Content marketing is everywhere you look online. You’ll see a wide variety of brands and industry experts preaching about the power behind strategically creating all sorts of different blogs, posts, videos, newsletters, webinars, user cases, case studies, white papers, success stories, etc. that serve to educate users and spike up their interest/need/awareness for the company, product or service.
In the last 12-24 months, content marketing has been trending like crazy. It’s all everyone’s talking about. Regardless if you work in the dating industry, marketing, fashion or somewhere completely different, you have certainly heard a lot about this form of marketing, especially if you operate in the B2B world.
Looking over at various recent surveys online, we have found some interesting stats about content marketing. As the guys behind the Demand Gen claim in their latest 2016 content marketing survey, 51% of B2B buyers now rely on content to help conduct their buying decisions.
The vast majority of these decision makers say they’re no longer interested in looking at ads and all sorts of different generic advertisement. No, in this day and age they’re far more interested in reading smart, compelling content that educates rather than sells. They want value, not discounts.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In that very same survey, it has also been written that 47% of buyers viewed around five pieces of content before moving into the second phase of the sales process. Apart from that, Demand Gen’s report also tells us that 95% of B2B buyers are willing to consider vendor-related content as trustworthy.
So, What Do These Numbers Tell Us, Exactly?
Nothing, apart from the fact that content marketing really works and that you should do everything in your power to implement it in your already existent marketing mix.
The days of pushing unimaginative advertisement on your targeted audience and making uneducated guesses when it comes to marketing are long gone. If you want to retain your existing clients/users and stimulate even more leads in to becoming your actual paying customers, you need to feed them with content that clearly and concisely communicates the value behind your business, products or services.
As a B2B white label dating solution, we at Partner Factory have been investing in content marketing for quite some time. Why? Because our users need to know all the advantages and values that come with using our service.
If we don’t do our best to make our worth transparent to them, we cannot really expect our business to grow.
Even though most people don’t really see the importance of investing in content marketing in this niche and industry, our results beg to differ.
Our current efforts have shown that every business owner, big and small, should do his best to create an intelligent content marketing strategy for his or her brand. In 2017, it’s in your best interest to develop a precise content strategy that will surely stimulate your targeted audience to remember your brand and recognize what sets you apart from your competitors.
But how does one accomplish such a strategy?
Easily. By following and focusing on the following:
Think About The Core Value of Your Business – Solve Problems for Your Users
In order to get someone to try your service, you must make sure that people actually understand what it is that you’re selling. They need to know who you are, what you do and where you come from. Apart from that, your targeted audience also needs to understand why should they care about your products and services.
Yes, there are a lot of why’s here, but that’s the point. If you’re able to provide intelligent answers to these types of questions in your content, then you have an actual business. You have something that’s actually valuable to people. That’s why every intelligent content strategy should be built around providing answers to relevant questions.
Your job in this department is to demonstrate your worth to everyone who could become your customer in one point of his or her life. You want people to instantly see you as a solution to their particular troubles.
The only way you can do that is by creating content that addresses your audience’s common points and offers them easy, actionable advice that’s actually capable of getting from point A to point B.
Focus On Interactions – Provoke Interest, Share Value
Content marketing is all about provoking interactions. Every successful piece of content out there was built around a notion to stimulate action and reaction from a specific lead or customer.
Looking back at what we have accomplished in this field in the last 12 months, we have figured out that persona driven storytelling is king here.
If you want people to really start paying attention to your brand, products and services, you need to show them something that immediately gets them interested in your story. One of the ways you can do that is to develop multiple, precise customer personas and publish all sorts of different use cases through them. People love reading about success stories and everything that could actually help them get the most out of their efforts and investments.
For example, Match does a great job. They curate success stories from their own community, which naturally speaks volumes to their targeted audience. Genius!
Zoosk also drains their content marketing power from their users. The guys behind this brand take popular questions from their communities and answer them in their “Joan Actually” column.
So, what’s the key takeaway here? What can we learn from these two examples?
Only that if you figure out who’s your ideal customers, what confuses them about your service, what usually holds them back from making that purchase, and how to cover that in your content, you’ll see some serious ROI in this department.
Focus On Creating Content That Speaks To Your Users in Every Stage of Your Marketing Funnel
In order to get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you must consider crafting all sorts of different material that influences your audience throughout every single phase of your funnel.
You need to think bigger. You cannot just write one big, juicy piece of content, publish it on your site and expect it to magically generate a bus-load of leads for you in no time. Nope. It’s not really that simple.
Things don’t work like that here.
Content marketing is a long game. If you want to succeed in this department, you have to develop a strategy that’s actually based on data and current customer/lead behavior. You need to know all the little things that stand between you and making a sale if you want to make more than a couple of conversions through your blog posts, case studies, webinars, videos, etc.
It’s imperative to know what your audience really likes about your brand and business, and what drives them away. Your prime objective here should be to find the holes in your sales funnel and fill them with content that proves to your targeted crowd that your products and services are beneficial to their business.
Every sales funnel has four stages:
- The awareness stage
- The consideration stage
- The sales stage
- The customer retention stage
The first stage is always about creating content that gets people to notice your brand. This is where you create all sorts of blog posts, use cases, cases studies, videos and basically everything that demonstrates your values and provokes interest.
The second stage is where you directly reach out to people who are considering doing business with you, but something is still holding them back. In this part of your funnel you can usually reach your goal and generate a few sales by targeting your leads with various comparison posts, success stories and cases studies that showcase that you’ve actually helped someone turn their business around.
Moving on down to the third part: the hard sell. The gloves are off in this part of the funnel. This is where you directly go for the conversion! The important thing to have in mind here is that if a certain customer has entered this stage of your funnel, he’s ready to buy. The only thing that still remains a mystery is what kind of product or service are you going sell. In this stage, the thing that could help you close the deal is usually a compelling, well placed call-to-action. Or maybe a free trial, powered by an intelligent copy.
And last, but not least, the customer retention phase. Why is this important? Because it’s a lot easier to sell your stuff to people that are already satisfied with what you offer. There are literally thousands of different things you could do here to build up your customer loyalty. We at Partner Factory usually feed our active customers with special mentions in your content, focus on quality and exclusive gifts. Believe it or not, nine times out of ten, these things close the deal.