5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing

Content marketing is a major current trend in B2B marketing. While in 2013 91% of B2B marketers stated that they were using content marketing in their client acquisition efforts, in 2014 that percentage has risen to 93%.

While the concept of creating and sharing content (e.g. videos, white papers, or infographics) to acquire and retain customers is not totally new, it doesn’t’ mean that you should just assign these efforts to an unpaid intern or an overwhelmed account manager. To help you to get started or implement some tweaks on your content marketing strategy, here are 5 important points to consider.

1. Track and Use Data

“Reach” and “awareness” are very fuzzy concepts. To be successful in content marketing you need to be more specific than that. It is important that all of your online efforts are properly formatted to track views, clicks, or downloads, as applicable. For example, if you release a white paper at your site, here are some sample metrics that you need to keep track of:

  • sources of traffic (internal vs external)
  • pageviews per source
  • number of “bounces” per source
  • time spent on site
  • number of attempts to download white paper (if applicable)
  • number of successful downloads of white paper

The idea is that your white paper and the page hosting the white paper should be a work in progress that can be refined as necessary, and that provide learnings for the next release.

2. Documentation

It is not only necessary to have data about any campaign, but also to keep an overview of all campaigns. The Content Marketing Institute indicates that 49% of B2B marketers don’t have a documented strategy and 6% are unsure about having one. If you’re part of this 55%, then this is a major issue that your team needs to address.

By not having documentation, you’re unsure whether or not your campaigns are successful. Keep track of the performance of your campaigns throughout the appropriate timeframe (e.g. months, quarters). It is a good idea to include content marketing reports into the customer profile of your contract management system so that your staff can have talking points with clients during meetings and be aware of what are the more efficient pieces of content for specific clients.

 3. Prepare Content for the Mobile Web

Data from the Pew Research Center indicates that as of January 2014, 58% of Americans have a smartphone and 60% of them use it to access the Internet. This is why you need to optimize the loading speed of your site and, especially, of the page holding your content. Research from Microsoft has found that a site needs to load 250 millisecond faster than its rival for a user to stay.

The mobile Web is not going away any time soon. Over 63% of Millenials access the Internet from mobile devices, meaning that your content needs to adapt to those smaller, tactile screens.

4. Less Words is More

We know that smartphones are reducing our attention spans more and more. The bad news: our online attention spans were already very small. A 2008 study shows that on the average Web page, people read about 28% of words during the average visit, and that 20% is a more likely percentage.

This means that you need to spend a good amount of time compressing down your message to the purse essentials for the reader to complete an action. You want to pay particular attention to the headline, so here is a great article on writing irresistibly titles. Why? Because 8 out 10 people will only read the headline.

5. Invest Enough Time in Outreach

You need to invest just as much time in promoting your content as you did in creating it. Industry experts suggest investing one hour in promotion for every hour in production.

Outreach to media outlets, authors, and bloggers is a necessary step that could be included as a task in your contract lifecycle in your enterprise contract management system. You could assign outreach tasks among your team so that the work can be complete more efficiently in a shorter amount of time, and create email alerts to staff for upcoming campaigns.

Takeaway

To jumpstart your content marketing strategy, you need to track and use data, document all campaigns,  optimize content for the mobile Web, boil down copy to the bare essentials, and invest one hour in outreach for every hour in content production.

Image Credit: Top Rank Online Marketing