Why B2B content marketing needs a human face

man-1483479_640Chances are your marketing budget is being stretched. Many dollars are often wasted by casting a wide fish net across a number of market segments in the hopes of reaching potential buyers. If your messaging is not resonating with the right people, no one will notice.

One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing – the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content that is customized to the needs of targeted groups. The goal is moving the prospect deeper into the sales funnel towards conversion.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers are embracing content marketing for their sales pipeline using various digital formats, including websites, articles, case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and videos. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2016 Benchmark study indicates 88 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing for top goals of lead generation (85%) and sales (84%).

According to the CMI research, one in five B2B marketers are making content personalization a top priority. It’s important to tailor messaging by industry sector, organization size and buyer role – essentially segmenting your database.

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5 Steps for Building a Content Marketing Strategy

According to a 2011 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2B marketers are participating in content marketing and plan to allocate 26% of their total 2012 marketing budgets on this practice.

One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing.  It’s fundamentally the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content, tailored to the needs of targeted groups.  The Content Marketing Institute’s definition also includes the desire by vendors to attract, acquire, and engage with audiences.

Marketers are communicators of value and have been transformed into educators. Buyers are seeking information from vendors on how to solve business issues. Companies that embrace good content marketing practices are destined for more leads, conversions, and sales.

With the explosion of easy online sharing and distribution of information, marketers now have a way to scale and reach many more people.  Good content is an integral part of search and social media networking, and can take many forms, including articles, case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and videos.  Many people are responding well to visual content over plain text.  It won’t be long before we see more of the social network Pinterest in the B2B marketing world.

Let’s look at 5 content marketing strategy steps aligned with a buyer’s journey:

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Buyer Persona

Aligning Content with a Buyer Persona:

What has your content done for you lately? Marketers are great at crafting messages filled with strong calls to action.  However, if the communication is not resonating or reaching the right audience, campaign success is unlikely.

Content is now an important ingredient in the marketer’s toolbox.  One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing: the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content, tailored to the needs of targeted groups.

Marketers have been transformed into educators and content must always communicate value.  What value can your organization provide buyers of your products and services?

Creating a buyer persona starts by defining your ideal customer. Continue reading