What are the best content options for your business?
For B2B companies, content marketing is a vehicle that connects you to your target audience. It's the GPS buyers use to find you.
Unfortunately, few of us have the resources or budget to produce an ongoing stream of frequent and varied forms of information. So if you have to choose, which forms of content produce the best outcomes?
The Best Content Options
Are there really one size fits all options that make sense for any company? In reality, the best content options depend on a number of factors. For example:
- Do you have an established base of customers or is developing that base more important?
- Are you targeting a few large account opportunities or transactional business?
- Which information channels does your audience use today?
But whether you have a strong base of customers, spend most of your time prospecting, or if target accounts are a priority, these are three can't miss options that should be part of your content marketing plan. Especially if you are short on time and resources.
The best customers are your current customers. In fact, according to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a current customer is 60 - 70%. Prospects, on the other hand, only 5% - 20%. An effective newsletter delivers useful information to your audience. Information that helps them:
- Do their job better
- Eliminate pain points
- Make them aware of solutions they weren't thinking about
Although you undoubtedly have loyal customers who know you and know your company, no one remembers everything you do. Newsletters are the perfect platform to deliver useful information that keeps your capabilities top of mind.
Newsletters Attract Prospects
Plus, if you have valuable information, newsletters influence prospects that are learning about you and your capabilities. A sign up form on your website and other promotional tactics will encourage interested prospects to opt in. Although this doesn't signal a need to purchase it does create an opportunity to build a relationship.
Newsletters provide multiple benefits. They educate your audience as they formulate purchasing decisions. In addition, they build your brand. A well written, informative and consistently delivered newsletter conveys a positive message and is another way to keep your company top of mind.
In the commercial print business, samples sell. If a client wants to see your capabilities in action, you show them samples.
What's the electronic version of samples? A case study.
Your audience doesn't understand your capabilities like you do. A real life example makes it easier for a prospect to visualize how your products and services can work for them. Plus, it's far easier to show how your capabilities deliver value vs. expecting a prospect to figure it out for themselves.
In addition, an effective case study demonstrates how your products and services fit a prospects needs. And, as buyers narrow down the field of potential suppliers, it elevates you from consideration to contender.
But, a case study only works if it passes the "so what" test. Which means, when you describe your solution if you can't answer "so what" with a tangible, meaningful response, you need to rethink the content.
Furthermore, for best results, case studies should include:
- Information that relates to your audience needs
- A story progresses from start to finish
- Real data
- The overarching strategy
A kin to newsletters, blog posts provide numerous benefits to both your audience and your company. If newsletters are the dates that build relationships, a blog is the dating site that connects you to others who have a similar profile.
For example, blogs educate, build understanding and demonstrate how your capabilities fit your audience needs. And, when the posts address the challenges your ideal customers face, they are likely to be found online by prospects who need those solutions.
Plus, search engines value fresh content. There's no better way to deliver fresh content, that both search engines and your audience values than through the consistent effective information delivered through your blog. And, when you provide value and answer the questions that your ideal customer's are asking, it's more likely that the prospects who don't know you, but need what you do, will find you.
|Need help identifying and
targeting your ideal customer?Download the Content Tool Set
But that's not all. Blogs rank near the top of the trusted sources, that buyers formulating a purchasing decision, look for. And now that the majority of pre purchase research takes place without prospective vendor interaction, blogs are even more important.
Slice, Dice & Repurpose The Best Content Options
With a limited staff and budget, newsletters, case studies and blogs represent some of your best content options. However, when you have great content of any kind, you can take it and repurpose for other channels.
For instance, a case study is perfect for your website. And, publishing it in your newsletter is another good option. Plus, your good blog post may be ideal for a trade publication or company that targets your same ideal customer, that's not a competitor, to use.
Now it's up to you. Developing and executing a regular newsletter, blog or case studies require planning and a commitment. But, distributing effective content will strengthen your relationship with current customers and connect you with new prospects. And most importantly, grow your business.
InterEdge Marketing develops content marketing strategies that allow you to reach your ideal customer and convert more prospects into buyers.