August 20, 2013

Content Marketing: One Size Does Not Fit All

As an all-star marketer, you know your target audience like the back of your hand. But do you know what social media networks they frequent the most or which marketing tactic generates the most leads? In order to take full advantage of content marketing, you must tailor your strategy to your audience. After all, the essence of content marketing is delivering custom, compelling content that’s relevant to your audience.

Simply put, content marketing is not a one size fits all strategy. While email marketing and social media might work well for one company, white papers and webinars might be the way to go for another. No matter your area of expertise, your content marketing strategy should target the right customers with the right content on the right platform.

This is especially true when it comes to business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies. Because while the end goal might be the same—enhanced brand awareness, increased website traffic and improved lead generation—the strategy to get there is far different.

B2Cs and B2Bs are investing heavily in content marketing. In fact, 86 percent of recent B2C survey respondents use content marketing, deploying up to 12 content marketing tactics from social media to video. And nine out of 10 B2B organizations rely on content marketing strategies, spending over a quarter of their marketing budget on the tactic each year.

While there’s no doubt that content marketing is being used by both B2Cs and B2Bs, there are notable differences in terms of which tactics are most successful for each sector, as evidenced by a recently released infographic from CMS WiRE.

Content Marketing Challenges

Although both B2Bs and B2Cs are ramping up their content marketing efforts, building a comprehensive campaign can be difficult at times. For example, 39 percent of B2B marketers rate content creation as the most difficult component of content marketing as compared to 46 percent of B2C marketers who feel that social media is the most difficult part of the marketing campaign.

Social Media Use

Social media has been touted as a valuable tool for spreading brand awareness and increasing customer engagement. However, disseminating content across every available social network will only cripple your marketing efforts. The key to success is finding the social platforms in which your customers most frequent.

For B2B marketers, 83 percent use LinkedIn, making it the go-to social media platform used by B2Bs, while 90 percent of B2C marketers use Facebook to distribute content. This comes as no surprise as LinkedIn is most widely used for business networking, while Facebook is popular among consumers.

Lead Generation

There’s no doubt that lead generation is a point of contention for all marketers. After all, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent and that number drop to five to 20 percent with new prospects.

Blogging has proven to be a successful platform in generating leads, evidenced by the fact that B2Bs that blog experience 67 percent more leads per month compared to those who don’t and B2Cs that blog generated 88 percent more leads than those who don’t.

Email Marketing

Despite the notable differences above, there are some similarities. For example, 58 percent of B2B survey respondents and 63 percent of B2C marketers rate email marketing as their most effective marketing strategy. In addition, they both admit to not having effective processes in place to evaluate the quality of leads, highlighting a major pain point for both B2Bs and B2Cs.

The statistics above reiterate the fact that companies must tailor their content marketing strategies to their specific audiences in order to reap the benefits. However, it’s also clear that creating custom content that is both relevant and attention-grabbing is difficult.

Speaking to their specific pain points, there are ways B2Bs and B2Cs can tackle their most difficult challenges. To create compelling content, B2Bs can create an informative white paper or case study focusing on their core competencies. For B2Cs why not hold a Twitter contest or Facebook survey to engage with customers?

A content marketing strategy can be your best tool. However, don’t waste your efforts and money on strategies that don’t yield results. Re-familiarize yourself with your customers to make sure you get the right message to the right customer using the right platform. 

To view the full infographic, click here.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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