February 18, 2014

When it Comes to Content Marketing, Quality is King

The fourth annual “B2B Content Marketing” report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs found that a lack of time (69 percent) and producing enough content (55 percent) were the two most common challenges faced by B2B marketers. Certainly, creating enough content to regularly give consumers fresh perspective is important, but when it comes to effective content marketing, quality always trumps quantity. 

Continuing to pump out materials—whether through e-mail, social media or your blog—just for the sake of putting something out there is worse than simply ineffective—it can actually cause decision-makers to begin simply ignoring you. Consumers have no interest in being bombarded with materials that fill up space but don’t add any real value. If an executive begins to associate a specific company with annoying emails or nonsensical tweets, it won’t be long before that company’s materials begin finding their way into spam folders and onto “blocked” lists.

Marketers need to strike the delicate harmony of providing enough content to keep people coming back while making sure not to overdo it and turn people off. Unfortunately, at times this balancing act is far easier said than done. There are, however, some strategies that are foundational to an effective content marketing approach.

Create a defined strategy    

This may seem fairly obvious, because in business, it’s generally better to have a plan than to try to figure out best practices on the fly. But according to the aforementioned report, only 44 percent of B2B marketers say they have a documented content strategy. Moreover, 66 percent of those who do have a concrete plan in place consider themselves effective, as opposed to a mere 11 percent who do not have one. 

A documented strategy gives your team concrete, measureable goals to shoot for and an overarching set of guidelines to help execute them. A defined plan also gives your marketing team a clear picture of your target audience, channels through which you will distribute the content and a timeline for dissemination. No business is ever going to be able to follow a plan to the letter 100 percent of the time, but it’s easier to make slight adjustments to a robust strategy than to constantly be coming up with fresh ideas on the fly.

Leverage expertise for original commentary

Too often, marketers ignore perhaps their greatest asset: the expertise of their own personnel. Insights from executives within a company are often the most valuable because they come from an unimpeachable source. No one is going to have a firmer grasp on trends within an industry than a CEO or vice president who spends all day, every day talking about, researching or traveling to trade shows for that industry.

Whether you conduct and publish a full interview with an executive or periodically touch base with him/her regarding content ideas, it is crucial to utilize these invaluable resources. Of course, best of all, it doesn’t cost anything to consult members of your own team.

Create your brand story

The most successful companies in the world evoke specific emotions and images. Coca-Cola elicits feelings of merriment; Nike is synonymous with hard work and perseverance while Red Bull conjures a sense of daring and adventure.

These companies all successfully create stories that define their brands above the competition. “Just Do It,” is more than just a slogan; it’s a way of life.  While not every company will tell a story that has a widespread cultural impact, your content should still have a specific message that stands out to customers.

There is no right way to do content marketing, but prioritizing quality over quantity is one way to better your odds of engaging customers. With 93 percent of marketers now using content marketing, it’s no longer enough to be churning out any old thing. The focus for marketers, then, should not be about how much content to create, but how effective that content will be. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Comments powered by Disqus

Related News