Content marketing tends to follow a playbook: content is created, qualified leads are identified and…
Technology has created a new era of marketing, in which powerful decision engines are helping determine which path is most likely to yield the most favorable results. This data-driven approach is shaking up an industry that was previously reliant on gut instinct and years of experience when calling the shots. The marketing automation industry is letting executives feel increasingly comfortable with letting algorithms make choices, and doing so almost instantly.
While marketing automation services empower customers to make the right decisions, it can still be difficult for those marketing these services to reach their buyers. When marketers are targeting marketers, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and truly resonate with a somewhat skeptical audience. As the old adage goes, the cobbler’s children often go without shoes. Marketers have seen their fair share of snake oil pitches, so how can you talk to them in a way that comes across as authentic? What are the secrets that the most successful B2B marketers are holding close to the vest? How are they approaching marketing differently than those struggling to be heard?
Sure, it’s great to have thousands of followers and get coverage in some high profile publications. It’s also important to not overlook the power of an influential few. The best marketers know who the one or two key influencers in their industry are, and nurture a relationship with those folks. If you can get a couple authoritative personalities to evangelize your content, product and brand to their audience, it can be far more valuable than thousands of retweets from Twitter bots or coverage in a publication that your buyer personas tend to overlook.
Giving your customers resources that have genuine value is more than just a good idea. For one, your customers are looking for answers. If you don’t have resources that get them closer to that answer, they won’t spend their time on you. Giving them content that can help solve their problem or provide unique insight without being sales-y is a great way to build trust and authority with a potential buyer. Knowing that you’re addressing skeptics, don’t be scared to go deeper than surface level and give them some of the secret sauce. Secondly, there is real SEO value in creating content that users engage with, share and bookmark for later. Giving them something that is more than just keyword stuffed jargon or a thinly-veiled sales pitch will encourage an increase in metrics that search algorithms favor, like time on page, click-thru rates and backlinks from other authoritative sites.
Whitepapers and blogs are obviously an important part of an effective content strategy. But what about other ideas that your buyers may not come across quite so often, but can provide immediate value? Things like an ROI calculator, a Sporkle quiz, podcast or an interactive infographic will keep your pipeline engaged in a way that the same content formats would not. It’s possible to take this kind of lateral thinking to your media approach as well. Think about what topics touch your offering. Is your company providing a marketing automation software that utilizes machine learning algorithms? Maybe there’s a reporter at the Wall Street Journal writing about artificial intelligence that wants to interview your CEO. Establishing your subject matter experts as great sources to provide a unique take to reporters writing about broader subjects will allow you to address issues in a way that is unique to your offering and resonates with your buyers.
Above all, marketers should realize the power of personalization. Knowing who your buyer is, what matters to them and what problems they’re trying to solve isn’t just a strategy for consumer brands. Whether you utilize just one or all three of the above suggestions, make sure you’re giving the right content to the right person at the right time. Marketers who can combine creativity with context are the ones who will add the most value, establish authority and earn more customers.
Looking for ways to make your voice resonate in media coverage, content campaigns and more? Find out how Corporate Ink can help.