Companies are becoming increasingly more aware of the positive effect that content marketing can have on their business results. A survey by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 89% of B2B marketing managers use content marketing as a marketing strategy. Of the 11% that don’t use content marketing today, half say they are planning on getting into content marketing within the next year. If they pull through, that means that next year around 94.5% of B2B marketers will use content marketing as a marketing strategy.
My history teacher used to say that 99.9% of the population in a dictatorship would ‘vote’ for the president. If one person hadn’t been sick, the voting percentage would have been 100%.
The content marketing percentage comes close to dictatorship voting numbers, except marketers are voting for content marketing willingly and with good reason.
See, content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing efforts while generating 3 times as many leads. Can you imagine what could happen to your sales if you would increase your content marketing budget?
Still, there are many companies that aren’t on board the content marketing train yet.
I did some research on company blogs of financial institutions recently, some of them do have blogs, a lot of them don’t. When they do have blogs, most of them aren’t well maintained. Obviously, content marketing doesn’t exist solely out of blogging. But, it can be a very powerful content marketing tool. And, if you want to reap the benefits of content marketing and see an increase in your sales, you need to step up your game sooner rather than later.
So, where should you concentrate your efforts to make your content marketing strategy a success?
The same report by the Content Marketing Institute finds that marketing managers that saw their content marketing strategy become more successful in the last year attribute that success to content creation. Marketing managers think that high quality and more efficient content creation accounted for 85% of the increased success of their content marketing strategy. They also cite making content marketing a bigger priority as a large factor in their increased success. That makes sense, right?
On the other hand, marketers blamed their stagnant or decreased success with content marketing on too little time spent on content marketing and on content creation challenges.
Which goals can companies achieve with their content marketing strategy?
Why is content marketing so important to B2B marketers? The below list proves how versatile content marketing can be in terms of results. Companies can use content marketing to achieve a number of important business goals:
● Lead Generation
● Brand Awareness
● Lead Nurturing
● Customer Retention/Loyalty
● Building an Audience via Subscription Growth
According to a survey done by Demand Gen Report, 47% of B2B clients consume an average of 3 to 5 pieces of content before they ever engage with a salesperson. Meaning, your clients are checking out your content before they decide if you are worth their time, effort, and most importantly, their money. In the past, it might have been enough to have a website. Now, you really need more than just a website to convince your customers to enter the buying process.
And don’t you dare consider putting up a white paper that customers can download in exchange for their email address. You can do that, only if you also have content that is freely available. Why? Well, who in their right mind would leave you their email address without knowing if your white paper will be worth it? Clients want to check out your free content first. If your free content is any good, then they might become interested in your white paper.
This means that you have to produce high-quality content. That doesn’t mean that you should choose quality over quantity, though. You should create a lot of content that’s high in quality. It’s always better to put out some content over nothing. According to a Hubspot study, you get 3.5 times more traffic if you put out content 16 or more times a month over 0 to 4 times a month.
There are many ways to put out content. You can create social media posts, newsletters, blogs, e-books, white papers, videos, webinars, and infographics to name a few.
Guess what marketers are saying will be the most critical to content marketing success in 2017?
Why is that? Because that’s the way to reel your potential clients in. Yes, you want to share on social media, but you also want your clients to come to your website. Once they are on your website they can view all your content in one place and they can download your lead magnet.
Your blog can definitely help you to demonstrate your authority in your field and convince people to enter your sales funnel. Actually, your blog is the top of your sales funnel.
How can you measure the success of your content marketing efforts?
On average, companies spend 29% of their marketing budget on content marketing. This number excludes the budget going towards staff.
If your company is keen on starting to use content marketing, you could start with the 29% average and see how it goes. Or, you could start low and gradually increase your budget over the years. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t approach content marketing as a campaign. You should integrate it into your business processes. And as with every other business process, you are going to want to track the results you get from content marketing.
The most effective ways to measure the results of your content marketing strategy according to the B2B Marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute are:
● Website traffic
● Sales Lead Quality
● Higher Conversion Rates
● SEO Ranking
● Sales Lead Quantity
● Time Spent on Website
● Social Media Sharing
● Subscriber/Community Growth
Take the current results of all these measurables and use them as a baseline. After a few months of putting out high-quality content, you should see your numbers growing.
There’s a lot of competition in the financial industry. If you want to professionalize your content marketing, you’re lucky. Many of your competitors haven’t professionalized their content marketing strategy yet. If you start investing now, you can still be ahead of the game and come out on top.
Start by attracting a digital marketing manager to set up your content marketing strategy.