88% of B2B companies use content marketing. Yet, only 33% of those marketers feel their content marketing is effective, and 55% are unclear about what content marketing success looks like.
How can you become a more confident content marketer and revitalize your content marketing strategy in 2017? We’re sharing 4 ways B2B companies can dramatically improve their content marketing and better engage their target audience.
Content marketing is most effective when you have a deep understanding of your target customer’s challenges, motivations and interests and create content aligned with those needs. Take the time to get to know your audience and what answers they’re looking for.
Keep an eye on social media and monitor trends or any mentions of your brand name, product or services. Reach out to your sales team and get a feel for your existing customers, their success stories and pain points. Use all of this information to build in-depth and accurate buyer personas. Creating buyer personas will help you put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and speak to the topics that interest them most.
2. Create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey
It would be nice if everyone who downloaded your content or visited your website was ready to make a purchase. The reality: 96% of your website visitors aren’t ready to buy. Many are still in the research stage and comparing solutions from different companies.
Take the time to nurture these leads and guide them to an informed buying decision. Successful lead nurturing generates 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. Create how-to videos, content offers and blog posts that educate leads and talk about how to tackle their biggest challenges and the benefits, not the features, of your products or services. Share targeted, relevant and compelling content that answers their questions at every stage of the sales funnel.
3. Measure the success of your content marketing
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Nowhere is this truer than content marketing. How can you improve your content marketing if you never measure its effectiveness and update your content creation and promotion based on your findings?
Evaluating your content marketing success is critical to boosting lead generation and, in turn, conversions. The most obvious content metrics to analyze include your leads, conversions and ROI, but don’t forget to focus on these other valuable and meaningful content marketing metrics:
Average time on page
Number of comments
And the list goes on...
Take a closer look at who is sharing your content, how often and what topics and types of content get the most engagement. Which content attracts the most links or visitors? Does your content drive leads and conversions? Dive deeper into your analytics and get the most value out of your content marketing.
4. Get industry experts involved
Are there any industry leaders or experts you admire and actively follow? Reach out and ask if they would like to contribute to your blog. Featuring thought leaders on your blog extends your reach and lends credibility to your brand name. It can also give your readers access to new and critical insights.
Tools like Followerwonk, Buzzsumo and Traackr can help you discover and connect with influencers in your industry. If you can’t get in touch with any thought leaders, use quotes from industry experts to support your content pieces.
Do you use any of these tactics? Did we miss any strategies that have helped you become a more effective content marketer? Let us know in the comments below!
Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.