The Age of Content –  Why It Is So Important
The birth of the internet, the establishment of Wikipedia,
and the rise of the knowledge-hungry consumer – the age of content was, in some ways, inevitable. For marketers, content is an invaluable tool in communicating information, driving inbound traffic and generating B2B leads. Social media and SEO marketing, two places where online content naturally sit, are also two of the strongest channels for B2B lead generation.
Let the numbers do the talking
HubSpot findings from 2015 found that B2B marketers blogging more than 10 times per month had three times more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times a month. Yet only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) What does this tell us? That content marketing is an essential inbound marketing tool to drive traffic and that companies are most likely overwhelmed by the breadth and scale of the content marketing industry.
What effect does it have on consumers?
Consumers are over-saturated with marketing activity from every angle. For a couple of decades now, consumers have been showing that they are less and less responsive to traditional advertisements. In many cases, products or services that directly ‘sell’ to them evoke a negative response and a lack of trust in the consumer.
Content marketing is a way of connecting with the consumer, while still informing them, in an un-intrusive way. Good content will add value to a consumer’s life and they are receptive to it because they feel that it is tailored to their needs and interests. There’s an element of choice here too. While a marketer may have used inbound marketing best practices to target the consumer with a piece of online content, the consumer does not necessarily perceive it this way as they were genuinely interested in the content.
Search engines are a huge part of this organic feeling of choice for the consumer as it is often where the active consumer begins their buyer’s journey. Google, particularly, is punishing when it comes to SEO marketing, with sophisticated algorithms that identify, not only SEO terms, but also how concise and relevant a webpage is to that particular consumer’s search. When SEO marketing for content is deployed correctly, it should be much easier for your content to reach the consumer and its relevancy and knowledge will be a powerful tool in gaining the consumer’s trust and respect for your company.
Where does it fit?
In your marketing process it should be an integral part of your strategy, both long term and short term. Many businesses do this by employing an ‘always-on’ content plan, in addition to campaign specific content strategies.
Consider your objectives. If it’s to drive sales, then don’t just think of a piece of online content as a way to drive traffic to the e-commerce section of your website. Content marketing should fit seamlessly into the buyer’s journey, which won’t always lead directly to a sale, initially anyway. Particularly for B2B companies, content marketing can be a great way of beginning the process of identifying sales qualified leads. Data capture is important here to ensure that you can continue your content marketing through the more direct dialogue of email marketing.
Content marketing for B2B businesses is essential for driving traffic, increasing a website’s prominence, generating leads, and identifying sales qualified leads. While content marketing can feel overwhelming, mastering it is a case of getting back to basics. Remember that your consumer is knowledge-hungry. How can your business provide them with knowledge and information that will add value in their life? That’s the first step, and from there begins the buyer’s journey of content marketing.

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Ratika Garg
Ratika Garg

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