Everyone knows that content marketing is gaining a lot of traction in the B2B sector. According to the Marketing 201 2018 B2B Marketing benchmarks survey, 91% of B2B marketing specialists use content marketing now. Of the 9% of non-users, more than half plan to launch a content marketing effort within 12 months.
On the other hand, less than one in ten of the B2B marketers who use content marketing describe their level of maturity as sophisticated. In summary, even if B2B organizations have a content marketing strategy, very few know how to measure and scale them accurately throughout the organization.
Probably, the reason why very few B2B companies can get a tangible advantage from consistent content marketing is that most of them rely on simply extracting information or resorting to simple advertising. If you are one of those organizations or have just started with content marketing, the following tips will be useful.
Invest in Evergreen content
In an attempt to remain relevant, most B2B companies tend to capitalize on the latest news and trends to create timely content. While this strategy works well, it is not enough to generate a lasting impact on your target audience. In addition, it requires that your content creation team create unique and relevant content almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which you must admit, is quite stressful.
Evergreen content is probably the best way to overcome this problem. It is the content that remains significant for years and is the core of its commercial offers. However, that does not mean that you do not need to update part of your content from time to time. You need to review it from time to time to keep it relevant and up-to-date.
I work in the SEO industry, where there are innumerable instances of B2B companies aimed at clients with updated and always updated content. “SEO Tools: The Complete List” by Brian Dean is a great example of how to gain audience by responding to a pressing issue and reaping a constant organic traffic. The publication lists nearly 200 free and paid tools personally (and periodically) tested and reviewed by Brian. It is not surprising that the guide has more than 19 thousand shares and is located in the same place as Google!
Educate with Snappy tutorials
Commitment is also a crucial part of your content marketing strategy. One of the easiest ways to interact with your target audience is to provide them with actionable and educational content. That’s where the tutorials come in.
Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin has created and published ten-minute short videos called Whiteboard Friday for more than eight years. These videos constantly try to teach something new and useful to the audience of the company (and you thought about what could be new every week!) An edited and formatted audio transcript is also published along with the video, for readers who learn better from text and images.
If you do not have the resources (or the confidence) to create polished and high quality videos, you can make your tutorials “agile” with only routine publications. However, avoid presenting a wall of words and try to include screenshots, images and gifs in your blog post.
Here, the tech blogging industry has some notable examples. iGeeksBlog has a publication on how to record an iPhone screen, which is a great guide on how B2B product companies can make tutorials with step-by-step instructions and relevant screenshots with nothing more than an iPhone, it is also an example how to replace the video with a series of images or gifs stitched.
When you are creating content in the form of tutorials, you should have a clear idea of the priorities of your audience and where exactly they are along the buyer’s funnel. Avoid going too broad with the topic or addressing people in different stages of the funnel, as it will only make the reader less satisfied or convinced. Also, make sure your customers can quickly access these tutorials anytime they want by sharing them on their website and on all relevant social networking platforms.
Keep an eye on your competitors
To maximize the potential of your content marketing strategy, you should monitor your competitors’ online marketing strategies. By following them on different platforms and understanding their commitment and conversion metrics, you can learn which tactics are the most effective and those that are most likely to be boomerang. Specifically,
- See what external platforms are most active. Facebook? Yelp? Are they relevant to you?
- Determine which of your content performs better, in terms of traffic and participation.
- Verify who shares your content. Get closer and develop relationships with these people.
- Check which sites are linked to them. You know what to do next.
- Get the keywords for which you are classified in organic search and where you are bidding on Google AdWords.
- Determine the proportion of traffic you get from referrals, direct visits, search engines, email and social networks.
- Subscribe to their newsletters by email to get an idea of their brand messages and special offers.
While there are a lot of online tools that allow you to collect various data on your competitors, my favorite is SEMrush, which has 360-degree competitive intelligence functions (read, you can do most of the above) on channels digital
Of course, while the tools can provide data and provide information in real time and processable, it is up to you to adjust your strategy accordingly and create content in the correct formats, which will help you connect with your audience.
Keep the ROI measurement
The CMI study we referred to above revealed that B2B companies spend on average around 26% of their total marketing budget on content marketing. However, this number goes up to 40% in the case of the most successful. Why spend more than a third of your marketing budget on content marketing? Because they know how much they get with their money and the time they spend on content.
Analyzing the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing can be complicated. There are three main components:
- Cost: how much did it cost to produce and distribute a certain piece of content?
- Use: How much of the content was actually published or distributed?
- Performance: how much engagement or conversions did you get?
There are two places where you measure the metrics that help you determine the cost, use and performance. The first is your website. Tools like Google Analytics show data related to your website traffic, such as
- Page views
- Time spent on the page
- Bounce Rate
These are the fundamental metrics. In addition to Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Woopra and Clicky can provide more detailed information about the content.
The second place are external platforms: social networks and other sites where you place your content or brand messages. Tools such as Buffer or platform-specific analyzes (such as Facebook Insights) can help you monitor mentions and the participation of your campaigns on these platforms. The metrics of importance here are
- brand feeling
Creating a model that best suits your business will help you understand the success of your content marketing efforts. However, be sure to keep measuring the ROI regularly.
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