3 B2B content marketing strategies that work

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Research-backed
By Annabel Hodges, contributor. 26 February, 2019
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Over two-thirds of respondents to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America survey say they are extremely/very committed to content marketing; with 50% expecting budgets to increase in 2019. Given this commitment to the content marketing cause, we break down some key learnings for global finance marketers looking to follow suit.

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1. Your audience is key to your B2B content marketing success

Almost all of the most successful B2B content marketers (90%) say they prioritise the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message, compared with 56% of the least successful.

3 B2B content marketing strategies

Content marketers ‘know’ good content doesn’t prioritise the sales message – but when budget and time pressure’s come into play it’s easy to fall into that trap. Building authenticity and impact across your content is a long game, with strong advocates and cross-channel promotion being key to success. Well-researched personas can help teams create successful content, however, only 42% of content marketers are actually talking with customers to understand their needs and build out these personas in the first place. Investing in more interaction and feedback with your customers could lead to clearer insights and improved results.

Meanwhile, 75% of the most successful respondents also say their organisation places importance on building relationships with influencers (e.g: brand advocates and journalists) while only 45% of the least successful do – again demonstrating that building credibility with a genuine voice is vital. These stats are also backed up by earlier research by Demand Gen Report which found 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.

The most successful B2B content marketers (90%) prioritise the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message.

2. A documented content strategy has a direct impact on success

The most successful content marketers are much more likely to be working to a documented content marketing strategy, with 65% doing so compared to 14% of the least successful.

The key learning here for finance marketers is that it only works if you actively document the strategy, as opposed to agreeing to work to a strategy without clearly tracking it. There are clearly many significant benefits to actively documenting a clear content strategy with the survey identifying the biggest impacts as:

  • Aligning the team around a common mission or goal (81%)
  • Making it easier to determine which types of content to develop (81%)
  • Keeping the team focused on documented priorities (73%)
  • Helping the team to allocate resources to optimise desired results (68%)
  • Providing clarity on the targeted audience (67%)
  • Creating accountability (65%)
  • Making it easier to identify which metrics to focus on (52%)

3. Technology is a necessity, not a luxury

Content marketing is no longer a ‘fluffy’ marketing platform for the B2B marketer. Key insights require technology investment, and the impact this investment makes is highlighted in the survey results.

Analytics tools, marketing automation tools and workflow/project management tools all contribute significantly to successful B2B content marketing, with 63% of the most successful marketers using some form of marketing automation technology as compared to 39% of the least successful.

3 B2B content marketing strategies

Unfortunately, according to a report by Nielsen, 74% of CMOs have little to no confidence they have the right technology in place to achieve their marketing goals, suggesting there is still a way to go to crack the right content marketing technology mix.

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Originally hailing from the UK, Sydneysider Annabel is a digital marketer with over a decade's experience working with global agencies and brands. A data and spreadsheet aficionado, she recently swapped SEO for motherhood and we eagerly await the analytics report! She is also maternally bilingual in French and English and speaks fluent Spanish.