You have probably heard the term content marketing be thrown around quite a bit recently. Content as a marketing tool has increased in popularity among B2B companies over the last few years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. If you work in B2B marketing, you will sooner or later need to think about content marketing, regardless whether you work at a global enterprise or smaller company.
So why not sooner? But where should you begin? Reading this blog post is a great place to start.
In this post, we’ll cover the basics of content marketing. What it is, what it can be used for and why it’s in full bloom today. We’ll also share three insights that will make it easier to start your content marketing journey. Let’s get to it!
The definition of content marketing
As it goes with most terms in marketing, there isn’t a single universal definition of content marketing. The international knowledge organization Content Marketing Institute describes it as follow:
“Content marketing is 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.”
– Content Marketing Institute
And if you ask us, that’s a pretty solid definition. What we like about this definition is that it emphasizes the nature of the content. If the content you promote isn’t valuable, relevant and consistent, you are not doing content marketing. Then you’re simply creating something no one wants.
We probably should explain the word Content as well. Content, in terms of marketing, refers to a creative element that provides information and value to the receiver. The list of different content used in content marketing goes on; e-book, blog post, webinar, podcast to mention a few. As long as your target audience finds it interesting and it meets your marketing goals there are no restrictions as to how the content is carried out.
The fact that the content needs to be interesting to the target audience might seem obvious, but there is so much content out there that’s not relevant for anybody. The problem isn’t that marketers don’t understand that the content must be of value to the reader. The real issue is that marketers today struggle with understanding what their audience find interesting.
How to use content marketing
So, content marketing is about providing value to your target audience. But what about the value for your company? What can you use content marketing for, why should you even utilize this strategy? The answer is – everything. Well, “everything” might be a bit of a stretch, but the content marketing approach is a very versatile one.
By providing great content to your target audience, you can, among other things:
- Place you on top of the search results
- Keep followers on social media platforms updated
- Generate leads, by providing the content in exchange for a person’s contact information
- Improve relations with existing customers
- Position your company
Content marketing is more relevant than ever
Content marketing is more relevant than ever, for several reasons. The rise of social media has changed the way people interact with both ads and companies in general. With a continuously shortening attention span, your target audience won’t be engaged unless the value they get out of it is clear. The content must be worth the time and click. If you use content marketing as a strategy to generate leads, you need to provide even more value to the reader. Nowadays, people don’t easily give away their contact information.
3 things to know before getting started with content marketing
1. Find out what your target audience wants to read
First things first – what do your target audience want to read about? Look into market trends and what your target group is searching for on Google. The three most common techniques used by B2B marketers are; feedback from sales, website analytics and keyword research (Content Marketing Institute, 2018). You could also simply ask an existing customer what would interest him or her. This prep work will make every part of content marketing easier.
2. Keep it educational – not selling
A common mistake in content marketing is to turn all created material into a sales pitch. In most of the cases, the reader isn’t interested in that. It’s not of value. Instead, share knowledge the reader will benefit from. According to Content Marketing Institute, 90% of the most successful B2B marketers prioritize the audience's informational needs over their sales message (2018). We know it might be difficult, or even uncomfortable, to keep from promoting a specific product or service. But it’s worth it. Prioritize education over promotion.
3. The right content at the right place
Content marketing is not only about the actual content. It also demands proper channels. If you want to work with content marketing, it’s wise to map your outlets and consider where your target audience is. You may already have a business account on Facebook, Linkedin, and Youtube, and you might already have a blog on your website. It’s important to consider what content can be published in your different channels.
Want to know more about content marketing
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of content marketing. However, we have merely scratched the surface. At Brightvision we have worked a long time with content marketing and have utilized this strategy to generate leads and increase brand awareness for our clients.
We specialize in creating great content. We continuously produce engaging blogposts, eBooks, videos and more. Read more about our content production offer here!