At KoMarketing, one of our core services is B2B content marketing, so, as you can imagine, we are all on the same page when it comes to the power of content and its importance to B2B organizations across industries.
However, if you work for a large company, you may know and appreciate the value of B2B content marketing, but struggle to communicate and showcase its effectiveness to departments and individuals across the organization that may be less aware.
The truth is, content marketing is an essential digital marketing tool that will only continue to become more critical as digital channels evolve and emerge. Content marketing can be effective for any industry, but the key to getting cross-organizational buy-in is to show its success and get others on board.
Below are some tips for educating your colleagues across departments on the power of B2B content marketing.
Whether you’re looking to start a content strategy from the ground up or to expand it, you are likely going to have to make a valid case for budget. According to the B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, about 50% of B2B organizations plan to increase their content budget in 2019. This means another 50% are planning to keep things steady or reduce it.
Here are some points to consider as you educate the marketing department on the power of content and earn more budget:
Brand Trust and Awareness
Each time a new piece of content is created, it serves as another vehicle for educating and providing value to your readers. Focus on addressing common customer questions and general industry pain points to pull readers in and start to build a relationship. The more useful content you create, the more customers will trust your brand.
Fuel for Marketing Efforts
Content assets (blog posts, whitepapers, infographic, videos, etc.) are oxygen to your overall digital marketing strategy. Producing content allows you as a marketer to provide the audience with a vehicle for information, whether it be through paid advertising campaigns, emails, social media promotion, and much more.
Additionally, when your audience receives the content, there’s a chance they will also share it on their social media platforms or send to their friends and colleagues via email. At the highest level, content marketing is an exceptional way to increase marketplace visibility.
Nurturing Customer Relationships
Once you have prospects through the door, you will want to use content to turn them into customers and brand advocates. Think about developing content for various stages of the buyer’s journey and continue to stay at top of mind with email campaigns, fresh blog content, social media posts, and more. Content marketing should be looked at as “the gift that keeps on giving.”
Like marketing, B2B sales teams are always working hard to hit goals and drive revenue for the organization. Also, like marketing teams, they are likely already busy enough and may not want to be bothered with new requests or issues that don’t directly impact them.
However, when it comes to content marketing, the sales team must be educated on its importance, especially as the balance of power has dramatically shifted into the hands of the customer.
Here are some points to consider as you educate the sales department on the power of content:
Generating Warm Leads Organically
All salespeople want to be communicating with qualified leads whether it be over the phone, email, or chat. B2B content gives them a higher chance of turning this wish into a reality as individuals that are reading the content have likely discovered it after performing a search and opting in on their own terms.
When explaining the power of content to the sales team, be sure to emphasize the ability to create content (and CTAs) for various stages of the buyer’s cycle. For example:
- A definition page for a common industry term (top of the funnel)
- A case study or whitepaper (middle of the funnel)
- A demonstration video or “explainer” content on how a solution works (bottom of the funnel)
Also, consider sharing this stat with them: “47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.”
Internal Team Alignment
While quality aligned content will surely improve your standing with prospects and buyers, it can also improve the internal performance of sales teams as well. Every piece of content that’s created can be used as a resource to answer customer questions and provide consistent detail across the sales team.
Many of the sales teams we work with build content repositories (guides, whitepapers, etc.) to refer back to when answering a question or to follow up with prospects. Having all members of the sales team on the same page will make your organization more efficient while also reflecting a positive image to internal and external stakeholders.
Educating the C-Suite
At KoMarketing, we work very closely with marketing and sales teams on a regular basis to ensure we are creating content that they can use to be successful. While we establish goals and KPIs with the executive teams at the onset of the content marketing program, we typically have less daily communication with them. This makes it that much more important to make sure our clients are prepared to inform the executive team about the importance of B2B content.
Here are some points to consider as you educate executives:
Make it Relatable
While your marketing team may know your strategy is effective thanks to metrics like click-through rates, shares, visits, etc., the executive team may not understand such metrics (and their importance) as well. Let’s face it – we as marketers can speak another language at times.
When showcasing the power of content to the executive team, show them success stories and data points like:
- Keyword rankings for targeted words or phrases that are critical to the business.
- Performance against the competition: where you currently stand, where you could stand with more budget and resources, and where you would stand without content efforts.
Expand Beyond the Short Term
The executive team will likely be used to seeing marketing results come through quickly if your organization is currently employing tactics such as retargeting, social media ads, or paid search advertising. Content marketing is a different animal entirely. An effective content strategy takes time.
For this reason, it’s critical to identify both short- and long-term goals for your content strategy and educate the executive team on their importance. While an effective content strategy is a marathon, not a sprint, you should consider short-term traffic and keyword goals to show results up front before moving towards longer-term traffic goals and conversion metrics (email subscribers, whitepaper downloads, contact requests) later on down the road.
Get Others Involved!
The best way to educate and learn is to get involved. As content marketers, there are a number of benefits that can be realized by getting team members from various departments involved in the content marketing process. With the input of sales and executives in mind, you will be able to create more quality content that meets their needs and keeps everyone on the same page, all while pushing the organization in the direction of success.
Feel free to drop a comment below or connect with me on Twitter to keep this conversation going!