Call it publicity, self-publishing or content marketing — the result is the same. Quality branded content reigns supreme across the digital platform, and marketers spend about a quarter of their budget on its development. Effective marketers spend 30 percent of their budget on content marketing. Less successful marketers only allocate 18 percent.
There are several reasons why B2B companies adopt content marketing. Most say better brand awareness, improved customer retention and recruitment, lead generation and increased web traffic are their top goals. In 2010, 9 out of 10 B2B marketers used content marketing to grow their business, according to a report from MarketingProfs and Junta42. This makes sense, given that a B2B brand doesn’t get to be No.1 unless buyers know its brand promise, performance capabilities and expertise.
On average, companies use eight content marketing tactics
The most popular tactics include social media (79 percent), articles (78 percent), in-person events (62 percent) and e-newsletters (61 percent). Additionally, corporate websites, ebooks, videos, podcasts and presentations are all weapons in the content marketing arsenal. And because these avenues are less expensive than other tactics, even small companies with limited budgets can leverage them to deliver branded content to their customers.
Marketers use the internet to syndicate branded content to thousands of prospects in seconds. Press releases, white papers and feature articles broaden your reach through search engines. Online publishers are in the loop, too, and ready to give you a voice on industry-specific websites and blogs.
The key to B2B branding success is to think like a publisher, not a marketer
The internet is a subtle medium where buyers are seeking information they can trust. Vendor-slanted, sales-driven content can result in a quick disconnect and departure of potential buyers. Buyers don’t want to be sold; they want to be informed in a believable way.
When it’s delivered in an efficient and engaging way, branded content can double or triple a company’s leads. How? It doesn’t sell a product, and it doesn’t sell a brand. But it does tell a story that displays a high level of expertise in solving industry challenges. This approach speaks to the integrity of the brand. It also helps the brand penetrate the industry and dominate the market’s mind.
Chris Henneghan is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.