It’s official. The b2b marketing world is having a love affair with content marketing.
Here at Bc we’re no different. But as much as we love content marketing and its benefits, we’re the first to admit that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ marketing cure-all, guaranteed to land hundreds of hot leads for everyone. We also know as much as anyone that content marketing is an investment in resources and for it to work properly it’s a long-term strategy that needs to be combined with some short-term lead attraction strategies.
Are you ready for content marketing?
If you’ve noticed the content marketing explosion and are thinking of sticking your toe in, read on to see if your business could benefit from a content-driven approach.
5 signs your business is ready:
1. Your sales process is complicated or involves multiple touches
Content marketing is often a great solution for b2b companies with high-involvement purchases. The challenge here for marketers is to stay relevant through all stages of the buying process. Your point of contact may not be the final decision-maker, often meaning your proposal has to jump through different levels of management before a final decision is made. Turn your contact into a brand and product advocate by delivering relevant content that answers questions that they may need to field from HR, accounts, IT, the CEO or other business stakeholders.
2. Your buyers do a lot of research before buying your product or service
If your buyers leave no stone unturned before committing to a purchase, content marketing could well be the magic ingredient to winning clients. Good content marketing will not only answer your buyers’ questions, it will speak directly to their pain points, no matter what stage of the process they’re in. Your sales guys will love you because they won’t be weighed down with constant questions from dud leads, freeing them up to concentrate on the qualified leads with better conversion rates.
3. You regularly develop case studies
Great! You are already in the swing of content development, even if you didn’t know it. Case studies are traditionally popular b2b marketing tools and still have a respectable place in content marketing. What’s more you can use the same process to develop additional pieces of content to form your editorial calendar. Remember to start by nutting out a clear direction and strategy for your content, then review your case studies by picking out the themes that can be leveraged into other forms of content like a blog, video or infographic. Catch up on the helpful content tips we posted back in May.
4. You get interested leads but they aren’t ready to buy
Content marketing allows you to capture leads and feed them into a nurture program. In theory your nurture program should then move your prospects along the sales funnel with just the right amount of relevant content, combined with light marketing messages. All being well, by the time they pick up the phone to your sales team, your lead has gone from cold to warm to hot and ready to buy (or close to it!).
5. You have a fair understanding of your market and their pain points
Understanding your customer is a great foundation for a successful content marketing strategy. A strong understanding of your audience and their pain points helps you develop content that sets off light bulbs for your customers. It’s these light bulbs that trigger your customers to pick up the phone and start talking to your sales guys. If you need help defining your customer, read our blog on buyer personas.
Sound like you?
Great! Give it a go: when content marketing is done well, it can be a powerhouse b2b marketing tool for gaining and retaining customers.
If you want to do content marketing well you need to set up a system to organise and manage your content. We've created a free editorial calendar template to get you started. Download it today.