By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet
Content marketing has gained prominence as a critical marketing tactic in this age of ever-expanding digital media channels. Its value can be seen in:
- Lead Generation. The most appreciated connection between marketing and sales. Content marketing can help nurture the very cold newcomer all the way to the very engaged advocate. It paves the way for a sales call.
- Thought Leadership. Content marketing can give SME’s within a company exposure to the entire target market and confirm authority of the person, the company, and the product.
- Key Use Cases. Highlighting successful implementations engages the curious, creates trust among prospecting, and strengthens relationships with customers.
Building an Effective Content Marketing Program for B2B Businesses
When systematically planned and implemented, a content marketing program attracts, engages, and retains an audience in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. Content can establish expertise, promote brand awareness, and differentiate your product or service in buyers’ minds in the buying process.
Because B2B sales and marketing are always intertwined and interdependent, it’s important to appreciate how a coordinated effect to build a content marketing strategy increases the quality and quantity of leads and promotes engagement with a targeted audience.
Too many times, marketing and sales chart their own paths without appreciating the insight and ideas available to them from the other. Too many times content marketers haven’t been clear about what they do, and how they can help. Likewise, too many times confident salespeople will overlook the value of marketing and an inter-departmental strategy.
Driving the Sales Pipeline
A B2B sales goal of content marketing is to drive the pipeline, that is, filling and assimilating leads in the sales funnel. That begins with the overall marketing task of monitoring customer and competitive behavior in an ever-changing business environment.
This effort to understand the targeted user has led to a focus on data as technology allows more real-time data collection. Where marketing once worried about advertising cost-per-thousand, or awareness or perceptual studies, marketing today aggregates SEO, SEM, PPC, and Google Analytics to provide a more thorough targeted user profile.
Collecting and analyzing user behavior data to transform behavior into relevant content enhances targeted content development, it is only part of the picture for creating sales-qualified leads.
Sales + Marketing = A Complete Customer Profile
Content marketing helps sales teams by paving the way for a prospect sales call before they get the call. But sales insight can improve any data-driven effort by identifying specific needs, questions, and interests of customers and prospects.
A strong partnership between Sales and Marketing ensures that content delivery and sales funnel activity are always getting better. It can prevent a less effective siloed experience, and lead to a healthy, scalable funnel.
I welcome feedback, questions, suggestions, experiences and differing points of view. Just give me a call at 610–585-0801 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.