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

Content Marketing is a Top Piority for B2B Marketers

I’ve spent the last few months talking with many B2B marketers and the number one priority I hear is content marketing.  Marketers want to use content to educate and better engage with prospective customers.

The Content Marketing Institute offers an excellent definition:

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Through engaging content, B2B marketers have better brand control and can more fully express their key messaging.  Interestingly, the marketing role has evolved into content publishing—online and print publishers no longer have exclusivity.  This is the appeal of what is termed “owned media” (besides content, owned media includes websites, newsletters, and whitepapers) which is the new mantra for B2B marketers.

Good content marketing techniques address a customer’s business and operational issues, as well as align with the entire buyer journey. Brand advocates are created who can increase audience reach dramatically via their social channels.  It’s a wonderful amplification of a brand’s story touching many additional potential customers—the end result includes more conversions, leads, and sales.