When it comes to 1:1 human interactions, perception is reality. Intention means little; the way in which you deliver a message — be it solemn condolences or boisterous congratulations — is what the other person experiences. But in the competitive world of B2B marketing, the reverse is true; what you have to say matters more to buyers than how you say it.
Forrester Research’s 2016 B2B Marketing Mix Survey took a look at the types of programs and campaign tactics available to marketers and asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of their budget choices for brand building and demand generation. One tactic stood out among the others: content marketing. In fact, content marketing stood alone as the most popular and most effective tactic in Forrester’s survey, with the company website and in-person events coming in second and third, respectively.
While content is generally considered the foundation for every campaign tactic or program approach, pigeonholing it as such underscores its premier importance to achieving a productive B2B marketing mix.
Events are more expensive than an E-book, blog post and email campaign — combined. In-person events can’t reach as many people and aren’t nearly as accessible to an online audience. Company websites have become scrolling storage units for products, services and contact information. We’ve moved into the realm of social media–first brand-customer engagement. If your flight’s delayed, you Tweet the airline a complaint. You can “check in” at your local bookstore on Facebook. What you don’t do is go through a company’s website when you need immediate assistance or want to share an experience with others.
Stretch Your Content Efforts Further
One of the first steps you should take to make better use of your company’s content, and make sure it’s accessible to everyone in the company to share and repurpose, is adopt a centralized content asset and measurement system. Without a central repository and a way to effectively measure content, you’re essentially creating a ton of maybe-relevant, one-off content without a way to share or repurpose it. And that’s a big maybe.
Forrester tells us that centralizing the tools marketers use to develop, share and track their content creates some cross-channel cohesion automatically. There are a number of tools and content marketing platforms that work to pull content creation, storage and distribution together. If you’re thinking of investing in a solution that makes cross-channel development easier, you’re on the right track. A tool, platform, or some combination of the two that allows your content to be curated, stored and used by teams across your organization is a smart investment — and a surefire way to see the best return possible on high-quality content.
Jiordan Castle is the Managing Editor at Appirio. She specializes in customer experience, employee engagement and innovative cloud technologies. Before she moved into tech marketing and research, she worked in insurance and academia.