Updated: Oct 20, 2018
With the rising importance of content marketing, marketers need to decide where to direct the most attention. Essentially they need to walk a fine line between attracting attention to content and converting that attention into sales. Online content allows businesses to interact with consumers in ways never seen before. Delivering on the trio of content, platform, and audience is as simple as creating appropriate content on the proper platform and distributing it to the correct audience.
The targeting capabilities that marketers have in their arsenal are impressive, making interacting with customers and prospects much more accessible. The content creation process educates and entertains the audience which, if done right, should ultimately lead them through the sales process. Here are some content goals and examples that can be integrated into your content to achieve the ultimate goal (sales).
Before the content creation process commences, a creator must have a clear objective and a well-laid plan. A creator must ascertain through iterative reflection what they are planning on adding to the consumer’s knowledge base. They can do this through research, mind-maps, and brainstorming sessions with advisors and the client. They can also look to the consumer and trends for ideas. A creator must then build continuously from any conclusions made with more pillar content.
Educating the audience should entail outlining the attributes of a product or service. For example, “what will IoT do for businesses to create a faster more profitable environment?” Start with educating the reader with an introduction about what IoT exactly is, and how to integrate it into their own business, then incorporate web links throughout the page with notable IoT products (i.e. product pitches that do not directly mention them). This is the first piece of the product value chain. Producing meaningful content that educates will ultimately position a company as an industry thought leader and expert. This has the added benefit of generating top-of-mind awareness to create competitive advantage.
Content with the goal of entertaining is an excellent persuasive tactic. People gravitate towards things that are easy to access and understand and that benefit them. Unsurprisingly, humorous content is the most viral form of digital content, so how do you entertain with B2B topics? Not all content needs to have specific business goals; some content can be created to build a relationship with your audience. To develop entertaining content in the B2B world, you can go off script and do what JP Morgan did this past summer when they had their interns take over their Instagram and share their experiences. Other types of entertaining content can consist of: behind the scenes photos or raw video showing what goes on in the office making it human and vibrant. The same goes for interactive content (polls, stories ex.), and integrating video into a text content.
Event marketing has and always will be a productive way of getting your message out, for events to be productive you need a receptive audience. Event content will tell the purpose of the event. This requires not just one article but multiple articles. Repetition of a message leads to long-term memory. Give your target audience a purpose to go and show them how they will improve. Create hype and hyper-target towards people you want to be there!
The ultimate goal of content is to nurture an audience to go down the sales process without being too aggressive. The beauty of creating content is that 57% of B2B buyers have made their purchase decision before ever speaking to a salesperson. For companies it is beneficial to know if a prospect is interacting with their content because they will then know how educated and up to date they are with their product/service, making it easier to close.
Now more than ever it is vital to use content to create brand awareness, build customer trust, move the audience down the funnel and into a sale. We are in the renaissance of content creation it is time to stand out.
READ Dreamline Digital's complementing article: What is wrong with B2B marketing and how to fix it