It's not enough to thoughtfully map out your content strategy if you fail to safely deliver your message directly into the hands of your target audience.
A constant challenge for today's B2B marketers is creating the time to execute their ambitious content plans.
A recent report on B2B Content Marketing for 2012 conducted by the Content Marketing Institute has some great insights into just how important content marketing has become:
- 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
- On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
- Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.
- Last year, only 55% of marketers used outsourcing in some capacity. This year, 62% of B2B marketers use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.
It's become an accepted practice to partner with specialists who help you generate a fully-dimensioned content plan.
What do we mean by fully-dimensioned? Put the 'marketing' in 'content marketing!'. Your plan should extend further than just creating quality content; it should also clearly dimension how you plan to:
- Repackage content into formats that suit different buyers
- Use different channels to promote & distribute your content
It's all very well commissioning large-scale pieces using an expert source like an analyst firm or blue-chip partner, but to be successful you have to repackage and distribute your content in a format that works for all target audiences. To ignore this post-creation process is to miss a golden opportunity to leverage your great content and maximise the eyeballs that will view it. If you can't devote enough time or resources to doing it right, then work with an agency that can.
Whoever is tasked with the job should:
- Have the capacity to write.
- Have the skills to write in the different styles required
- Demonstrate expertise in multi-channel content distribution.
The Three-Legged Stool of Content Marketing
Your content marketers should have a sound understanding of how to effectively distribute your content. It's not just about writing the whitepaper or making the video, but also about ensuring its message and place of distribution is consistent with your company's messaging on your buyer's pain points.
For example, if you cut and paste your executive summary and stick it into a blog post, how effective would it be? Not very. The same holds true for shorter forms of content; it's no good posting on Twitter, or LinkedIn groups "Hey, check out our shiny new whitepaper on "whatever-the-topic!"" in fact, its spammy, a complete waste of time and could easily be counteproductive.
Marketers must understand who their buyers are, what they want, and how to package it correctly for that audience. You need someone who can effectively develop all content marketing elements (blog posts, landing pages, status updates, eBooks, and so on) according to their varying purposes.
We like to think of it as the three-legged stool of effective content marketing:
- The message of your content. What is your content trying to communicate?
- The format of your content. How can you communicate this message in a way that your target audience can easily digest?
- The channel of distribution. Where can I place this content to increase the likelihood of my target audience finding and sharing it with their peers?
After you answer those questions and roll out your plan, you have to continually analyse your data (determine what is and isn't working) and tailor your strategy accordingly. Don't be overly ambitious - make sure you have the capacity to do all of those things.
If you would like to learn more about content marketing, please download our free eBook:
What tips can you share on content marketing with our readers? What has been your experience with working with content specialist agencies?
Are we missing anything? Do you agree that time and resources are the biggest challenges that B2B marketers face when it comes to content?