Any successful marketing program will have content as a key strategic pillar. Content marketing can significantly influence the success of your marketing strategies. It can also help your organization reach essential growth objectives. It’s not a stretch to say that the importance of content can’t be overstated.
Consider these stats: 40% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before reaching out to sales. Businesses that blog get 126% more leads than businesses that don’t. And nearly two-thirds of decision-makers rely on rich content like case studies and webinars to guide buying decisions.
But simply churning out more content won’t guarantee success. It’s important to have a content strategy in place to ensure that your content is meeting your customers where they are and helping your sales teams. Not sure how to do that? Here are 4 steps you can take to create a successful content marketing program that will help you maximize value for your organization.
Creating A Successful Content Marketing Program
1. Make Sure Sales and Marketing Are Aligned
The numbers speak for themselves. More than three-quarters (76%%) of content marketers forget about sales enablement in their marketing efforts. Almost as many (68%) believe that sales teams don’t take advantage of their marketing content’s full potential. At the same time, though, only 35% of sales reps say their marketing team knows what content they need.
The good news is that when marketing and sales are aligned, they get results. In fact, businesses are 67% more efficient at closing deals when the two teams are aligned. And that alignment leads to 36% higher customer retention.
The bottom line is that if you want to create a successful content marketing program, start by bringing your sales and marketing teams together and making sure they’re on the same page. Want to know how to get started on the alignment process? Read our blog.
2. Create Audience Personas
With marketing teams consistently being asked to do more with less, so the impulse may be to simply start creating content. Unless you already have well-defined audience or buyer personas, that could be wasted effort. Audience personas – also known as buyer personas – are fictional people that represent different segments of customers or potential customers. By clearly defining various characteristics, such as job title, pain points, motivations, and aspirations, you’ll be better able to understand your customer – and create content that meets them where they are.
Creating strong buyer personas gets results. In one experiment, targeting emails by persona led to a 16% increase in clickthrough rates. It’ll also help you stand out, since less than half (44%) of marketers use personas.
A good best practice is to create multiple personas that represent different segments of your customer base. While this may take some time on the front end, it will pay dividends on the back end by helping you create a more targeted, efficient content marketing program.
3. Cover The Full Buyer’s Journey
Your customers and future customers are all at different stages along the path to purchase. Some may be almost ready to close the deal but need that final nudge. Others may be comparing your product and a competitor’s. And some potential customers are just starting to get familiar with your brand. Each of those customers will have different content needs.
Making sure that your content marketing program covers the full buyer’s journey helps ensure that you won’t miss anyone, and that you can help escort them as they move through different stages in the journey.
Keep in mind that customers in different stages of the journey will need different types of content. Social media and blogs might be more effective for people earlier in the journey, while thought leadership articles, targeted emails, and case studies might be more helpful for those closer to making a purchase.
Take a deeper dive into strategies for evaluating and mapping content to your buyer’s journey.
4. Be Efficient By Repurposing Content
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you create a new piece of content. Repurposing one piece of content into different formats can make your team more efficient and maximize the value of your content marketing efforts.
A longer white paper or thought leadership article can be repurposed into an infographic or bite-sized blog series. Turn a high-performing thought leadership piece into a podcast episode. Post snippets of existing videos on social media. The opportunities are endless!
Repurposing content is highly practical. Not only does it help marketers more efficiently utilize their time, but it also maximizes the value of high-performing content, and let’s them hit multiple spots in the buyer’s journey without having to start from scratch. Having several pieces of content targeting the same or similar keywords also helps with SEO.
Content is Still King
The demand for impactful, high-quality content is just as strong as it’s ever been – if not more so. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of B2B marketers say content marketing has become even more important, while half say they will increase their budgets in 2023, even as many other departments tighten their belts.
But just churning out content isn’t enough. To stand out from the noise, you need a thoughtful, strategic content marketing program.
We Can Help
Let Outlook Marketing help you create a successful content marketing plan with the right targets and tactics to reach your business goals. We provide the research, direction, and campaign strategy you need to get the most out of any content marketing project.
Authored By: Todd Loesch, Content Director
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