With all of the promises made in support of content marketing in 2014, the realities aren't actually too far off. This brand of online marketing has had a significant impact on many metrics important to B2B organizations, including lead generation and increasing conversions. More than 90 percent of B2B organizations use content marketing as part of their digital strategies (1).
What draws companies to creating custom content?
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is the ability to cut costs. In fact, companies have to spend 62 percent less than on traditional methods, such as print and television ads. Going further, companies can generated roughly triple the number of leads using content marketing for ever dollar spent compared to traditional marketing strategies.
It makes sense considering the ways buyer behaviors have changed in the recent past. Nearly 7 in 10 people read about brands that interest them and roughly 20 percent of Web users' time online involves looking through various content, including blogs, white papers, case studies, videos and customer reviews or testimonials.
How to improve content strategies
In spite of widespread participation in content marketing and various examples of success, there are always methods to make this process more streamlined and less labor-intensive.
- Finding content to create or share: Whether it's called content ideation or curation, using Web tools to research and discover content already published online in relation to a company's industry or products is a smart idea. There are paid resources like Buzzsumo, which helps identify the most shared content for a specific topic or domain (2). It also aids in tracking competitors that are publishing similar industry articles. On the other hand, Storify has a free option, as well as a paid enterprise plan, that gives users the chance to sort through a variety of news and social sites to discover interesting and relevant articles (3).
- Crafting content: Actually putting fingers to the keyboard to create an engaging blog post or insightful white paper can be challenging for many organizations. One tool for short or long-form articles and e-books is Penflip (2). This online resource is a user-friendly platform for organizing and collaborating on any kind of written content. Copywriters can organize concepts by chapter and insert images or links as needed.
Content marketing can certainly pay off for lead generation and building buyer engagement, but it can be difficult. These tools should make life easier.