"Content is king". Ok, maybe is the cheesiest and most obvious way to start this blog post, but the reality is that today content is really one of the main marketing strategies that B2B companies use.
Even though nowadays audiences face a massive quantity of different types of content and they become even customers thanks to this kind of strategy, the life of a content marketer is not easy. Finding new strategies in order to delight your Buyer Personas, being in a constant disagreement with senior figures who still choose outbound marketing strategies is pretty tough at the end of the day. But let's start with some stats that confirm that content marketing is still a winning strategy today.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Demandmetric)
- 48% of smaller organizations have a documented content strategy, compared to only 41% of larger organizations. (CMI)
- 58% of marketers said, “original written content” is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos. (Social Media Examiner)
- 69% of marketers say content is superior to direct mail and PR. (Custom Content Council)
This article is meant to highlight the main type of content your Buyer Personas might want to see, the benefits of a good content strategy and some tips and tricks on how to build one. Ready? Let's jump in!
3 Types of content your Buyer Personas are looking for
If you've missed it, we've already discussed what a Buyer Persona is, but here is a little recap: a Buyer Persona is a fictional character that endorses all the psycho-demographic features of your ideal customer. He/She has a name, a background, hobbies, needs, and doubts you have to solve through the development of content he/she might be looking for.
Obviously, the most suitable type of content for you as a marketing manager depends on your Buyer Persona, your KPIs and the industry you're trying to conquer. But let's have a look at some types of content.
- Blog Posts. Blogging is a crucial part of a content strategy, mainly because it helps the ranking of your website and a consequential ranking of your brand. But be careful, it doesn't mean that you have to blog on a daily basis without anything relevant to say. Blog around topic clusters in order to avoid being redundant and aim to become a relevant source of useful content.
- E-books and whitepapers. These ones are most likely to be "premium" content. The ones that you make download to your audience, in order to collect qualified leads. This kind of content might be a case study of your company or even a checklist with some useful tips for your readers.
- Visual content. Here it opens a huge spectrum of possibilities. Nowadays, the attention span of each one of us is extremely low because of the huge amount of information we are exposed to on a daily basis. Keep in mind that on YouTube most users skip a video after 10 seconds. Infographics and videos are the new rise of content marketing and investing in some good animations and graphics skills might make the difference for your marketing success.
- Conversational content. Social media networks more than ever have become customer support platforms. Having a community manager that monitors and listens to your online audience, providing relevant information and solving doubts is fundamental to the success of your brand. Millennials and Gen Z are most likely to choose a product or a service that has a proven track of social media presence.
Content marketing FOR your Buyer Personas: here are some benefits
We won't talk about pros such as SEO optimization and a better customer experience as we've already discussed these topics in other blog posts (check them out by the way). We'll focus on other aspects such as building relationships and supporting other departments of your company thanks to content marketing. Let's have a look.
Attract qualified leads
After building your Buyer Persona and knowing what exactly your potential customers are looking for, developing a relevant content strategy around these elements will be easier than ever. People online want to see and consume what they want to and you have the incredible opportunity to develop engaging content now more than ever. After all, conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%) (Aberdeen).
Still not quite sure how to develop your Buyer Persona? Download our free template and start today!
Longer customer retention
Exactly. Even after closing a deal, continuing to propose valuable content might extend the lifetime value of your customers. It's a great way to introduce new features of your product or services or even to distribute personalized content for your current customers, such as promotions and so on. Remember that the Buyer's Journey doesn't end after the purchase of your product or service.
Content marketing is a great way to make your customers valuable ambassadors and promoters of your brand.
Case studies, interviews, and social media posts are some of the content you might think about for this purpose.
Reusing your content in the future
To continue with the opening quote: "Content is king... but distribution is queen."
When you develop a piece of content you should also consider if you can reuse it in the future. In fact, we can classify content into 2 different macro groups:
- Evergreen. The term says it all. This type of content will last in time and you'll be able to redistribute it even in the future. This is an extremely useful tip, especially while developing content that takes a lot of time and resources, such as promotional videos and case studies.
- Newsjacking. You basically ride the wave and it is an important part of your content strategy. Being a reliable source of content, posting updated and trending information is crucial and it works amazingly for social media and blog posts.
Support your sales team
The idea of inbound marketing is not being interruptive. And it's not only about your marketing strategy but it's also relatable for Sales. Cold callings and random emails don't work anymore if you want to interact with prospects and target accounts bringing some tangible results. The content you produce is also useful for your salespeople who can propose it to get the ball rolling. One of the key features of Inbound Marketing is to be helpful and solve problems. Let's make an example. One of you salespeople targets a prospect. Besides cold calling, he/she might send an email with your most recent blog post that perfectly summarizes the answers to the doubts of that specific prospect, offering also some useful tips.
Content Marketing: some tips
- Less is more. "Talk" only when you have something to say. We've seen it here: you have to be reliable and posting randomly is surely a meaningless strategy.
- Redistribute your content. You spend so much time and effort on your content and people has to see it as much as possible. One specific blog post performed better than the others? Include it in your next editorial calendar again or spend a few dollars on FB Ads. It's worth it.
You still aren't quite sure where to start with you content strategy? Start with building your ideal Buyer Persona. Download our free template and develop a kick-starter inbound strategy!