Today, B2B marketers are veering away from thrusting information on customers, and are making an effort to attract targeted prospects by providing quality content and value. Starfleet Media‘s new benchmark report demonstrates how B2B marketers are using content marketing to improve brands and generate leads.
According to the study, though B2B marketers have actively been advocating and using content marketing, only 12 percent have been able to achieve their primary objectives. This means that content marketing as a concept has largely been unsuccessful.
True, businesses are creating and leveraging content to achieve sales, but obviously the content has been largely uninspiring, and that’s why it’s failed to attract buyers. For content to be impactful, it should be meaningful, demonstrate usefulness, and address the benefits of a particular product or service.
Company-branded eBooks, infographics and third party-licensed research reports are stated to have created the most value for their companies. This is true insofar as e-books offer valuable information to the reader that is relevant and actionable. E-books are a great opportunity to kindle interest, nurture prospect leads and convert leads into active sales. Having a lot of information about a product does definitely help in making a decision. Valuable content turns readers into buyers.
That being said, a large majority of marketers are of the view that unbiased third-party content is more credible that company-branded content, and tend to produce better-quality leads. To a large extent that does appear to be true. Third-party content written, by sources that have no connection with the company, tends to produce a greater positive impact.
The logic is simple: just as we tend to go by reviews written on the Web or social media when we want to use a service, so too do prospects believe that third-party content (unless they are paid by the company) will largely be more forthright and honest, as they are under no obligation to favor the brand or product.
All said and done, content marketing is in and is slated to gather momentum as it slides further into 2014. This is evident from the fact that almost two-thirds (63 percent) of marketers plan to allocate more of their marketing budget to content marketing over the next 12 months.
Content marketing is important for B2B marketers and is a great way to convert prospects into customers just with a message.
Edited by Adam Brandt