We estimate that up to 70% of the investment in producing content is wasted. From a marketing investment perspective this is a disaster. There are a number of reasons that contribute to this failure. Chief among them are:
• The fact that content is frequently produced, and then not utilized, or under utilized. A lot of the time it is buried somewhere on a website where no one will ever find it.
• Content is not formatted correctly for the channel in which it is deployed
• Content is just not developed in a way that it is interesting to the audience
The final factor is something that we encounter with clients every day. Their natural inclination can be to focus on developing a message around their brand, and getting it out there in the way that they did with traditional marketing. The fact is that this way of communicating, the push method, really doesn’t work any more. Brands really need to communicate in a way that that pulls audiences towards them with by educating, rewarding or entertaining them.
So, when we look at content strategy for our B2B clients at Cut to the Content we really focus clients on 3 brutally simple ideas:
1. Hold the sell.
As most readers are looking to learn more about a topic, do not start bombarding them with promotional jabber. Content sharing focuses on engaging them through quality articles packed with valuable insights to encourage them to learn more. Remember, in the sales process it takes anywhere between three and thirteen interactions for a prospect to turn into a qualified lead, so starting a “social conversation” with a sales pitch baked in will chase away potential customers, so the goal is to get them to stick around to learn something.
2. Think of your audience, not your product.
When creating and sharing content, always prioritize an audience first approach. What would the readers want to learn more about? What obstacles are they encountering and how can you overcome those? When you tap into your prospects’ needs and issues, you can create content that they can align themselves to and encourages them to continue the education process.
Publish helpful content on a consistent basis will give readers a reason to visit your blog time after time. Becoming a go-to resource is critical to building up followers and readers. We also suggest that carefully offering a white paper, e-book or case study to visitors is a way to gain more in-depth information.
As brands increase their investment into content marketing, they need to remember that telling is not selling so put your audience’s interests before your own. Content will only grow in quantity on the web, and the way to avoid content blindness and do it right is never use sales pitches disguised as articles. Instead they should focus on sharing their expertise and insights. Always write to benefit the reader. As time progresses readers will take note of their genuine approach to offering solutions and then will be happy to engage with the sales process.