While almost 90% of companies practice content marketing and only 28% of them believe that what they do is effective, it is legitimate to ask the following questions: “Why continue?” or, “What can I do to improve my results?”
The answer to the first question is quite simple; you have no choice but to continue. And if you have not started yet, start as soon as possible, but with a solid understanding, so as not to get discouraged if you find that the results are disappointing at first.
The answer to the second question calls for more in depth attention. Here are some suggestions of ideas we’ve either implemented for our customers or that we’ve observed in certain B2B niche markets.
But let me briefly explain why so many businesses fail at content marketing:
Firstly, since 2014, there has been a phenomenon that certain content marketing specialists call “Content Shock”. Here at Exo B2B we’ve noted a saturation of marketing content in several B2B sectors or niches. We call it a content crisis. We’ve even published an Ebook on the subject. Surprisingly, some niches are not yet affected. These few actually have a B2B content deficit and represent a fantastic opportunity.
Secondly, and this is where you can intervene, few companies have actually managed to create value with their content marketing. Add the content crisis to this situation and the result you’ll get is failure.
The solution is not to create more content, or distribute it through a maximum amount of channles or media. We need to stop hitting the nail on the head … we are being saturated by content. This means that the audiences can simply no longer absorb it.
What to do? :
Have empathy for your target (yes, your personas) and evoke emotions and rationality in B2B context. Listen to what your target customers want as far as content. They certainly want content that brings a solution to a problem and especially not promotional content, even in disguise. Talk to them, talk to your sales force, talk to influencers to know the issues and concerns. Can you help them do their job better or help them better understand their industry’s trends?
Use search and monitor tools to find the most sought-after subjects in your sector and to listen to what the competition delivers as content.
Do you analyze your statistics frequently to see what works best in terms of visits, but also, in terms of commitment to your content in social media that generating qualified leads? Analysis can show you what the best content is for your target. You might not necessarily consider it so. In the end, what you think about the quality of the content doesn’t matter. It’s the feedback your target gives you that’s important. They will be the final juges of the quality of your content.
Use visuals. Images generate 2 times more engagement than text-only and video, 12 times more.
Think about this: At what moment in the purchasing process is your content useful, and to whom? Certainly, when a need is urgent, the senses are awakened and we are searching for content that meets a need. In short, be there at the right time with the right content on the right platform and, it will address the right person.
Identify the ambassadors who will interact with your content. They are journalists, customers or specialists in your field that will give life to your content.
Have a content strategy in a context of inbound marketing (SEO integration, content and social media) that reaches the right audience.
Avoid generalized content that covers to many subjects! This will not draw commitment.
Have a budget in hand to foot the content that will offer the most value to your target audience and that deserves to be promoted. Some case studies have demonstrated the need to invest anywhere between 50 and 60% of content marketing budget on content promotion!
Content marketing is facing new challenges with the increasing volume of new content that is growing exponentially in most industries. We must be more precise in our actions and encourage interaction with our audiences (influencers, customers, prospects, employees, etc.). In short, it will be hard to keep doing things the way we’ve always done them and expect benefits.
I invite you to send me your comments and experiences. Looking forward to hearing from you!
 B2B Enterprise Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs