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Part 2 – Continuing the Steps Toward Successful B2B Content Marketing

According to a survey conducted by The Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Unfortunately, out of that 91%, there is still a large contingency of B2B marketers (36%) who are unsure of its effectiveness.

So where is the gap? What is this 36% missing that the others are not, and how can they ensure that their content marketing strategies are effective?

In Part 1 – The First Steps to Successful B2B Content Marketing, establishing goals and determining target audiences were shown as the first steps toward successful content marketing. Once this is done, organizations can begin customizing the strategies and tactics that will be most effective in reaching those goals and target audiences.

Effective Tactics

The use of content marketing tactics is on the rise with content marketers now using an average of 12 tactics, with videos and mobile content experiencing the greatest increase in usage.

B2B confidence-gap-chartTop five tactics selected by content marketers:

  • In-person events (67%)
  • Case studies (64%)
  • Webinars/webcasts (61%)
  • Blogs (59%)
  • Videos (42%)

Marketers should use an integrated approach with a wide range of tactics in order to most effectively reach their target audiences. These five are a good start, but don’t forget to use up-and-coming tactics like mobile content and social media.

For example, Optum, an intelligent solutions company in the health care industry, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of their new accountable care solution. They used multiple content marketing tactics to reach their target audiences including advertorials, display advertising, email, direct mail and a campaign site. The use of this integrated tactics approach resulted in a 23.5% lead-to-conversion rate, 475% increase in web traffic (10,500 unique new visitors), 2,575 resource downloads, 648 video views, 28% year-over-year increase in blog followers, and a $52 million total contract value on a less than $1 million investment. Optum was also the recipient of the 2013 Killer Content Marketing Thought Leadership Award.

Elements of Effective Content

Unfortunately, it won’t matter what tactics an organization uses, or who receives the information, if the content is not effective.

Top five elements of effective content selected by content marketers (According to an Optify survey):

Optify Content Marketing Chart Large

  • Compelling story telling (81.5%)
  • Originality (52.6%)
  • Customized content (49.2%)
  • Well edited copy (38.5%)
  • Professional writing (38.3%)

It takes a specific type of person, with excellent writing and research skills, to create content for his or her organization. This person should be able to think creatively and analytically to ensure that he or she is attracting and engaging with the target audiences.

Raytheon, a defense technology company, created a corporate content team to ensure the content they send out is engaging and effective. “[N]ot only do I have to get content to a Hill staffer, but I have to convince them my content is worthy of sharing,” Corinne Kovalsky, Raytheon Director of Digital and Social Media, explains. “No amount of social media prowess will make up for bad content.”

The keys to successful B2B content marketing are establishing the organization’s goals, determining who the target audience is, customizing your content to fit the needs of that audience, using an integrated approach with a wide range of tactics to reach that audience and using effective elements of content to keep that audience engaged. By following these guidelines and customizing them to fit an organization’s needs, B2B marketers can experience success with content marketing.

In case you missed it, be sure to read Content With Your Content? Part 1 – The First Steps to Successful B2B Content Marketing.

Posted by: Marcus W. Creel – Public Relations Intern with The Cirlot Agency

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