70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago – Content Marketing Institute
The statistic above perfectly illustrates the current state of play in the world of B2B marketing. Since the start of 2015, content has not only been the buzzword on all marketers’ lips, it’s also been attracting serious levels of budget investment. Whether it’s ebooks or infographics, whether there’s a strategy in place or not, B2B marketers are throwing a lot of their time and money at content marketing.
But according to the Content Marketing Institute, ‘not even four out of 10 marketers think their content marketing is effective’.
It’s the content bandwagon’s fault
So what’s actually happening? The answer is… some serious jumping on the bandwagon. B2B marketing promised higher quality leads at a fraction of the cost of outbound channels, and marketers went crazy for it. Everyone had to have it and they needed it yesterday. So, just like email, the internet became awash with lower-quality content that’s slowly making decision-makers and buyers jaded and apathetic. Whatever the company and regardless of the industry, the likelihood is that some business is offering content on their product/service and as soon as they’ve got your email address you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be peppering with you with emails (sorry, lead nurturing you). The simple fact is, B2B marketers worldwide have jumped into content production two-footed and have got themselves all caught up in it.
At a recent marketing event I attended, I heard one of the most powerful statements I’ve heard on this subject in a long time. While talking about the subject of creating persona documents and gathering information on buyers, the speaker said this… “ask the buyers what content they’d like to read”.
It’s all so simple now
That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks… simplification. In the rush to create personas, examine buyers, create content, distribute it, measure the results, and repeat the process, marketers lost sight of the initial mission. B2B content was always about providing decision-makers with helpful content that positions your business as an industry thought-leader and the go-to company when they were ready to buy. The basis of this is simply providing prospects with content that they’ll find helpful. So when did marketers start forgetting to ask the simple question ‘what content would you like to read?’
Give the people what they want
The last year or two has seen a dramatic increase in B2B content marketing, but also all the theories, tactics and guides that go along with it. This has ultimately ended up clouding the waters of B2B content. The truth is, during the buyer research stage of any campaign, simply ask the buyer what content they want. By providing this, you’ll be reaching close to 100% relevance and likely see a spike in engagement. It’ll also help illustrate to the buyer that you understand their concerns and can offer a real solution. By building this relationship, they are more likely to buy from you… easy as that.
To find out more about more about creating relevant and distinctive content…