Every company that includes content marketing as part of its lead generation strategy faces the same challenges: is it done right? How to do it right, for that matter?
We published a blog on the topic in 2016. Are We Doing Content Marketing Right?
And while the best way to answer the question is by analyzing data and tracking KPIs, many details count in content performance. We have to remember that content is a tool within a global strategy designed to achieve specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals (our beloved SMART goals).
What you need to make it work:
- Content format
- Editorial calendar
- Distribution strategy
Oh, you also need writers. Maybe graphic designers, if you are producing infographics or ebooks.
What’s missing? Who are you producing content for? An audience, a target.
Succeeding in B2B Content Marketing
What Top Performing B2B Marketers Do
The Content Marketing Institute™ has published its latest research on the state of B2B Content Marketing. Among a treasure trove of information, trends and patterns emerge that support which best practices you should adopt:
- Having a process in place
The report goes on to show that 18% of respondents rate their content marketing success as much more successful compared to the previous year, and 45% as somewhat more successful. Marketers attribute this increased performance mainly to
With making content marketing a greater priority close behind.
I would also like to point out that 25% cited marketing technologies and tools as contributors to their increased success. Tools – and particularly AI tools – are becoming increasingly important in the B2B Marketing industry, and help teams work smarter and more efficiently. Artificial Intelligence and content marketing are a winning B2B Inbound Marketing driving tandem.
How to Improve B2B Content Marketing Performance
You don’t need to fix what’s not broken, but you can always improve it so it runs better. The first step toward improving anything is to identify the weaker/weakest areas. Know what mistakes are common in this area, so you can implement best practices. Then look at the pain points that can “easily” be removed from the equation.
Is your content engaging and insightful enough to position you as a leader? If the answer is no, or not sure, you need to shift gears.
- Hire better writers, experts in your industry. Yes, that is a bigger budget, talent doesn’t come cheap. To make it work, publish less often and allocate the resources to content that will matter.
Is your content not generating leads? It doesn’t mean it’s bad content. Content has a lifecycle, and blogs take longer to mature. HubSpot reveals that 90% of its blog leads come from old blog posts.
- Give your old content some love. Update information, share on social media regularly so you hit different audience segments at different times. You should also repurpose content, transform an article into an infographic or slides. Morph a “how to” into a video…
Are you focusing too much on one type of content? Blogs that build brand awareness, possibly. Or ebooks for the consideration stage? Take the time to perform a content audit. You may soon realize that you are nurturing leads too much and customers not enough. Remember that it costs more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.
- Make sure you keep your customer base engaged. They should hear from you and know you care. Personalize emails, send out useful links, or birthday messages. Delight!
Creating dynamic smart content is not a walk in the park. It’s a process that starts with sitting down and assessing your needs, aligning your goals and evaluating your resources. Then, and only then, will you begin to strategize and optimize.