Your content goals should align with your organisation’s business goals. Both these are key considerations when creating or updating your content strategy.
Below are some common goals for B2B content marketing. Make sure that you and your team prioritise and agree on these when developing your content strategy.
In a 2014 survey, ‘brand awareness’ is shown to continue to be the top organisational goal for B2B content marketers (82%), followed by lead generation, 74%, customer acquisition 71%), thought leadership 68%. (Survey respondents n= 1217).
Brand awareness is a measure of how effective the brand and messages are in cutting through the mass of media and attracting customer attention and engagement.
As brand influences choice in the B2B decision making process, content marketing can can ensure key messages are grounded in the core values and then communicated well. Ultimately of course, increasing sales and market share are the best two indications that the brand is healthy.
Brand awareness is increasingly important due to the low engagement of respondents to advertising.
Potential buyers who are irresistibly drawn to read a brand’s content see that brand in a new light, not only in terms of credibility but also likeability.
What specific actions taken by readers of your brand content are your priorities?. Whilst these may not be direct sales conversions, they should be conversions from one stage of the buying process to the next.
Some common conversion metrics:
- Newsletter Subscriptions
- Registrations to gated content
- Webinar registrations
- Demo / free trial sign ups
- Clicks to your “chat now” or “call now” button
- Leads from your track-able telephone number
- Visits and conversions on other landing pages
Revenue driven from your content marketing efforts might be the ultimate definition of the success of your campaigns. Conversions from your leads, subscribers, followers and visitors are instrumental in achieving this.
Cultivate your leads from social media, e-mail and web traffic using marketing automation to nurture them through to a paying customer.
Customer Retention / Loyalty
Providing relevant content should not stop once you win a customer’s business. Timely content should be used for “customer nurturing” in which the customer’s trust is continually earned. You can do this with content that reinforces the right decision they made in choosing you; or providing additional value with helpful educational information that helps them do their job better. The icing on the cake is when the customer becomes an ambassador for your brand with referrals driving new customers to your business.
Content must be valuable and relevant enough to attract and hold your prospects attention, helping draw favourable attention or interest. Ideally, the consumer of content is compelled to take action or register an emotion like respect, trust, curiosity and desire.
Content is the foundation of your lead generation efforts. The CMI defines content marketing as “the marketing technique of 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”.
Some 61% of B2B marketers say that the biggest challenge they face with regard to lead generation is identifying high-quality leads. Content marketing executed well can go a long way to improving lead quality.
Lead Management / Nurturing
Lead nurturing is the crucial process of building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy, so it is important to understand the buying cycle.
Studies show that 50% of leads are qualified but are not yet ready to make a purchasing decision. Nurturing these leads through your sales funnel can result in 4-10 times the response rate compared to a regular email blast ( Sources DemandGen Report & Gleanster Research)
Content must demonstrate a deep understanding of your prospects’ and customers’ pain points and guide them toward solutions, ideally influencing a change in behaviour. This content builds confidence and trust in the vendor as it is focused on helping their target audience, not promoting themselves.
Ask yourself why this is a goal of your content marketing. Traffic may be up X00% year-over-year but does this meet the business goal? Traffic for traffic’s sake is a vanity metric.
Understand what the business goal is first, regardless of any metrics. Metrics come second and are only there to help support the objective.
Prioritise your organisations top three content marketing objectives and ensure your documented content strategy reflects these objectives with key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each to help you measure the effectiveness of your content marketing.
If you would like some help meeting these objectives, get in touch and start a conversation with us.
Graph source: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, CMI