What Is Content Marketing?
Is it another trendy buzzword or a core component of your marketing? Today’s companies need to be producing meaningful information for–and interactions with–their prospects and clients, which is at the heart of content marketing. Consider that current research shows:
- Anywhere from 57-70% of a sales decision can be made by the time a buyer picks up the phone
- People spend more than 50% of their time online looking at content
- 78% of B2B buyers start their research with online search
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads
While you may or may not be familiar with the term, simply put, content marketing is the compilation and coordination of strategic marketing efforts involving media that small businesses already demand–websites, blogs, video, and social–as well as the SEO to support them. The iconic Content Marketing Institute defines it as: “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
This is why a strategist and a strategic mindset is critical to your content marketing success. And we’re not just talking about an SEO-monger . . . our philosophy is that content marketing about is delivering valuable information to people who need it–both on- and off-line–not gaming the system. Sure, keywords factor in but we take a holistic view, orchestrating how all these parts can work together to drive results beyond just being found or picked up by the media. We take an inside-out, sales-driven approach to content strategy and execution. Too many B2B marketing agencies, PR agencies, design companies, social media consultants, and freelance writers are taking a limited view based on what they can get you vs. what you can give your prospects and fans across channels. That’s what makes us different. If this is in line with your values, set up a meeting with us and let’s compare notes!
Content Marketing Strategy
According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report for North America, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%). This means many companies are willing to “wing it” . . . and hope for the best. It’s easy to get stuck in the hamster wheel of content creation in organizations that are too fast-paced to lay down the tracks and set the direction for the company’s content marketing via a strategy.
The study also found that the top 3 reported challenges were:
1. Creating engaging content,
2. Producing content consistently, and
3. Measuring content effectiveness.
But here’s the catch: While there are many ways to approach content marketing strategy–and a ton of resources from the Content Marketing Institute and others in terms of “how tos”–much of what’s out there is not tailored to B2B small businesses or there’s simply too much to sort through to determine what actually applies. Most B2B small businesses do not need the in-depth, rigorous planning suggested by some sources and are not prepared to look at data and benchmark competitors. Furthermore, activities such as performing a brand audit can be outside the bandwidth and budget for some SMBs.
That’s where we come in. We have a few options for you:
1. We conduct a custom and facilitated content marketing strategy planning session for your team, leaving you with an executable plan–and some action items. If you get stuck with implementation, you can bring us–or any resource you prefer–in to help.
2. We can take some time to understand your goals and develop a content marketing strategy for you. We can support you in execution as well.
3. You can attend a Content Marketing Workshop in Phoenix, AZ.
Content Marketing Execution
Executing a content marketing strategy means balancing content curation and content production that’s in line with the defined strategy. It’s also about collaborating, prioritizing, and scheduling–as well as coordinating online and off-line content and activities. If you are feeling overwhelmed by content creation, concerned that you are missing the mark, or have doubts about the effectiveness and “targetedness” of your content, please contact us to see if you can benefit from our services.
For example, you may be tactically focused on any number of the content types shown here, but if these are disconnected, non-action-driving, and/or off-brand pieces of communication, you may be wasting yours (or your employees’) time and money. If you are the business owner, CMO, VP of Marketing, or have responsibility for these tactics in your current role, we can collaborate with you to ensure smooth delegation and execution of your content with your in-house resources.