July 21, 2014

Only 4% of B2B Marketers are 'True Masters of Content Marketing.' Are You One of Them?

To attract and engage today’s hyper-knowledgeable buyer, more companies are investing in content marketing, which is the creation and dissemination of custom Web content. In fact, over the next 12 months, content marketing will be the top area for marketing investment according to research from Demand Metric. But are marketers really mastering this strategy or have they yet to find their groove?

According to a recent study from Forrester, only 4 percent of B2B content marketers are “true masters of content marketing.” As Forrester vice president and principal analyst Laura Ramos puts it, “Marketers are still struggling to figure this out. They’re doing a lot of things around content marketing, but they fully admit they don’t think it’s going that well.”   

What’s more, 51 percent of those surveyed rate their content strategies as “very mature”; however, the vast majority feel that producing custom content is still a challenge. So where are marketers falling short? As Ramos explains, an emphasis on volume over quality could be a significant factor at play.  

“In this mad rush to create all of this content, they’re not really thinking about how to make the content better or more compelling or more interesting. They’re just producing,” says Ramos, adding that when it comes to creating content, many marketers—sometimes unknowingly—will slip back into what they feel most comfortable discussing, which is often themselves.  

It’s no secret that creating custom content that not only attracts, but also engages readers can be extremely difficult. After all, finding inspiration can be exhausting. When crafting content, keep these three tips and tricks in mind:

1.Get into the mind of your consumer: When browsing the Web, the majority of users aren’t seeking out your company directly; rather they’re searching for a solution to their problem or need. Always keep this in mind when creating content. Discuss what issues your buyers are facing and what can be done to solve those issues. “How-tos,” “Top Tips and Tricks” and “Guide” articles are all good places to start.

2.Try a more journalistic approach: Journalists are inherently provocative, intriguing and informational—three things every content marketer should strive to be. Every day your consumers are bombarded with hundreds of pieces of content; it’s your job to find a way to stand out. Don’t just regurgitate news; bring something new to the conversation. Create relevant and challenging content that creates a dialogue.

3.Stop talking about yourself: Perform a quick audit on your blog. If the majority of content focuses on your company, instead of your consumers then it’s time to readjust your strategy. Buyers don’t want to read about product or feature specs. Rather, they want information that’s tangible and useful.

Becoming a true master of content marketing doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right tools and know-how, success is possible.

"Those organizations who are better adept at understanding their customers, obsessing over them, speaking in their voice and literally doing the kind of content that will help win new customers, serve the customers they have, and retain the customers they have—those will be the ones that stay in business,” remarks Ramos.

Need help getting your content marketing strategy off the ground? Click here to read how we can help you. 


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