Have you fired up the content generation machine?

As a B2B PR agency, we work with most of our clients to help them produce compelling content that serves a multitude of purposes. For example, take the humble press release – its original purpose was coverage generation, but a few clever edits and it resurfaces as a blog and a series of tweets. Or the thought-leadership article which started life as marketing collateral and then is cleverly transformed into a series of blogs, two articles for pitching to the media, an infographic and a LinkedIn forum topic.

Content comes in a variety of guises beyond white papers, case studies and blogs. And although these assets are still extremely valuable tools for your content kit bag, there are today many other ways to get your message across to a wider audience, across a range of platforms – think video, infographics, online games or polls and good photography.

Today, we are spoilt for choice with the number of ways we can access the content we want, when we want it. Whatever content you want be it sports news, topical discussion, recipes or fashion ideas, the content is only a swipe away. No time to read a lengthy article on a topic you really need to learn more about? Well, don’t worry because there’s sure to be an infographic on the topic or a video that’s easily accessible and which sums up everything you need to know in a flash. There’s no end to content and it’s available in the format of your choosing.  And it’s not just consumers who are spoilt by such a wealth of content, whatever B2B sector you are in, there is a host of content ready and waiting for you too.

According to research from SnapApp content marketing is now used by 86% of B2B marketers as a way to engage with target audiences and help to generate leads. And here are some other facts and figures from SnapApp you may want to consider ahead of planning your content marketing strategy:

  1. Longer blog content is in! – 300 words? 500 words? The rules on the length of a perfect blog change from time to time. But the current rule of thumb is that a longer blog helps engage readers and better educates them on the topic you are writing about. Aim for just over a 1000 words where possible. 45% of B2B marketers say that blogging remains their top content strategy.
  2. Interactive content is on the rise – You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Blog content remains a valuable component of content marketing and it’s one thing to attract an audience to your blog, but how can you be sure that they’re actually going to read it? This is where interactive content comes in as it requires audience engagement beyond reading a blog or watching a video. Examples of interactive content include online polls, calculators and assessments, and by encouraging this level of engagement, your target audience receives back targeted results, relevant directly to them. Click here to see how we worked with our client Wax Digital to come up with an interactive assessment to help procurement professionals find out how innovative they are.
  3. We can’t get enough of infographics – Did you know that infographics are liked and shared over social media over three times more than any other type of content? What’s more, there’s been an 800% increase in demand for infographics over the past year. Infographics are a visual way of displaying information, so clearly work well over social media and some large marketing firms employ teams whose sole task is to produce infographics on a wide range of topics.
  4. Video – The platform form of choice for telling a business story in a way that is easily accessible online. Video isn’t just for cute dancing cats, it’s a creative format for storytelling and encourages us in the B2B sector to think creatively about how we tell a business story. Videos don’t just have to be corporate head shots of a CEO talking about the business, animated videos are a great way to engage with your audience and quickly and easily tell a story. Check out this video we created for one of our clients to help it demonstrate the benefits of an employee reward scheme. This year has seen video marketing budgets rise again, and it’s no surprise given the consumers appetite to gather information visually.
  5. Don’t forget photography – If the rise in use of video and infographics tell us anything, it’s not to forget the importance of photography to support your stories. A whopping 65% of the population are visual learners and with us all now having shorter attention spans thanks to the accessibility of short bursts of information over social media, it’s imperative that thought is given to supporting campaign imagery. According to the research 46% of marketers, photography remains a critical element of their marketing and storytelling strategies.

SnapApp’s research also showed that 70% of B2B marketers plan to create even more content this year than they did last. Keeping the content generation machine going is no mean feat, and the average shelf life of the each piece of content depends on the platform for which it’s intended. For example, a blog’s shelf life can last for up to two years, a YouTube video has about 20+ days to engage with its audience, while content intended for LinkedIn lasts for 24 hrs and for Twitter, just 18 minutes.

Coming up with compelling content that engages your target audience is an ongoing challenge. All you need is a great idea and some data or opinion to support it and a plan to make the most of our content. Whether it’s based on market research data or customer trends that you’re seeing in your sector, once you’ve got an idea or a theme the possibilities for content generation are endless. Now, this blog is just over a 1000 words, so I think I’ll leave it there.

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