Can I let you in on a secret? Most marketers are doing it….but many are not doing it well.
We’re talking content marketing, a term that is bandied about so much (including by yours truly) that it has almost become synonomous with marketing.
In fact, the latest snapshot of the B2B marketing world, courtesy of the folks at the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, found that a whopping 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. But 57% say they less than effective at it. And a study last year of B2C marketers found that 68% were less than effective while 86% were using it.
Before we get carried away though, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page when we refer to content marketing.
Here is a good definition, again from the content marketing gurus at the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Unfortunately, in my experience many companies say they are doing content marketing when in fact they are doing content marketing lite. Their idea of content marketing: write an occasional article, blog a few times a month and talk at, not with, people on social media. The missing links: consistency and engagement. Indeed, content marketing kingpin Marcus Sheridan argues that content marketers need to spend at least 10 hours a week doing content marketing — if they want to be effective.
Content marketing to be effective needs to be a strategic interactive process that is implemented on a regular basis. Otherwise, to be blunt about it, you are pretty much wasting your time and money.
Here is a quick checklist of 5 questions to ask to insure your content marketing is effective.
- Have you defined your audience? Who are they? What are their pain points, their interests?
- Have you mapped out their buying process? How long does it take? What do people need to move them along the sales funnel?
- What type of content do people want early on? Do they want to be sold to – or educated. Often times, people start selling before a person is on a site for a second. How often have you been on a site that screams "demo" when all you want to do is learn a little bit about fixing your problem.
- What problems does your product solve? What benefits does it deliver? People want to know what something will do for them? Avoid larding your site with all the bells and whistles no one but your developers care about?
- What is your content marketing plan? Have you created an editorial calendar?
What are you doing to boost your content marketing? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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[Image: Flickr user Włodi]