Reports from the Content Marketing Institute show enterprise level B2C companies are investing millions of dollars in content marketing each year. As organizations maintain and even increase their investment in original content – from blogs and videos to contests and events – it is important for B2C and B2B companies to maintain a laser focus on how content creation and content consumption impact an organization’s marketing ROI. Whether your company is just dipping its toe into launching a content marketing program or is a well-oiled content creation and dissemination machine, here are six quick content marketing tips to maximize the return on your investment.
Before embarking upon a new content marketing program or deciding to enhance your existing efforts, carefully assess what level of content creation and distribution is realistic for your business to commit to. It is important to manage your online audiences’ expectations for both the types and volume of content they will be receiving from your organization. Consistency encompasses everything from the voice and visual aesthetic of your content to the frequency at which it is created and shared so be sure that consistency is at the core of your content marketing plan.
Content overload is a pervasive challenge facing both companies and their clients. When developing marketing content, it is important to package the information in a way that challenges stakeholders to look at something through a new lens and motivates them to consume what you have to offer.
Focus on the benefit to the reader
No need to beat around the bushes here – what’s in it for them? Why should a client, prospective or referral source take the time to open your marketing email, read your blog or follow you on social media? Will you offer them time-saving tips, timely industry insights or the opportunity to engage directly with senior leaders and industry influencers?
A great content marketing program leads with value to those who are consuming your content. By answering the all-important question “what’s in it for me?” you stand to increase reads, shares, opens, clicks, downloads and other actions that deepen audiences’ engagement with and connection to your organization.
Speak to your centers of influence
B2B companies have an opportunity to engage not only prospective and existing clients through a content marketing program, but the referral sources who are well-poised to help fill their pipeline with leads. These centers of influence have unique wants and needs so it is important that B2B companies take the time to develop original content that speaks directly to these all-important influencers. Whether it’s a blog post that discusses how business attorneys and accountants can collaborate to help clients plan for the year ahead or an email marketing campaign that answers the top questions referral sources pose to your team, there is a significant opportunity for B2B companies to strengthen relationships with key referral sources through targeted content marketing.
Integrate your online and offline marketing efforts
Just as marketing and sales teams shouldn’t work in silos, online and offline marketing efforts shouldn’t be disconnected from one another. The presentation your CEO is giving at an industry tradeshow can provide fodder for a blog post and the guest speaker you bring in for a client appreciation event could be a great video interview for your next company newsletter. When companies integrate their traditional and digital marketing efforts, they can increase alignment between sales and marketing, improve brand consistency and lay the foundation to increase overall marketing ROI.
Create compelling content for all levels of the sales funnel
The audiences visiting your website, reading your email newsletter and following you on social media are at various stages of the sales process. Some are new to your organization and exploring their options while others have long-standing relationships with your firm and can easily be upsold. To that end, it is important that your content marketing program includes compelling information for those at the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel. To achieve this objective, it can be helpful to draw out sales funnels for each of your audiences and map out what content applies to each audience at each stage of the sales process.
While B2B content marketing programs require organizations to develop a steady stream of high-quality content that speaks directly to a wide range of target audiences, content that educates, informs, engages and excites builds trust, increases retention and cultivates not only audiences but qualified business leads.
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