In our last article, we discussed planning and implementing a content marketing campaign with a content marketing strategy. In this article we will share a guide to creating and sharing content.
The most important thing to remember is that although you are writing to attract custom, content must never be a sales pitch; the audience is more interested in their own problems than your product. Always provide evidence to support your points.
The best content draws inspiration from your clients’ business issues and brings them to life. And the richest content can be created from existing resources, such as your own company’s or your best customers’ opinions and experience, existing research, case studies, , desk research, industry news and trends and self-funded research.
So here’s what we think you need to know:
When to blog…
Blogs are a great medium because they are created on a platform that you own – your company website – and customers will go to a site with great content. Blogs are brilliant for snappy thought pieces, short best practice articles, sharing multimedia like videos and short slides, writing short reports (such as key take-aways) on conferences or webinars, top-tips, infographics, top-line findings from self-funded research and company news.
Frequent blogs also make your site more easily findable through search; if you use the right keywords and phrases in your headlines, image alt tags and blog post URLs, you can increase your ability to show up higher when someone searches for the same terms (SEO).
And when it’s a whitepaper…
On the other hand, whitepapers should be used when you want to explore a topic in depth. They are typically more complex and give away more intellectual property than a blog which makes them really useful for market researchers to explain models, methodologies or in-depth analysis. When someone downloads a whitepaper, they make a commitment. This grants you a longer time with them, and this should be made the most of.
The buzz of the moment
A snappy and at times inspiring way to communicate research findings, infographics are very popular for web based communications at the moment and are clearly a really important communication medium for market researchers. They are an accessible and absorbable way to communicate data, allowing you to tell a more impactful story. But before you reach for your Adobe Creative Suite, remember infographics are not always straightforward. Give yourselves time to plan and design one, and if possible use a designer or data visualiser who knows what they are doing. If you play your cards right, your infographic might just go viral.
All right Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up
Videos are great because they can really engage an audience. B2B decision makers don’t have a lot of time to spare, and in this digital age, attention spans are just getting smaller. According to comScore, 45.4% of internet users who view at least one video online over the course of a month. The average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month, increasing the chances that your marketing message will be seen. And recently, 75% of executives told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.
Why a webinar?
Webinars are an excellent tool to promote engagement with your audience because they provide the opportunity for them to ask you questions. Again, this makes them a great medium for more sophisticated research communications. They also increase the memorability of your content because they provide an immersive content experience. They are particularly useful if you are explaining something, a case study for example, that might otherwise lose your audience’s attention due to depth of detail. But you are not going to get anyone to sign up to one unless you are engaging with them through the rest of your content marketing already….
And now to communicate…
The most effective way to communicate your content depends who you are targeting. Don’t blast your content over all channels – your efforts are best spent breaking the content down and promoting that over the most important channels.
A recent survey conducted by Market Makers found that 60% of B2B marketers consider email marketing the most effective way to generate leads. There’s no surprise there – sending out content to your database is a great way to get their attention. Database management plays a key role here; segmentation of a database allows you to tailor content and target the appropriate audience with it.
Promoting your content via social media is important to maximise the effectiveness of your efforts. For market researchers, the most important social media channels are LinkedIn and Twitter. According to Quirk’s Corporate Researcher’s report, 53% of client side researchers read LinkedIn discussions at least once a month, 25% read #mrx related Twitter posts at least once a month and 38% share or like research content on social media. Both Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to boost engagement with promoted posts, often allowing you to target the audience your trying to reach.
SlideShare is also a great resource for those within, and those outside the market research industry. Regularly posting content on this site and directing traffic builds up a following, and creating content for the captive audience will build your company’s reputation as a thought leader.
The key to successful content marketing is to prioritise it. It reaps great rewards – B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms – but will not do so unless it is regular and the content is great. To get that, it is important to use an agency or employ someone within your organisation who is responsible for its production and distribution.
Emily Slee is PR Account Executive at Keen as Mustard