Businesses across industries are working toward the same objective; to build back better and return to growth. But with resource still tight, the pressure is on to do more with less. So how can brands make their content work smarter, not harder?
According to research from Forrester, vendor content is falling short of basic buyer needs when it comes to relevance and credibility. The results suggest that vendors rarely tailor content to their audience, with almost 70% of decision-makers saying that they have received content that they did not opt in for. Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents stated that vendors send them too much material, and over half (51%) consider the material they do receive to be useless. Forrester reports that the majority of B2B content is not objective or balanced, with 60% of decision makers stating that the content they receive is biased toward the vendor.
It’s unsurprisingly, then, that 60% decision makers said that they get most of their information from elsewhere. By failing to meet basic buyer needs, it’s difficult for vendors to truly demonstrate their value to prospects. It’s critical that tech marketers review their content strategies and execution to ensure they address customer needs at every step of their journey.
So, how can vendors make sure their content is adding value? Marketers should keep the three P’s of content strategy front of mind when they’re planning their approach:
Planning & Production:
Focus on quality over quantity. Establish clear goals and KPIs, home in on fewer personas and ensure your messaging is tailored to them. Plan to create a few rich, hero content assets that address wider industry challenges and identify associated derivative assets that can be shared across different channels. These derivative assets should serve as a means to fulfil buyer knowledge requirements and preferences, spotlighting different environments, verticals or markets, for instance.
There’s no sadder thing in the world of B2B content than a brilliant asset gathering digital dust on a corporate landing page. B2B decision makers are omnichannel customers, and your content strategy needs to reflect that.
Tailor promotional strategy to where your audience is on their buying journey. If you’re working on a wider awareness campaign, for example, you might consider content syndication. Longer form content such as whitepapers or eBooks can be a highly effective content format during the awareness and consideration stages. By showing your business understands key industry challenges and has the right tools to address their specific pain points, whitepapers help establish your brand credibility and position you as a thought leader, while simultaneously guiding your prospects further down the sales funnel.
For those that are already aware of your product or service, but need further information on the benefits it can provide to their business, a paid programme on LinkedIn will help get your content in front of the right audience.
Content strategies may have different performance measurements depending on the goal of your campaign, but there are a few mainstays to consider.
For gated content, downloads are the most important metric. A strong piece of gated content can be a powerful tool for lead generation, so capturing contact details to follow up is key.
A successful strategy will attract new potential customers through engaging content, but you may also be creating more engagement with past customers or prospects. Either way, it’s important to know how readers have made their way to your content, and you can use a platform like Google Analytics to track traffic sources.
Noting the number of impressions or views your content has received can help give a steer on how many people you’ve reached, but while measuring impressions is important, you won’t be able to fully understand if your content is effective without measuring click-through rate. The number of shares and backlinks can also serve as a good indication of whether people find it useful or interesting enough to share with their own networks.
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