Make content your New Year's marketing resolution | FirstRain

Make content your New Year’s marketing resolution

Content marketing is the probably the biggest marketing trend of 2013. It seems likely that content will remain the biggest marketing industry buzzword going into 2014. Do you have a resolution for the New Year? Maybe it’s time for your marketing department to come up with a collective resolution: successfully implementing a content marketing strategy in 2014.

You may be thinking content marketing doesn’t work for B2B, and you’re not exactly wrong. A lot of companies haven’t figured out how to get content marketing to work efficiently for them. The truth is, B2B content marketing brings a unique set of challenges. However, provided you know what you’re in for, the return on investment can be just as high as it is for B2C.

The challenges of B2B content marketing:

  • Not all traffic is good – While a lot of B2C companies can benefit from easy content that simply drives traffic, B2B content needs to be engaging, thoughtful and demonstrate expertise. When done right, B2B content will be aimed at aimed at industry experts. Bad content can attract a whole lot of the wrong audience. You may be getting more traffic, but if it’s not improving your sales prospects, there’s really no point.
  • Getting your voice heard – In the past, things were much simpler. You knew exactly where your content would go, and who would get it. Basically, marketers would write articles for glossy industry magazines that would go out to a list of subscribers. These days, content sources are free and marketers often struggle to be heard over the din of voices.

How to implement a successful content strategy

Because of these challenges, it’s not surprising that about half of companies surveyed by Content Marketing Institute reported they had no content marketing strategy. Given the lag in adoption of this marketing channel, those firms that do find a way to implement a successful content marketing strategy will be ahead of the game.

Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Get to know your consumers – Use customer intelligence to learn as much as you can about your consumer base. You can’t generate great content without knowing who should be reading it and why your services matter to them.
  2. Generate awesome content – Be a resource for your consumers. Write informative content targeted directly to prospective buyers. As Leigh Hoops writes for Forbes, consumers are constantly bombarded with information, and they’re getting sick of it. She also says if a piece of information feels too valuable to be giving away, then you’re doing it right. On the other hand, make your content as readable as possible. Your prospective buyers are busy people too.
  3. Find your consumers – Having trouble finding your audience? You’re probably not looking in the right place. Social media may be great for B2C, but if your company is using Facebook and Twitter, you could be throwing hashtags into the void. Of the companies that do use content marketing, 91 percent are on LinkedIn, according to Content Marketing Institute.
  4. Don’t give up – Continuous content is a must. Don’t disappoint your newly enticed prospects by neglecting your blog. According to Holly Chessman for Social Media B2B, the biggest reason corporate blogs die is because people stop writing them. To make sure you aren’t putting your content strategy on the back burner, it’s a good idea to create an editorial calendar. Make writing part of your daily duties. If you have trouble figuring out what to write, it’s okay to delve back into old content and put together a “greatest hits” collection.

When done right, these strategies will help you generate better leads for your sales team. Don’t let your fears hold you back from the jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.