This week research from the Content Marketing Institute and the Direct Marketing Association revealed that we are content hungry nation of B2B marketers! The UK plans to increase its content marketing budgets more than the US and Australia, 95% of B2B marketers are already using content marketing and 72% of them intend to up the stakes in the next 12 months.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be publishing a series of blogs on this topic, linked to Skout’s new “How to I deliver B2B content driven marketing” guide. In this blog we’ll be focusing on why content is now so imperative to the B2B marketing effort. Even though the new research suggests most marketing professionals realise this, we think there is a big difference between “just doing it”, and making your content really compelling and connected.
The phrase ‘content is king’ is far from new, but while influencing key audiences remains the key marketing goal there are big changes in the types, channels and uses of content produced. If you’re one of the 72% looking to spend more you want to see a return on your investment. That ROI, we think, comes down to the quality of the content you generate as much as the quantity you put out there. And quality is an often overlooked aspect which can reduce the impact that your content will have on its recipients.
You only need to cast your eyes across LinkedIn or Twitter to find the scale of mediocre and disjointed marketing content being churned out via the web, PR feeds and social media. Much of it will fail to make the grade and be remarkable enough to be remembered, recalled, shared and acted upon. Two things shape content quality in our view. The first is making it really compelling and the second is making it really well connected.
When it comes to making and communicating compelling content, it is good quality B2B PR people who have that skill. Faced with creating stories that will compel the most time pressured and cynical journalists to cover their clients, good PR people are the masters of finding the real natural story assets within a business and applying them to the target audience’s agenda. We may be blowing our own trumpet here a little but we think lack of PR integration is one of the key reasons why a content driven marketing strategy can be lacklustre – it doesn’t embrace the skills of those that know what will pass the acid test of a journalist. But even compelling content needs good propulsion if it’s going to reach your marketing goal. Too often, too little is done with content once it’s produced. It should be ‘squeezed dry’ across all of your marketing channels to drive value for money, support below and above the line marketing communication activities, and help you nurture your sales leads.
We hope you follow our blog series and welcome your views and reactions. Further blogs will cover the key steps we use to make content compelling and connected. Click here if you would like to access the full CMI/DMA report.