Content marketing has risen in popularity among B2B marketers. According to B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, published by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 9 out of 10 marketers are utilizing content marketing. Content can take place in multiple formats, including text (blogs and articles), images (infographics and memes) and video. With so many types of content to choose from, developing a plan of action can be overwhelming. The types of content you produce should be influenced by multiple factors including your audience, the sales funnel and the medium you are utilizing.
Before beginning a content marketing campaign (or any other marketing campaign for that matter), you should be sure to have a complete picture of your audience. By understanding their concerns, needs and characteristics, it is easier to develop content on topics that they will find relevant.
Since the target audience influences which type of content you use, uncovering their stage in the sales funnel will help determine which types of content are most useful to them.
It is useful to map your content to a corresponding stage in the sales funnel. Content such as infographics, blog posts or articles can be used to generate leads at the top of the funnel. Once leads are in the middle of the funnel, provide content that is more specific to their particular needs such as whitepapers and webinars. At the bottom of the funnel, utilize content to close the deal. This content should demonstrate the value that a company can derive from using your product or service, and could include case studies, product demos or ROI calculators.
The medium you utilize to publish your content also has an effect on the type of content you should produce. Think of the characteristics of the medium. Facebook is more of a visual medium than Twitter, so your new infographic may have more of an impact on Facebook, while a new article might be shared more on Twitter. It is important to test using multiple media and continually refine your tactics in order to increase the impact of your campaign.
Get more from your investment (and time) by repurposing content across multiple platforms. Consider sending an email with your “Top 5 Blog Posts” or tweeting an article “from the archives.” Repurposing content is a great way to extend the life of your content and increase exposure.
If done correctly, a content marketing campaign can produce great ROI, as it is typically inexpensive to produce and promote. However, a successful content marketing campaign requires more than creating a funny video and posting it on YouTube. It is essential to understand your audience, the sales funnel and the medium you are utilizing in order to maximize the impact of your content.