What is Content Marketing?
A marketing approach based on generating varying types of content including blog posts, infographics, eBooks, whitepapers, and more. Typically, this approach is used to improve brand awareness and authority within the target market and audience. It can also be useful to help improve conversions, website traffic, and generate leads.
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Around 80% of companies continue to use content marketing in their marketing strategies in 2022. That’s a 12% increase in the last two years. In a world where social advertising is more popular than ever, content marketing is certainly not disappearing.
This essentially means one thing: marketers are finding more innovative ways to integrate content into their marketing strategies.
Generally, content marketing is linked with the inbound marketing methodology. However, with more channels to share your content than ever before, your content can speak volumes across your strategies.
The primary goal of your content is to provide value. You need to reach your buyers across platforms, and ensure that your business is front and center at the point of purchase. Consider building a strong foundation of content to support your wider marketing efforts.
Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing
As mentioned, content marketing and inbound marketing often go hand in hand in the B2B marketing industry. The primary goal of inbound marketing is to drive traffic and leads to your website or business by providing value.
Content is the key driver of this strategy, alongside solid SEO. When your potential customers look for a solution to a problem they are having, your content answers those queries. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your content is ranking on Google. This is often where people look for answers first in the digital world.
By being the first to answer their questions, or the one that answers them well, you establish your brand with your buyers. Ideally, over time, your company will be first in mind when your buyers are ready to make a purchase.
A few benefits of content marketing and inbound marketing include:
Content marketing for inbound has a great ROI because making content is free. Ultimately, anyone can sit and write a blog to put on the internet, completely free of charge. Optimizing your content for SEO also doesn’t cost a thing, in theory. Now, for businesses, it’s important to have a good quality website to host that content. You’ll also likely need SEO analytics tools. However, compared to the costs associated with outbound and paid marketing, inbound has the potential to have a competitive ROI.
Over time, your leads will learn more and more from your content. If you write good-quality blogs, infographics, ebooks, etc, your leads will become more qualified for sales over time. By the time they reach your sales team, they should be aware of their problem, the solution, and why your solution is the right one for them. This leaves far less work for your sales team, and a quicker deal.
Relationships built by inbound marketing don’t disappear as soon as the purchase is secured. Your content has built brand recognition within your market. Leads are far more likely to recommend you to a friend, or talk about your solution within their market. Brand awareness can take time, but is worth its weight in gold in the long run.
Content Marketing and Outbound Marketing
While content provides a strong foundation for inbound marketing strategies, it is a critical addition to any outbound efforts, too. Cold outreach can be extremely challenging, especially for a new business. You can’t build brand recognition on cold calls and emails alone.
Back up your outbound efforts with quality content. Offer your outreach contacts something other than “buy my solution”. Ultimately, very few of us are happy to part with cash on the back of a cold email. However, content can help you to provide value and build trust with your outbound contacts, as a resource rather than a salesperson.
Some benefits of content marketing and outbound include:
Provide value and disqualify leads: As mentioned, cold outreach generally has a low ROI. In B2B, with long sales cycles, you’re unlikely to secure a deal on the back of one email. Build a relationship with your contacts over time. Continually provide them with content that you think they will find useful. If they don’t, then they’re likely not the right buyer for your business. Avoid wasting time and resources on buyers that aren’t likely to convert. Content will naturally attract those that your solution can really help.
Re-heat your leads: A contact has been added to your email list after downloading your eBook. However, they’re not responding to any of your follow-up emails. Every outbound marketer will be familiar with this story. It’s important to remember why this lead got in touch with your business in the first place. Use your other content as a tool to re-engage your cold leads. Many leads are turned off by the pressure to speak to a salesperson after one interaction with a business. Offer them more than just a sales pitch to nurture that relationship.
Content Marketing Best Practices
Content only works when it’s targeted. What that means is that your content needs to have a purpose. You need to know your buyers, know your market, and know your solution. Where are you really providing value? There’s no sense in producing content just for the sake of it. Answer the specific questions posed by your target buyers to truly resonate.
Here are just a few key steps that form the foundation of your content generation:
- Define your target audience and generate a buyer’s persona
- Optimize your content messaging to target that buyer
- Identify the channels that are best suited to your market and your audience
- Ensure that your content is touching on each stage of the content funnel
At Nituno, we work with B2B software companies to generate and integrate a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is critical in industries where buyers need to be educated before making a purchase. Need help producing content for your business? Request a strategy meeting today!