What the B2B Content Marketing Survey 2012 DOESN'T say
This month saw the release of the annual B2B Content Marketing Survey by Marketingprofs and the Content Marketing Institute. It’s a great benchmark of content marketing engagement globally with some useful insights (most notably the uptake in video usage).
For me though, what is more interesting is what it doesn’t say.
The headline stat is nine out of ten B2B marketers are using content marketing to grow their businesses.
While 9/10 marketeers THINK they are using content marketing...
....I can’t help but question whether they truly are.
- Just because you produce white papers, doesn’t mean you are content marketing. I’ve lost count of the number of white papers I’ve seen that are essentially flimsy, thinly veiled sales pitches of little value to anyone.
- You have an agency placing lots of articles. Great for SEO. Your prospects might find you but will they WANT to buy from you?
- Even case studies are often below par. How X company implemented X solution in 12 months, without any DETAIL about the true pains that it helped to solve, an insider perspective of the journey they took, challenges encountered along the way and how they were overcome?
- Headlines are one dimensional with no hint of a benefit to the end user and categorised by format type (blog, video, white paper) not grouped by content theme, pain or stage of maturity.
True content marketing is:
- Creating content that TRULY ADDS VALUE to the target audience without selling (immediately that is)
- Offering specific information, not vague, rambling waffle
- Being selective about what is good content, not just churning out any old stuff (anything to keep it going)
- Recognising that you can’t expect there to be a silver bullet in the shape of one type i.e. a blog or e-newsletter or social media. The reality is they’re interdependent.
There is no better example than Eloqua – the champion of content marketing. After all content fuels the very product they sell. Nevertheless the team there took some very bold decisions not least to:
- carve out an entirely new niche – Revenue Performance Management (normally reserved for the analysts)
To do this they invested heavily in a content marketing centric approach which included some very important maxims:
Create valuable content NOT marketing collateral
Go after something you know you’d pay for, then give it away for free
Results were almost immediate with a surge in awareness and a spike in engagement. But one of the most notable results is a $2.5M attributable sales increase, from just one content series – the grande guides. Way to go guys. (NB: the Case for Content is a really useful document detailing their journey – check it out)
If you're not getting the results you expect from your content marketing programme, ask yourself the question - are we truly doing content marketing or do we just think we are?
Then you can take those vital steps towards addressing it....
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Submitted by Lucinda on Fri, 12/16/2011 - 11:04