Fishing for Value in a Sea of Content

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Fishing for Value in a Sea of Content
How content marketing can generate value for target audiences, as well as your business.

 In today’s digital landscape, it’s not difficult to find content that’s been created by businesses to promote their work, from blog posts to infographics to social media posts. The sea of the internet is swimming with loads of content that make it difficult to stand out and attract a specific audience. By coming up with content that’s original and meaningful, you can create value not only for your customers, but also for your business.

So how do you do both?

Creating Value for Your Customers

How to Distinguish Yours from Everyone Else’s

Doug Kessler, creative director and co-founder of Velocity Partners, a London-based B2B marketing agency, said, “Content marketing is thinking about the target audience’s needs first.” By providing unique content to your potential and current customers, you’re separating your content from everyone else’s. But exactly how do you make your content stand out?

Write compelling stories. The best content marketers are writers and storytellers. Therefore, focus on writing compelling stories that address your target audience’s key pains and opportunities, not just your products or services. Combine these stories with strong visuals to paint a picture and inject emotion.

Write guidelines. Come up with editorial guidelines and share them with your team to ensure your content is consistent. Then, document and plan your content strategy, creating a timeline to follow closely. As our own president Alexander Kesler has said, “Having a structured and carefully planned approach yields the best chance of success.” Don’t rush this process or wait until the last minute to produce content. In other words, don’t write content just to have content.

Write, write, and then write some more. If you practice writing whenever possible, not only will your skills improve, but also your content will become more valuable.

Here are some general tips to improve your writing and make your B2B content more beneficial, courtesy of Michelle Killebrew, IBM Program Director:

–       Be intriguing

–       Use action words

–       Leverage visual content

–       Re-post content over time

–       Respond to inbound communication

Creating Value for Your Business

 Turning Content Marketing into Sales

 Although content marketing has proved itself worthy, many companies (especially those in the B2B world) struggle with understanding how it can turn into sales. Recently, Moz published an article on how to integrate content marketing into the B2B sales cycle to win customers.

Based on their suggestions, here are three tactics that, when implemented into certain phases of the sales cycle, can generate value for your company.

Whitepapers

Most buyers only read between two to five assets before making a purchase. Whitepapers have the most influence, especially for when potential customers become aware of a problem they have and need to identify a company that offers a solution. The best whitepapers focus on the big picture, use images to enhance the copy, and are the result of creative collaboration.

Email Campaigns

When leads that your whitepapers helped generate start comparing companies to find the one that’s the best fit to solve their problem, it’s time to start sending email campaigns to ensure your company stays fresh in their minds. The most effective email campaigns:

–       Use incentives to increase open rates

–       Keep emails 500-650 pixels wide for mobile optimization

–       Feature compelling subject lines

–       Closely tie emails to landing pages

Case Studies

As your potential leads enter the final phase of the decision-making process, it’s wise to hit them with case studies that demonstrate how your solution previously has worked for companies similar to theirs.

To create a memorable case study, write about a past customer that your ideal client can relate to and tell the entire story from start to finish. The case study should be easy to read; include stats, numbers, and specific strategies; and be readily accessible on your website.