What do your content marketing channels say about you?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B businesses use content marketing to help their business grow. If you’re putting together a content marketing strategy, you might be considering whether you should publish a blog, or invest in a social media professional, or refresh your website.
So where do you start?
A good starting point is to think about what each channel and platform says about you. The content itself is important, sure – but the way your content is communicated will also have a significant effect on how your prospects view your business.
We are professional: website
Your website is the showroom for your business. It’s hugely important to make the right impact here, as a poorly written website that doesn’t have the right information to hand will quickly switch prospects off. Your website should be easily navigable from a customer’s point of view, and should avoid jargon. If using your website is a seamless experience, then customers will believe that it is just as easy to work with you.
We are trusted: blogging
Anyone can try to sell a product. But not everyone can talk articulately and passionately about their product and their industry. A regular blog is the best way to showcase your expertise in a brief, accessible format. Blogs demonstrate your thought leadership and build trust in your authority. When they are published online, they will stay there as evergreen content – continuing to draw in new visitors who stumble across them when looking for relevant information.
We are forward-thinking: white papers
Some topics deserve far more in-depth exploration than a blog can offer. A white paper is a long-form document which analyses a particular aspect of your business – from industry trends to technical guidance. Traditionally white papers will be fairly academic, presenting compelling statistics, infographics and insights with an eye on the future. Because of their length and detail, they can be targeted to professionals in your field. Because this is rich, researched content, it can help with your customer funnel, as invested parties are likely to download a report in exchange for their contact information.
We are customer-focused: social media
Does your relationship with customers start and end with their transaction with your business? Social media gives you a fantastic opportunity to interact personally with prospects and existing and former customers, and build lasting relationships. People will only follow you if you post great content – for instance, bitesize chunks from your blogs. Most importantly though, social media provides a two-way conversation: when customers post questions, your answers will helpfully be visible to other followers; while you can also monitor what people are saying about you, helping you to head off any potential reputational damage.
We are human: video
When a new customer visits your website with the intention of using your services, they will probably spend some time perusing your site to find out more about your company. A short video is the perfect way of communicating everything they need to know – usually in under four minutes. You can use video to explain your business model, show your product or service in action, feature your talented staff – and even express your company values, helping to create real connections with customers.
We are more than just advertisers
Although different content marketing techniques and platforms may say different things about your company, it’s also true that customers like to interact with companies in a number of ways; so the best way to ensure you reach them all is to have an integrated mix of all these types of content.