Will content (marketing) still be king in 2019? Well, there is going to be an uprising. But it isn’t another platform or tool that’s threatening to disrupt content’s reign. The threat is actually from too much content. The sheer volume of content that is being created is making it increasingly difficult to reach your targets. Marketer Mark Schaefer coined the term “Content Shock” to describe this phenomenon, where the amount of available content vastly exceeds our ability to consume it.
For B2B marketers, this means that your content has to be powerful enough to break through the noise and draw your prospects to it, offering them true value. So given today’s crowded marketplace and ever-increasing amounts of content, how can you ensure that your content reaches your desired audiences?
Here are some points to consider to ensure that your content performs royally:
Be authentic and inspire trust
Content that tries too hard to sell is so last century. If your content sounds too promotional, or feels too sales-y, it’s not going to win over any customers today. Authenticity is the key for B2B marketers in developing marketing materials. How exactly will your product help customers? How will it make their lives easier? Your content needs to show customers that you understand their issues, and explain how your solution can address their concerns.
Help make the research process easier for prospects. Don’t just be an expert in your own solution. Be an expert in the solution category. Provide facts, comparisons, productivity or price calculators, and real-world examples. Bring all the information that prospects need together in one place, and present it in a way that truly assists them in their search, rather than simply promoting your solution.
This is where referral marketing, user-generated content, user forums and online communities can play a very powerful role. People want to hear about the experiences of their peers, good and bad. And they want to feel that they can work with a company. Openly sharing information and feedback helps to inspire trust and a feeling that “we’re all in this together,” which is what strong relationships are based on.
Talk to your customers
How do you know what your customers are thinking? In order to create content that offers a compelling value, you need to really understand your customers’ motivations and pain points. It’s not enough to rely on analytics, social media mentions and anecdotes from sales. To gain the kind of in-depth understanding that is required, you need to talk directly with your customers.
Some of the best learnings come from Voice of Customer sessions. These structured sessions provide a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data. They also demonstrate to your customers that their opinions and feedback are very important to your company.
Develop a content marketing strategy
If you don’t have a content strategy already, put this near the top of your task list. Developing an “official” strategy will help you ensure that your content delivers maximum value. Map all the steps in the customer’s journey that your prospects undertake, and make sure you have content that supports each step and possible information requirements.
Your content strategy should include:
- Your content goals – do you want to build awareness, generate leads, or something else? Or will you have multiple goals?
- Who you’re creating content for – who are the customer types and personas you’re targeting?
- What they need – what information do they require, at each step in the journey?
- How you’ll get it to them – what formats & platforms will you use?
- How you’ll measure if your content strategy is successful – what metrics will you use to measure your results?
We can help you with all of your content needs for 2019, from developing a content strategy to copywriting.