Creating an effective content marketing strategy is one of the hottest topics in SME business circles in 2017. From personal experience I can vouch that many SME business owners lay awake at night wondering just what is needed to break through to the right prospects when it comes to content marketing. There are so many channels to work through and so many “experts” who will guide you it is not long before your head starts to spin. And yet your salespeople are constantly telling you, we need to be better at marketing our products and services if we are to increase revenue. There wouldn’t be one company in Australia that can lay claim to having solved this dilemma completely.
The empirical evidence is in as the marketing gurus amongst us will tell you. In 2016, the Content Marketing Institute research found that on average, B2B marketers allocate 30 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing. With one third of the total marketing budget going to content however, the results are patchy:
Whilst 46 percent of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy — Content Marketing Institute, 2016
Only 28 percent of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing, down from 30% last year — Content Marketing Institute, 2016
Somewhat curiously 55 percent of B2B marketers say they are clear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like – Content Marketing Institute, 2016
As I say, to my CEO business owners it is important to have effective content marketing processes in place. However the new sales leads and converted sales results considering the marketing budget allocations are disturbing according to the Content Marketing Institute 2016 survey results.
Without claiming to have all the answers (please contact me if you think you have!) here are a few tips to assist you to build a more effective content marketing program that will lead to increase client revenues.
7 Tips to building an effective content marketing program
Start with a marketing plan and work backwards to a content plan. I see too many folk totally focussed on their product/service and think by writing about these that you will automatically pick up new business.
Identify who in your team is going to be responsible and if nobody has the expertise hire an outside resource to manage the marketing plan and content management effectively.
Have a range of platform choices and target audiences in mind when planning and producing content, publishing content calendars, streamlining the production process and driving brand alignment.
What are the ideal number of channels you want to support and the content formats needed? LinkedIn is the number one platform for B2B content marketing in 2016 but according to the Content Marketing Institute 2016 research 72% of respondents found In Person Events the most effective for content marketing. Between your team members it is vital that everyone is working on the same Plan, especially your sales team and that the various channels are co-ordinated.
5. Digital Content
The easier you make it for your sales team and channel partners to browse the content library by topic, format, campaign suitability, the greater the chance of success at driving prospect and customer engagement.
There is no point in reusing old content if it is out of date and no longer relevant to your target audience and channel partners. Going back to Accountability, if you do not own the content management process yourself then appoint someone with the skills to maximise the use of these content assets.
According to the Content Marketing Institute 2016 research the two most important measures of content effectiveness are Sales Leads Quality (91%) and Sales (88%) with corporate branding (70%). I am still surprised in 2017 to get Client presentations highlighting the number of social media impressions as their key measure of success with Content Marketing.
DO you need help with an effective content marketing program?
If this blog has inspired you to grow your client revenues using a more effective marketing plan and content marketing process we would love to talk with you about your detailed plans.
Good luck with increasing your client revenues using effective content marketing processes to better target your best prospects.