has proven itself time and time again as an effective marketing tool, but like all tools, it can only deliver results when utilised properly. Sending out reams of correspondence without considering the appeal of the content could potentially lead to lower click-through rates, increased opt-outs and in the worst scenarios – damage a company’s reputation among its target audience. So how can B2B marketers make sure their content is appealing?
According to Kate Adamson, a branding and media specialist at Stark Moore MacMillan, content is a key driver of engagement in the online arena. She advised putting the target audience at the heart of marketing campaigns. However, she also advocated utilising a mesh of content and channels to achieve optimisation.
With more and more platforms opening up, Ms Adamson acknowledged that it is hard for the largest companies to decide where to deploy their marketing efforts and is nigh-impossible for smaller companies to properly calculate the return on investment in this area.
Despite this fact, she lauded the opportunities for SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) looking to promote themselves digitally – noting the myriad of free options available to such firms that allow them to compete with their bigger counterparts. Ms Adamson was particularly vocal about the benefits of Twitter for companies, but warned that failure to back up a campaign on this medium with ongoing engagement and killer content could limit its success.
Similar advice was offered by advertising expert and professional speaker Philip Hesketh, who, in a recent interview, claimed…
…the key to his startlingly low email unsubscribe rate – which stood at less than one per cent – was timely, relevant and interesting communication. He advised that going the extra mile with these criteria can help a company stand out from the crowd.
Businesses were also encouraged to use email marketing
in conjunction with their campaigns on other channels by Mark Brownlow, founder of information portal Email Marketing Reports. He suggested utilising this medium to promote social media pages, noting that email’s ubiquitous nature is one of its key advantages.
The statistics certainly seem to back up this view, with Eloqua’s Grande Guide to B2B Content Marketing displaying the weight companies are giving to eNewsletters, article posting and social media.
When deciding where to concentrate their content campaigns, companies are well advised to invest some time in researching the online behaviour of their target audience. One potential source is Ruder Finn’s Intent Index, an ongoing research study that offers an in-depth look at the motivations behind people’s online activities.
Figures from the report clearly show that learning is one of the key drivers of online behaviours, whether it is of an educational or informational nature. Therefore, companies might want to focus their efforts on producing their own content – promoting their status as experts in their respective fields – or alternatively, curating interesting information from other sources in their sector.
One advocate of this approach is Marina Lumley, an independent marketing consultant who spoke about B2B marketing strategies on behalf of target360 at the recent TFM&A (Technology for Marketing and Advertising) event in Manchester.
She noted that people often approach creating their own content with trepidation and suggested thinking through the potential topics that could be covered before putting pen to paper can help make this process easier.
It is paramount that companies do not take a half-hearted approach to their content and avoid being overly self-promotional. However, content is still a means to an end and once companies have engaged their target audience through this medium, an enticing call to action is a must-have for those looking to boost their click-through rate and conversions.