Mindjumpers collaborates with bloggers associated with the Social Marketing Forum. This guest blog is written by J-P De Clerck, who is an experienced interactive marketing journalist and blogger.
Content that is adapted to the preferred channels, digital signals, stages in the lifecycle and needs of customers is becoming increasingly important.
The focus on relevant content, that also makes your business “found” in an online world is so strong that there is even a new “marketing discipline”, called content marketing.
Although it has no use to see this as a novelty and certainly not as yet another silo when we want to have a cross-channel, data-driven and customer-centric holistic marketing strategy, it is worth taking a look at what experts in the area of B2B content marketing advice.
What is often missing in B2B content marketing is a strategy. As content marketing is a form of marketing, it is obvious that one must first determine the different objectives with a view to compiling a strategy in the overall marketing approach.
Businesses need to know what their customers and prospective customers want and which channels they prefer, draft a plan, determine the costs and revenues, decide what content they need to provide and what information is relevant to the customer in that particular point in his lifecycle. On top of that, everything has to be tracked and lead to more contact moments.
In defining a strategy the following elements can play a role:
The various target groups are divided into segments. The content must be relevant to your prospective clients and customers, taking their profile into account. When determining this, you can look at demographic data, the industry in which they work, their needs, their online behavior, your previous interactions with them, etc.
2) The buying cycle
People now have much more control over the flow of information and communication channels. They have a variety of online resources to inform then during each step of the buying cycle, which is shifting online. It is the task of marketers to find the right content to offer in terms of the customer and his “digital footprints”.
3) Different types of content
The content must be valuable but it must also be available in various forms and channels so that the prospect or customers can receive or find it in the format he prefers: a blogpost, a white paper, an online video, a presentation, an autoresponder email series, a printed document, etc. Or in other words, the presentation of the content is tailored to the preferences of the individual prospect or the specific segment.
4) Interaction with the content
Content marketing is not broadcasting. The intention is to encourage the “reader” or “viewer” to act and interact. This is done in the first place with the content itself, but of course it must also be done in other ways. In some cases, content may lead to a personal interaction (for example, if someone responds to a blogpost and you subsequently established a relationship with that person), sometimes the interaction is less personal. In any case, the content must ultimately lead to interaction.
Interaction leads to dialogue, data and thus better ways to fine tune your communication and lead generation and nurturing.