for certain keywords or maybe make your website look filled up? The time for creating content for content’s sake is long gone. Today, if you want to attract any sort of traffic and conversions you have to create value through your content. Not only will Google rank your site higher for good content, your visitors will also share your content, keep coming back and become loyal customers.
The best way to determine if your content is valuable is to see it from a visitor’s eyes. Does it offer any meaningful and relevant advice? Some examples of high-value content include how-to’s, a review of industry trends, information on new research and tips on a relevant subject.
3. Check your content and site design
Regardless of how good the food in a restaurant is, not many people will want to stick around or come back if the lighting is poor, the seating haphazard and the colors depressing. The same is true with your website. To get your content to catch attention, check that your design is user friendly. This includes the design of the website and that of the content itself. Some important aspects to consider include;
• Colors. Colors mean a great lot when it comes to web design. (https://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/04/07/how-to-create-the-right-emotions-with-color-in-web-design/) Make sure that your color palette attracts, rather than pushes away, potential leads.
• Amount and placement of advertisements.
• Text font. Is it easy to read?
• Font and color of calls to action.
• Mobile friendly.
Work with your design team to make sure that your content and site design is the best it can be. This means constant testing for even the smallest of things.
4. Go beyond text
When you talk about content marketing, most B2B marketers automatically think of textual content. While written content is the most abundant, it is not the only way to boost your traffic and conversions. Nowadays, visual content has becoming a big draw for B2B customers. 95% of B2B buyers report that they prefer short-format content, like infographics and short videos. (https://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/content-strategies/2746-b2b-content-preferences-survey-buyers-want-short-visual-mobile-optimized-content.html#.VQmgio54pr8)
Some marketers have realized the immense benefits of integrating visual aspects to their content marketing strategies. In 2014, there was an 8% rise in the use of video by marketers and a 9% rise in the use of infographics.
Apart from your website, another place where more visual content will really pay off is on social media. Tweets containing images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. (https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-power-of-twitters-new-expanded-images-and-how-to-make-the-most-of-it)
On Facebook, among 30,000 business pages, posts containing images created the most engagement. In fact, they were responsible for 87% of all interactions. (https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Photos-Cluttering-Your-Facebook-Feed-Herersquos-Why/1010777)
Video is regarded by B2C and B2B marketers as one of the top marketing techniques when it comes to ROI. (https://www.marketingtechblog.com/video-marketing-2015/) Before you write that white paper, article or guide, ask yourself whether some or all of the information you want to provide can be presented better in visual form.
5. Tell authentic stories
Too often, content marketing comes across as cold and stuffy. It is as if there are robots behind those words pushing customers towards a purchase decision. But for customers to become loyal and spread the word to others, they need to feel as if you are human. An excellent way to do this is through storytelling.
No matter how seemingly boring your product is, there are captivating stories behind it, stories that would strike a chord with other customers. If you create HR software, there are stories of customers who struggled for long before they landed on your software solution, or companies that boosted their productivity through your software. Tell stories like this.
Make sure that the stories elicit emotion and leave the reader with a warm feeling. A good example of storytelling is case studies. While traditionally case studies, especially for B2B businesses, have been written in a very formal way, try something different. This time, tell a story. Let your readers feel the challenges faced by a past customer, your company’s efforts to find a solution and the success gotten in the end.
Keep it Going
Finally, keep the ball rolling. Consistency is very important in content marketing. People will only come back to your site, blog or social media page when they know that they will find fresh quality content awaiting them. Create a schedule for creating new content and stick to it. There are numerous tools that can help you in scheduling and managing content. (https://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-tools-ultimate-list/)
Content marketing is something that is here to stay as long as the internet is around. Understanding how best to leverage it for increased conversions and higher sales should be your daily goal.
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