Calling all marketers: it’s time to abandon an outdated mindset around content marketing and embrace change. For the last ten years, we’ve been inundated with the term “content marketing.” While it seems to mean something different to everyone, we can all agree that when it comes to using content marketing to secure and engage leads, sometimes less is more.
The traditional mindset is that content marketing is simply content creation. Then what? What do you do with all of that content? Marketers must learn that content is merely a starting point and should not end with the push of a publish button.
You might be surprised to learn that 60% to 70% of all content churned out by B2B marketing departments sits unused, according to SiriusDecisions. That’s a very alarming number if you play any role in the marketing process. According to a recent Forrester report, “most companies today practice content marketing — in dozens, if not hundreds, of pockets — leading to duplicative activity, over spending and inconsistent customer experiences.”
Clearly, there must be a better way.
If churning out more content simply for the sake of adding more content is on your bucket list of marketing goals this year, I’m begging you to reconsider. I’m not suggesting marketers stop creating content assets altogether. Rather, marketers should focus on delivering something more meaningful and relevant to their customers. This will enable marketers to better manage and control the customer experience, as well as maximize their team, resources and results.
Consider these three content marketing best practices:
- Audit content and organize assets by customer interests. Before you allocate further investments for content, take a look at your existing inventory of assets to determine what you can repurpose – whether it is webinars, whitepapers, podcasts, playbooks, email campaigns, E-books or more. You’ll often realize during this exercise that you have more content than you expected. For example, PR analytics start-up Trendkite first started with a detailed look at their blogs. Within one month, the company launched a central content hub called “PR Forward” and quadrupled its subscriber rates right out of the gate. The customer also increased inbound MQLs by 4x and realized a 3x conversion to demo rate.
“We now have a new branded blog that has become a central focal point and primary demand generation driver with minimal promotion and without reinventing the wheel,” said David Cardiel, Director of Demand Generation at Trendkite, “We blew out subscriber rates simply by making our assets easier to find and navigate.”
- Make sure your content is fueling the buyer journey. If you want your customers to stick around, then you have to give them a reason. Your content should fuel inbound marketing and satisfy customer needs throughout the buyer’s journey. Take a dive into your marketing data to learn what content is driving the most engagement and what activities are driving the best ROI.
“Ultimately, we want people to intermingle with the content and take a demo of the product,” said Cardiel. “We now make it easy for them to do that while arming our sales team with a strategic way to follow-up.”
- Share content throughout your organization. Don’t leave your sales and business development teams to search aimlessly on Google to find out what company content assets already exist. Your content should be easily accessed and shared. It’s up to marketers to ensure that content is being used to move prospects further down the funnel. In order to understand what content will continue to propel customer interest, marketers should include members of other teams in the process.
Marketers, the key is not to stop creating content, but rather to turn your attention to opportunities that leverage content in new and more meaningful ways.