A few weeks ago, I attended MarketingProfs’ 2013 B2B Marketing Forum in Boston, where the hot topic was content marketing. Indeed, many of the breakout sessions were centered on content marketing strategies and case studies, and it came up in nearly every roundtable conversation.
Live Pinterest board from MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum documenting tweets from the breakout sessions.
As I’ve had time to digest what I heard there and continue to evaluate what I see on a daily basis, it’s clear that content marketing remains an elusive buzzword that many people use, few people really understand, and fewer still can articulate clearly and concisely.
The added twist is, even if you’re not familiar with the term “content marketing,” it’s likely that you or your company is already doing it. After all, traditional marketing communications activities (like white papers, case studies, infographics, webinars, etc.) all fall under the content marketing umbrella.
I would make the case that the difference between traditional marketing communications and true content marketing is the viral nature of the latter. Good content marketing takes straightforward marketing communications several steps further by merchandising content in multiple ways and encouraging the target audience to share the content with others. Through the power of social media, content marketing can be a powerful way to extend your reach and influence customers and other key stakeholders, including employees, investors, partners and the media.
Regardless of whether you’re a content marketing newbie or an old hat, below are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your B2B content marketing:
1) Strategy first. Tweet second.
Many companies are quick to dive into the B2B content marketing sphere without first outlining what they want to achieve. Consider both internal and external audiences when developing your approach. For example: What matters most to your CEO? What do your customers need to know most? Tailor your program to deliver on both fronts.
2) Searchable, Shareable, Snackable.
Also known as the Three S’s of Successful Content.
- Searchable: Keep an eye on keywords to make it easy for your audience to find your content.
- Snackable: Catchy, bite-size pieces of content allow your audience to digest your information on the go and from a mobile device. Think bullet points, visuals and short videos.
- Shareable: When creating content, think about whether your audience will want to share it with others and then make it easy for them to spread the word with social media links.
3) Invest in “WOW” content pieces.
While it’s important to regularly refresh content, it’s even more imperative to invest in home run pieces that generate spikes in followers and, thus, improve the performance of your day-to-day updates. “WOW” pieces could include creative videos, useful infographics, timely research studies, etc.
4) Leverage your internal resources.
Don’t take on the entire burden of creating great content all on your own – use your colleagues’ knowledge and think outside the box. Is your sales manager a great speaker? Create a blog video series featuring his/her insights. Know an engineer with great ideas, but who doesn’t want to write? Interview him/her and then write up the post yourself.