Building a brand, gaining an audience and generating leads is important for organisations of all sizes. Content marketing is a valuable tool to help you achieve these outcomes. But to really stand out, your content needs to have something special about it. It all starts with overcoming the four hurdles to great content marketing.
1. Build your brand
All good marketing begins with a story. What’s yours?
B2B marketers often make the mistake of thinking their marketing material should be dry and functional rather than emotive and story–driven. The argument goes that B2B buyers are driven by cool, logic-based decision making, rather than the airy–fairy emotional whims of consumers. Apart from being just a little patronising to B2C customers, this also misses a fundamental point: people are people, whether they’re wearing their business hats or they’re shopping for budget holidays.
Emotive stories can be found in even the driest of B2B technology marketing. The story lies in what technology allows real people to achieve. Just look at this example:
Dan the HR manager used to spend two hours a day replying to emails and combing through Excel spreadsheets. Now automation takes care of that – and Dan’s much happier for it.
It has all the important aspects of a story and is a lot more compelling than a list of features and product specifications. Storytelling sits at the root of any successful brand.
2. Generate leads
Gaining leads is the goal of any marketing campaign. Fundamentally, we all want to sell something, whether that’s an intranet, a security solution or our expertise. Your marketing strategy should prioritise getting your readers into the marketing funnel. Whether they make contact for a demonstration of your product, download another piece of content to continue their research, or are at the point of making a purchase. Luckily, if you’ve built your brand well enough, you’ll be well on your way to encouraging your users to fill in that lead generation form and take the next step in the process.
Getting the rest right is all about understanding your user journey and allowing your content to guide your readers through that. Every marketing strategy, whether paid or organic, short or long term, should make use of a marketing funnel. This means that different types of content are tailored to readers at different stages of their journey, usually as they learn more about the product you’re offering and the value it delivers. That, combined with a well–optimised website and robust SEO approach, means your readers have a clear route to conversion.
3. Measure your campaigns
It goes without saying that if you want your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to measure, observe and improve. This is as true for the marketing content you’re creating as it is for anything else in life.
The first step is to set targets, or KPIs. When embarking on an organic or paid strategy, you need to understand what success looks like. That could be “gain 20 leads”, “post a blog every week”, or “gain 20% more views on our content than last year.” There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it’s important to draw a line in the sand that you can measure against later.
Then, as your campaign progresses, you can use your KPIs as a metric of how successful your tactics are. Are you gaining a healthy number of leads, or are you still too far away from your target? What can you change in order to help you boost engagement? Then, once the campaign is over, you can review your targets, your tactics and how successful you have been. After that, simply rinse and repeat until your marketing strategy gets you the results you need.
4. Solve your resource gap
For many organisations, it’s very easy for day-to-day work to take precedence over marketing. Effective content creation requires resources and skills. All the goodwill and skills in the world won’t make quality blogs and case studies appear if your best people have too much on their plates.
There are several solutions to this problem. If you have the expertise and resources, then being firm about the time people need to create effective marketing, and not allowing that to get swept aside, can be a good way of achieving your goals. Alternatively, getting some outside help can be an effective way of ensuring your content gets written to a decent quality and published on time.
The right help from the right people
If you want to make sure quality content appears on your website or social media platforms when you need it, it’s worth considering partnering with a marketing agency that understands your industry and what can help differentiate you in a competitive marketplace.
As a full–service digital marketing agency in the world of B2B technology our job is to ensure your content can build your brand, generate leads and achieve your strategic marketing goals. If you want to find out more about how we do that, get in touch with the Fifty Five and Five team today.