As content marketing has increased in prevalence, buyers have become attuned to manipulative or overt tactics employed by some.
These strategies add no value to a brand looking to maintain trust, authority, and authenticity with its marketplace.
The following is a look at ways to achieve your goals with content marketing without turning off your targeted prospects.
Prioritise Engagement and Entertainment
Putting products on the back-burner is one of the most difficult, but important, steps to authentic content marketing. The typical buyer’s journey doesn’t begin with a search for product pitches; instead, it begins with a search for information or education. Thus, too much sales-driven content turns away people not looking for it.
Prioritise engagement and entertainment. Think about the buyer journey stage, the concerns faced and questions pondered, and craft content to match.
Early on, for instance, a buyer looks for basic background on the problem and possible direction for a solution. Thus, much of your content should focus on these early awareness phases of content marketing. Talk directly to the prospect, deliver a message that resonates, and then guide him to the next step.
Content Marketing Is About Relationships
At some point in the content marketing process, your buyer does enter the decision or purchase stage. However, the vast majority of content is centred on building and maintaining relationships. It is the ultimate, affordable and far-reaching system of building brand awareness.
It is the ultimate, affordable and far-reaching system of building brand awareness. The more useful and relevant content you produce for targeted buyers, the greater your reach.
Think of content marketing as similar to conversations with a person that build toward a friendship. You start with basic introductions, information, and background. As the relationship evolves, you offer more specific and personal details. Then, ultimately, your relationship is substantial and loyal.
Project Your Personality
It is counter-intuitive to some, but many B2B brands must use content to project a more genuine, sometimes humorous, side of their personality. Talking about equipment or technical products can get boring with a straightforward approach.
To attract and retain readers, look for clever ways to entertain. Tell stories that highlight heroic qualities of your brand, or make people laugh. Use personalised videos with compelling client testimonials and powerful images.
This post from Neil Patel on the Content Marketing Institute’s site shows how some of the world’s top brands are using content marketing to engage with their customers.
Your content marketing process should allow you to inject personalisation and humour to capture attention through B2B content marketing.
Evaluate and Modify
Never assume that you are doing things the right way. Instead, let your research tell you whether buyers respond to and engage with your content.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute reported that 88 percent of the top content marketers measure content return on investment. Authenticity means reacting to your business leads and their evolving interests.
There is no silver bullet with content marketing. You are either in it for the long haul or you’re not.
In order to succeed in the world of content marketing, you need to get past your sales-driven perspective. Engagement and entertainment are priorities.
Your content marketing process must include elements that give you the opportunity to build trust with buyers by offering real-talk, useful information, and some personality.
And lastly, always measure your results and fine-tune your messages to the interests and responses of your readers.
After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.