With all the different types of content marketing available today, it only makes sense that some tactics are more effective than others. Reporting on a Nielsen study, MarketingProfs examined different types of content across product categories and stages of the buying cycle. The results revealed that expert reviews carried the strongest influence, compared to branded content and user reviews. To arrive at this finding, Nielsen looked at the way content marketing efforts impacted brand awareness, perceptions and purchase decisions for several different types of product. Not only did expert reviews raise buying intentions, but they also increased familiarity with the brand.
The reasons behind this result are likely because expert reviews are independent from brands. Buyers are less likely to trust B2B marketing initiatives that show a clear bias. This is why it can be difficult to inspire trust through your website alone. In addition, buyers found expert reviews to be more informative than branded content. This type of content was also considered more credible than basic user reviews.
These results may vary based on your industry, but the results illustrate the importance of offering a variety of content for the different stages of the sales cycle.
How to improve content marketing efforts
B2B marketers may be getting bogged down with content because they are too focused on creation rather than strategy, Search Engine Watch suggested. Many marketers don't feel as though their strategies are successful at driving the desired results. The top goals of B2B content marketing efforts are boosting brand awareness and improving lead generation campaigns. However, many marketers are not devoting resources to the areas that would most benefit. For example, you may need to adjust your search engine optimization efforts to see the best possible results from both of these tactics. However, boosting organic search and increasing social media engagement aren't typically seen as high priorities in content marketing. Focusing on these areas can improve content results, especially in the early stages of the sales funnel.
While content creation certainly shouldn't be overlooked, it's important to focus on the marketing strategy behind this effort. You can see better results by employing multiple types of content, such as white papers, videos, infographics and blogs, but it may be worthwhile to take a step back to make adjustments to your strategy. In B2B marketing, it's especially important to have an accurate knowledge of your audience. Understanding their pain points and goals can help you better target prospective customers with content.
Don't neglect SEO strategies in content marketing
Basic website metrics can help you identify which on-site content is functioning best and what isn't working. Website analytics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your content, according to Forbes. Without proper attention, content marketing campaigns can quickly run off the rails, and the longer this continues, the more difficult it is to get them back on track. Helpful areas to analyze include the following:
- Most popular pages: This identifies your top content and how long users are staying on each page. Knowing the most popular pages can help you improve the low-performing ones.
- Landing pages: Many visitors will see landing pages before anything else on your website, and they play a significant role in converting visitors into leads.
- Exit pages: The content on the last pages visitors view before leaving the website may hold the most room for improvement. Are you utilizing a strong call to action to direct readers to a next step? Are these pages delivering value? Having the answers to these questions can help you make adjustments that will convert more visitors.