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How to Optimize Content Marketing to Map to the Buyer’s Journey

As B2B marketing professionals, content marketing is no longer a tactic in your marketing toolbox, but mainstream practice. Needless to say the Internet has become a powerful vehicle for business technology decision makers to gather the information they need to make an informed buying decisions. Therefore, the more relevant your content and plentiful your content, the more likely your buyers will find you.

What content do you create and what is most effective? As with any marketing program, you need an integrated approach when it comes to content marketing. According to a survey of 1000 North America B2B marketers B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, it is not surprising that 9 out of 10 organizations market with content, using an average of eight content tactics. The most popular tactics are social media (excluding blogs) (79%), articles (78%), in-person events (62%) and eNewsletters (61%). Last year, UBM TechWeb market research identified three keys to “killer” content:

  1. Make your content credible.
  2. Make it relevant to your customers’ business goals and technology challenges.
  3. Deliver it efficiently into your customers’ workflow.

Check out our Content Connects research paper for details.

What is the challenge with content marketing? According to the survey, the biggest challenges for marketers are producing engaging content (36%) and producing enough content (21%).

Map content creation to a buyer’s journey. To be effective with content marketing, not only do you need to provide helpful educational content, you’ll need to understand what your target audience desires in each phase of the buyer’s journey. Then, produce relevant content to server each phase from discovery, consideration, decision and recommendation.

For example, create early educational materials for those learning about your technology in the “discovery” stage mixed with more technical and ROI tools for those nearing the end of the buyer’s journey, ready to make a decision. Ensure you select marketing partners that have the breadth and reach to keep your content relevant to your target audience and move them down the buyer’s journey so you, as a technology provider, will eventually get invited to the table.

Sources: http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2010/09/b2b-content-marketing/, http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/05/optimize-content-marketing-by-facilitating-the-buyer%E2%80%99s-journey/

1 comments
Carolee
Carolee

Relevant and plentiful are requirements. You're absolutely right. Content must be timely (either current or matched with a buyer stage like you suggest) and meaningful (valuable information or insight). I think lots of B2B companies know intuitively your point about relevance, but imagine what hangs them up most is "plentiful." Just how do they keep up with a faster pace of information sharing? It helps to remember that not every piece of content developed has to be lengthy or research-heavy. Sometimes, the casual, zippy paragraph (shared on a blog, for example) quickly points potential buyers to exactly what they need.