Especially in business-to-business content makes all the difference. I’m not asmuch referring to the glossy corporate brochure or the annual report. Coming from corporate communications. I do refer to content coming professionals, experts. People of flesh and blood. Who excel at and are willing to share their vision on eg managed services in IT (the system architect), the most recent developments in corporate law (the attorney) or this month’s best insights in the world of new media (the marketing consultant).
In his book ‘What would Google do’ Jeff Jarvis proverbially referred to online content as ‘Google juice’. Getting found better on the web as company or professional. Based on unique content that meets a need. Attractive content which gets so much traction that fans start sharing and referring to it via blogs, fora and comments. Which in turn leads to a higher appreciation (and therefore a higher weighting by Google or BING).
High-involvement purchases in B2B
Content is therefore king. This applies especially to those companies and professionals that sell expertise and/or are in the business of high-involvement products or services. Here the interests, investments and just as substantial as the fear to making the wrong decision. This infographic (source: Saleschase, based on research by Content Marketing Institute) beautifully illustrates the importance of content to b2b marketeers. And how they put belief into action.
Case studies, articles and microsites cannot exist without (great) content. Content marketing therefore is not new. A staggering 90% of all b2b marketers therefore already is involved in some form of content marketing. Intentionally or unintentionally.
Reflex or strategy
Some b2b players start to adopt new channels or new instruments in their content marketing mix almost from a kind of reflex. “We should do something in social media!” “Our customers would just love an app for mobile use”.
Content marketing strategy
It’s therefore imperative to set a clear content marketing strategy. A strategy that meets the company’s objectives. What is the priority: boosting awareness, improving image or generating better and more leads? The instruments to be deployed in content creation and content management only then follow suit: will we leverage facebook or LinkedIn? Will we keep using separate tools in content management and reporting or do we prefer to enjoy the benefits of an integral tool such as HubSpot?
Content: briding company and customer 24/7
Content therefore offers professionals the opportunity to share their vision and contributions 24/7 online. Content that puts colleagues in the spotlight. And above all content with insights, best practices and answers befitting the needs of customers, prospects and other stakeholders. Well chosen also in terms of form, impression, usability and channels available in. “As a prospective customer whenever I cannot read a whitepaper on my iPad it’s game over for me”. “I do trust this company but I really want a 1 minute summary in video or pictures prior to investing the time to spend reading a 5 pager case study”.
Content therefore bridges company and customers. What content management strategy and tactics does your company have?