What is content marketing and how does it work?
You may have heard the term “content is king”, but you wouldn’t be alone in wondering exactly what it means. What makes content marketing better than any other of your marketing activities? The simple answer revolves around the theory that rather than feel like they’re being ‘advertised’ to, people want quality, relevant, useful and engaging content.
As we near the start of 2022, it’s clear that a continued focus on inbound strategies is on the cards. Audiences want something that resonates and reaches them more naturally, rather than interrupting ad techniques that once solely did the trick.
What is B2B content marketing?
Content marketing is the strategic process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, publishing and driving valuable, relevant and consistent content. It’s done so via various channels, such as blogs, websites, social media, apps, press releases, print and so on. The purpose of content marketing is to attract, engage and retain your defined audience, whilst increasing brand awareness, sales and loyalty.
When it comes to B2B, we see content that delves into industrial analysis and data, as well as guidance and advice that’s industry specific. While there can be room for some sales messaging, the focus is on creating something educational and/or valuable. By doing this, you are positioning your brand as a thought leader and a source of trust. The initial stage is about building relationships rather than a pure focus on sales.
Why is B2B content marketing so important?
Content creation and full content strategies are integral for any business, B2B or B2C. But why? Well, there’s actually a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is creating a sense of community around your brand and showing your target audience that you’re a living company with faces behind it. This will help build and strengthen relationships between your customers and your business, which will ultimately result in increased customer loyalty.
Well executed pieces of content will also show your audience how your products, or services, will help to solve their problems or help to satisfy a need. Brands who do this well are going to be the ones who convert easier, as people don’t just want flashy ads, they want to know what you can do for them. Sharing knowledge and actionable insights that help the target user is always going to perform well.
Your content marketing acts as your perfect opportunity to educate your target audience about the industry, with links to the products and services you offer and what makes you special!
Content marketing and SEO
SEO without content marketing isn’t worth doing. For them both to be successful, they must go hand in hand. Google and other search engines alike, reward websites for words, substance, keywords and so on, by moving them higher up the SERP. By finding relevant keywords and incorporating them into your content, you will stand more of a chance of ranking higher.
It’s important to keep web content appropriate and strategic. This means that you shouldn’t keyword stuff – a page full of keywords with no frame of reference and structure simply won’t do. Google knows!
Keeping an eye on search volume and trends is essential for your content marketing strategies, remember, you’re aiming to adhere to what the audience wants and this is the best way to judge that. Your content needs to stay fresh, unique and creative. Stale, repetitive and low-value content ranks lower and loses the interest of the audience easily.
Link-building and backlinks play a big part in SEO and should be included within your content marketing strategy. Connecting your page via links to sites with higher domain authority can really increase your website traffic. The best way to develop good links is to create expert content.
Examples of Content marketing
This area of marketing is certainly not limited, when it comes to content marketing ideas, you can get creative with the types of content you produce. Below are just a few of many tried and tested content ideas to breathe life into your marketing strategy:
- Blogs – a great way of incorporating relevant keywords, topics and perspectives into your brand identity.
- Infographics and visuals – seeing is believing and imagery is a proven technique to make it easier for readers to digest complex information and data.
- White papers and eBooks – part of a larger content strategy, these are powerful ways to add value to your audience, whilst supporting lead generation when used as gated content.
- Video – highly engaging and capable of attracting a wider audience, videos are great for attracting organic traffic and adding personality to your brand.
- Social media – understanding where your audience is is key to harnessing the power of social media. Do you need to be everywhere or can you pick a couple of channels to promote your message?
- Case studies – your chance to present proof of service/product quality, whilst showing the reader what it’s like to work with your brand.
Content marketing statistics
This article may have covered methods on how to engage your audience and different marketing efforts you can channel for great content, but it wouldn’t be complete without some hard facts. Content marketing trends and statistics provide insight and inform your strategy.
- 89% of marketers used blog posts in their content strategy in 2020
- 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing
- In B2B marketing, almost 80% report having a content marketing strategy, but only 43% have it documented
- Up to 80% of B2B companies use content marketing for lead generation
- In the marketing industry, the top-performing articles are over 7,000 words in length
- Video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing
- Nearly 70% of companies use organic traffic to measure content success
- 94% of marketers use social media to distribute content
Going back to “is content king?”, if you were on the fence before, hopefully, this article has helped to determine that content is, in fact, king. Content marketing and SEO together really are a power couple and an absolute force to be reckoned with. Once you find the right strategy for you, you should be well on your way to digital marketing success.
If you’d like to find out even more about content marketing, or you’d like some help along the way to a great marketing strategy, get in touch with the Move team today and let’s see how we can help. You can reach the team on 0161 359 4363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.