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Content is an essential component of a marketing strategy

Content marketing is a crucial tool for generating leads and increasing brand awareness. Even in B2B marketing, articles, videos and blogs need to evoke some sort of emotion from viewers, according to an infographic from WhoIsHostingThis. Unsurprisingly, engaging and relevant content will garner the most shares on social media. The research found 80 percent of viewers will read article headlines, but only 20 percent will proceed to the body copy. Time is at a premium – visitors may only read up to 28 percent of the words in an article, which is why images and videos are so effective. 

Despite the common perception that shorter blogs and articles are more likely to be read, the infographic cited research from The New York Times that found longer articles are more likely to be shared, and this may be because the topic matter is more engaging. This could indicate that there is a time and place to get the point across quickly or create extensive, thought-provoking material.

Content marketing is a balancing act
Many B2B professionals argue over a number of aspects in content marketing, but the reality may not be so black and white. In most cases, it's more likely to be a balance of both sides of the equation. Here are a few examples:

Quantity vs. quality
This debate has been raging on almost as long as this marketing strategy has existed. Based on the principles of search engine optimization, regularly updated pages will show higher in the rankings. However, poorly written content won't help you attract a permanent audience, and modern search engine algorithms are starting to punish low-quality writing. Additionally, your brand won't be able to establish thought leadership.

While quality content needs to be a priority, quantity can't be overlooked. Visitors will quickly lose patience if they return to your website only to find that it hasn't been updated for weeks. Quality can be an ambiguous topic, and different areas can have problems. Writing for Search Engine Journal, Bill Belew suggested focusing on a few narrow aspects of quality rather than stressing over the big picture. These include headlines, keyword density, article length, original content and link strategy. Improving these metrics can often result in higher quality content without compromising how often you can post.

Creativity vs. relevancy
This is another debate that gets a great deal of attention in the B2B sphere. Relevant content is necessary for informing B2B buyers' decisions. The nature of this industry has changed and is starting to more closely reflect B2C trends. Prospects want to be entertained, which is why videos are growing in popularity. It may be difficult to engage leads with boring content, even if it is extremely informative. However, creativity can't be the point, Econsultancy said. It needs to be treated as a means to an end. 

Unique original content may gain more views and shares, but unless you are attracting the right people to your articles and videos, creativity won't completely serve your purpose. It's important not to neglect this virtue entirely. B2B products can be dull, but that doesn't mean content has to be as well. Storytelling is very important in B2B marketing, so this is a way creativity can drive relevancy for readers.

In any content marketing strategy, you should consider your unique brand and target audience. All campaigns need to be tailored to your ideal prospects to be effective. Good content often strikes a balance between different objectives. When done properly, it can be an excellent source of lead generation

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.