If your business is using content marketing, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends. A business needs to have a content marketing plan, but many marketers don’t know the ins and outs of the industry. As a result, many companies struggle to connect with customers and ultimately lose out on leads and revenue. Let’s look at what you need to know about content marketing and how it can help your business or organization.
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Look at Your Content Marketing
These strategies are essential because they help with organic growth. However, you have to be dedicated to these efforts. Some marketers think content marketing is generating the content, publishing it, and then forgetting about it. With that type of mindset, you will never reach your intended audience. Content marketing needs to be nurtured to develop robust methods that connect with your audience and generate more leads. This type of marketing is the most powerful way to get more traffic and customer acquisition. Consider these two points for your content marketing:
The Right Voice
Your business customers are interested in what you, the company leader, have to say. In other words, not only do you need the right message, but your message also needs the right voice. Make your content powerful by making it personal from you to potential customers. The more personal content marketing feels, the more powerful it becomes.
The Right Platforms
Social media marketing platforms continue to expand, making them an excellent place for content marketing. Longer tweets and more space for re-tweeted comments invite redoubled efforts on your part. Remember that the right platforms still require the right kind of interaction. Specific and personal interactions are most effective.
Social marketing needs to own a solid portion of your marketing budget. But it’s hard to beat telemarketing when it comes to being genuinely personal and finding out the specific information your consumers desire. No amount of print or digital marketing can replace the power of human interaction. Telemarketing gives your B2B customers and potential customers the person-to-person connection glaringly absent in a digitally-driven environment, which is why combining social marketing and telemarketing is such a smart move.
Creating Content That Connects
There are a few steps that you can take to create engaging content. Take a look at them:
Understand Your Audience
Before you write, you need to understand who will be reading these articles. Ask yourself:
- Who are my potential customers?
- Who are my current customers?
- Who would find this content helpful?
You need not just a large amount of content but a content marketing strategy built on reliable information that captures your target audience and motivates them toward action. To achieve this, you need answers to a handful of basic questions: Who is your ideal customer? Where are they located? What are their everyday issues? What would it take to motivate that customer to move toward you as a business partner?
Other helpful information for developing your effective content marketing strategy includes:
- Where does your ideal customer go for business information? Do they use an online search engine? In which case, you need to include an SEO component in your plan. Do they belong to LinkedIn? If so, you need to be present there.
- How does your ideal customer consume information? Though it sounds similar to where the customer goes, it is more specific. Does the perfect customer read White Papers? Do they prefer more interactive formats like a Webinar? Are they most interested in image-driven Infographics?
Many people will create a customer profile or buyer personas. That term creates a persona for the type of customer your business wants to target or has already acquired.
According to a MarketingSherpa survey, you can create a buyer personas in the following ways:
- Interviewing sales team
- Interviewing prospects and/or customers
- Surveying prospects and/or customers
- Mining in-house database to identify characteristics
- Interviewing customer service
- Monitoring activity on social media sites
- Using keyword research to identify topics
Get started with your own segmentation:
- Take a good look at the buying process. In B2B content marketing, it’s important to remember that there are likely several decision-makers and influencers involved with any purchase and they hold a variety of roles in the organization. If you’re using three or fewer buyer personas, you need to further embrace the complexity of B2B marketing. Learn more about the types of reservations buyers have, common budget constraints, and what your competition offers.
- Take your segmentation in a variety of directions. Your target audience can be divided by size of business, industry variations, location, and more.
- After you’ve segmented, segment again. Don’t be afraid to keep narrowing your content to a specific audience. Solve unique problems and discuss specific issues.
- Use telemarketing to help you in your segmentation. Each of the above can be aided by the use of telemarketing in your B2B content marketing strategy. Using a personal telephone conversation, you can do the following:
- Identify all the decision-makers and influencers involved
- Find out more about their buying process, including a timeline for purchase, possible budget constraints, and key stakeholders that could influence the decision
- Learn more about potential reservations, questions and how you compare to the competition
Related: Advertisers – Who Is Your Message Reaching, and Are They Ready to Listen?
Once you have developed a persona, you can create content to solve problems. With content, you want to help your customers help themselves by using your products and services. Your content marketing will fail when you do not understand your customers.
Link the Content To Your Sales Funnel
With content marketing, you want to create content that meets the needs of your audience at every stage of the sales funnel. For that reason, the content must be tailored to different prospects at different times so they can move to the next level.
Focus on these stages for your content:
You create content to increase your brand’s awareness. At this beginning stage, the buyer may be unfamiliar with your brand, so you must focus on promoting your brand and company with white papers, blog posts, and educational webinars.
To increase the number of marketing qualified leads, you need to help push the customer in the right direction with product webinars, videos, and case studies.
You want to turn a marketing-qualified lead into a sales-qualified lead. Your prospect is getting closer to a decision, and you can make it easy with free trials, live demonstrations, and implementation guides.
Create the Content
Now that you understand the types of content for every stage of the sales funnel, it is time to create the content. The CMO Council and NetLine found that 65% of B2B buyers value research reports and studies more than white papers, articles, or technical guides. But that doesn’t mean those content types are not effective. Use a variety of types to reach your prospective audience.
Along with that, consider the content length. Often, longer content ranks higher than those shorter blurbs. You should focus on creating content that is at least 1,000 words. Remember that longer content is more likely to be shared on social media than shorter pieces.
Longer content will help you:
- Get more inbound links
- Rank better on Google
- Get more shares on social media
Promote Your Content
Many people forget that content marketing is more than content. You need to put that focus back on the marketing aspect. When content is ready to go live, publish it and promote it to all of your favorite places. You should be proud of your content, and getting the word out about it is crucial. Push it to your social media channels, in a newsletter, or through telemarketing. Whatever it takes to reach your intended audience.
For that reason, it is vital to have a content marketing campaign. You must decide whether to promote your blog post on a specific social media platform or send the new white paper to a paid promotion agency.
Here are a couple of ways to promote your content:
- Social media is the fastest way to promote your content. You should not be afraid to share your content throughout the day on multiple platforms.
- Google AdWords can help you promote an eBook or white paper. You can use campaigns to raise awareness or help remarket your current campaign.
- Email marketing campaigns can help with the launch of a new post or eBook. With an email subscriber list, you can engage with your current audience, who can help you spread your content across other social networks.
- Telemarketing is a great way to connect with your audience. You can use this option to reach out to potential customers and tell them about your new products or services.
The three elements you need to focus on for strategic distribution: Your marketing team needs to become experts in three areas to execute a plan successfully. They must be adept at list growth, keyword research and usage, and influencer marketing. Each of these tools is effective on its own, but when used in combination, they significantly impact your marketing plan’s success. These three strategies are essential in three popular avenues for distributing content: social media, email, and search.
Don’t rely on automation for SEO: While you need to emphasize search engine optimization, it’s not enough to put the technology in place and then sit back. You need to be intentional about choosing keywords and how you use them. You may be incorporating into your content a specific keyword, only to find that it’s not a good keyword choice for what you are trying to accomplish. You may be choosing low-ranking keywords or a keyword simply because it’s a high-ranking keyword without considering other factors.
It is somewhat subjective to decide whether the content meets a need or answers a question and whether it is high quality or low quality. Distribution and promotion, on the other hand, are not. You can efficiently run analytics to see precisely which SEO content promotion leads to activity on your website, subscriptions to your blog, and qualified leads.
Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it works better: There’s a lot of activity in social media in the current B2B marketing model. It’s low-cost, it’s easy to analyze, and, in the right industries, it’s incredibly effective. However, it’s important to note that putting your content publishing calendar at the mercy of automatic social media posts is a poor marketing distribution technique. There are benefits to using tried-and-true distribution methods, and the best results often come from combining traditional with digital methods.
For instance, the popularity of social media for marketing quickly led the marketing world to start contemplating whether it signaled the end of email as a distribution tool. Instead, email remains a reliable way to distribute content, and most companies include it as an essential part of their strategy.
The same is true of other marketing tools that predate the introduction of social media. Direct mail and telemarketing present unique benefits that digital distribution tools cannot duplicate.
The benefits of including telemarketing in your content marketing distribution strategy: Telemarketing presents a set of benefits that beautifully augment the effectiveness of email and social media marketing. Here are a few of the ways that telemarketing provides valuable assets to any marketing strategy:
- Telemarketing quickly and easily identifies the decision-makers at a company. You may have contacts for a potential buyer, but there are often multiple decision-makers and stakeholders involved in a purchase in a B2B scenario. With just a few telephone conversations, you can determine whether you are marketing to the right audience.
- Telemarketing immediately builds loyalty and trust. Every conversation that occurs with telemarketing is ultimately person-to-person. The anonymity that sometimes prevents online relationships from developing is gone, and there is a place for warmth and discussion to flow naturally between two people. Most importantly, you connect your content to real-time business solutions prospects are searching for.
- Telemarketing is not passive like digital forms of content distribution. When you post a blog to social media, you are forced into a passive role, waiting to see if your content will attract any attention. When you add in telemarketing, you can proactively seek out your audience’s opinions.
- Telemarketing provides immediate feedback. When you use telemarketing, you gain valuable information about what content format your contact prefers and other details, such as the time of day they generally like to look over the content. We recently completed a survey highlighting missed sales opportunities when you don’t understand how your audience prefers to consume content. Telemarketing can help you identify and build a distribution strategy around the preferences of your target audience.
- Telemarketing is effective as a content syndication channel. While in a conversation, you can listen for instances where your potential buyer mentions a challenge they are facing or a question they have and offers to send them the white paper or blog that deals with their current situation.
- Telemarketing is an effective way to tell your brand story. When using telemarketing, you have a personal way to tell how your company is unique and why it’s positioned best to solve your prospect’s business challenges. It’s a great way to communicate the values that are central to your identity as a company.
Don’t Forget To Measure and Analyze
Once you publish your content, it can be easy to forget about it. However, you need to keep notes about the performance of each type of blog post, white paper, or video.
When it comes time to measure your content marketing metrics, you need to ask:
- What is the type of content consumed the most?
- What keywords do people use to find my content?
- How many page views did I receive?
- What type of content is shared?
- How many leads does the content generate?
When you answer those questions, you can use them to create better content for your business or organization. But that is not the end of this story; there are plenty of ways to take your content marketing to the next level.
Related: Do You Want to See an Increase in Actionable Leads?
Putting the Customer First
This doesn’t mean that you generate goodwill through five-point blogs indefinitely. You need a plan and a set of metrics to determine whether your goal is succeeding. What it does mean is that your content marketing takes a decidedly customer-centered focus. Here are some guidelines for customer-centered content marketing:
- It’s new: Your content piece addresses a trend or problem your potential customers will likely encounter in their daily work. It’s current and practical.
- It’s not “salesy”: If your content focuses too much on your product or company, it’s an advertisement, not content.
- It adds value: Content marketing focuses on your customer’s needs. Your content piece should offer instructions for solving a problem, insight on a current issue, or an opinion about a debate in the industry.
- It includes a call to action: While you never want to push your brand, you should consist of a simple call to action that lets your audience know how to reach you if they want to discuss the subject in more detail.
- It’s genuine: Everyone has had a friend that suddenly starts acting strange because they’ve enrolled in a home-based business. You’re suddenly a target, not just a friend, and every conversation feels like you’ve got a laser beam on your forehead. Don’t be that guy to your customers. Keep conversations honest and focused on your customer, not your lead generation or sales goals.
Related: Using Content Marketing Distribution to Amplify Your Brand
Telemarketing is a great way to bridge the gap between excellent content marketing and converting your audience into qualified leads. There are several ways that telemarketing offers your content marketing an edge and fills in some of the gaps that social media leaves:
Telemarketing helps you develop topics for content. You don’t need to talk to a set of potential buyers for very long to start to detect patterns in the conversations. There will be themes related to the challenges of a particular role or industry, and you’ll quickly hit on some ideas for developing relevant and helpful content for your audience.
Telemarketing helps you identify the formats and topics your audience wants to see in your content marketing. In a simple conversation, you can find out whether your potential buyer likes videos or images over a long blog, or if they want to dig in deep with a topic in a white paper. You can also hear thoughts to tip you off about which content to repurpose, like if you hear several potential buyers mention how much they loved your video with the puppy chasing bubbles.
Telemarketing helps eliminate some of the heavy lifting when brainstorming for new content topics. In your conversation with a potential buyer, asking them about the issues they would like to see covered on content pieces is easy. Is there a trend they see emerging or a new problem that seems to be occurring more lately? You’ll get on the early edge of a topic and produce fresh content that demonstrates that you’re at the forefront of your industry.
Telemarketing helps you stand out from the crowd. You’re doing something to stand out by simply talking one-on-one with a potential buyer. Many companies are investing too heavily in social media and forgetting that it has two major drawbacks: passive and one-directional. Inviting a personal connection through conversation has become a revolutionary idea in the current B2B market. Be different by having a conversation.
Adding in a conversation in a marketing world that has become personalized while becoming more impersonal gives depth to your marketing efforts and helps you look different than your competitors. You’re not simply delivering a message, but listening to your audience members, too.
Use a telemarketing conversation to listen to your potential buyer. Ask them if they have any reservations about doing business with you or if any obstacles prevent them from deciding at this time. These conversations aren’t likely to happen on social media, and they can make all the difference in giving you a competitive edge.
Telemarketing is your best lead generation tool. You’re producing great content, but maybe it’s not serving to convert any of your audience into leads and sales. Telemarketing helps you refine your contact list, answer the reservations or concerns of your audience and invite them to check out your content.
A lead isn’t simply a contact name; a lead is someone ready to converse with a salesperson about doing business with you. What creates a lead is a personal connection cultivated with trust and loyalty that comes with a conversation.
Talk with your target audience members and help them move on to the next step of the engagement process by answering questions and concerns and listening to where they are in the process of making a decision. When they’ve reached the point of being ready to talk to a sales rep, it will be a natural transition from your phone conversations.
There’s a lot at stake when developing content marketing strategies to grow your business. Don’t go it alone. Talk with the experts at Blue Valley Telemarketing to find out how you can include telemarketing to eliminate some of the mystery of content marketing and effectively increase lead generation.
Do you want to find the right content marketing strategy to grow your business? At Blue Valley Marketing, we will help you find an effective plan to reach your intended audience and increase lead generation!
Last Updated on August 23, 2022 by Ronen Ben-Dror