The term Content Marketing is used a lot these days, and often associated with the big B2C brands. Red Bull uses it very successfully with its Red Bull TV – a great example of using content marketing to focus on activities or subjects that your customers are interested in, but not directly related to the product itself.
But what does it really mean and how can it work with B2B marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Content is fundamental to what we do in marketing. It always has been. We communicate information to our customers and prospects whether that’s through an advert, enews, press release or blog post. But what’s significant or different about ‘content marketing’ is that it’s ‘valuable’ content that we’re sharing. It’s about informing and educating customers.
And the reason why content marketing has taken on such significance in recent years is largely down to the Internet.
The web has changed how we purchase goods and services. The first thing a potential buyer does now is, not pick up the phone to speak to a member of your sales team or request a brochure, he or she will search for your business online, and expect to find valuable content. It’s not enough anymore just to tell a prospect about how good your business is. They want to learn it for themselves. Potential buyers want to be educated and want to trust and have confidence in your business before making a purchase.
To do content marketing well requires time and commitment. You need to understand the needs of your customer base. It means telling your customers something they didn’t know and positioning yourself as the experts. The one to go too. It may mean sharing things with your customers (and potentially your competitors) that you have previously been reluctant to promote, and using different marketing channels, such as video content, imagery, blogging or social media.
As more and more big companies embrace content marketing they are changing the expectations of your customers so why not get started with a simple content marketing plan, and start looking at ways you can benefit from content marketing within your business.
For help with any aspect of your marketing or to find out more, please get in touch.