B2B marketers understand the value of developing a content marketing strategy, but when it comes to the creation and the syndication of content, they may be divided on where to spend their time. 86% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing, and 55% plan to increase content marketing spend in the next year. When it comes to the budget and the time you’ll spend on your marketing strategy, are you focusing more on content creation or content marketing? Are you aware of the key distinctions between the two?
To put it simply, content creation is content that is valuable and engaging to your audience. Content marketing is the distribution of your content to increase visibility and audience engagement. Think of content creation as writing in a journal, whereas content marketing is getting that journal entry published in the New York Times. Let’s discuss the differences below and how B2B marketers can use social media to enhance their content marketing strategy.
B2B marketers recognize that content is king in the field of marketing and many marketers make the mistake of thinking they need to produce the maximum volume of content with their available resources. Seventy percent of content marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago, but that doesn’t mean a larger engagement level. It is not about the volume, but about how well the content is produced and how interesting it is for your audience.
While 87% of B2B marketers use social media for content marketing, fewer marketers understand its potential for helping you create engaging content. Instead of content creation being fueled by the whims and opinions of your content team, it should be driven by real insights into what your social media audience is interested in.
There are a number of factors to consider when trying to create content that increases engagement:
- Identify the purpose of the content: Content can serve multiple purposes for your target audience – it can be educational, informative and/or entertaining. Most importantly, it should be easily digestible for the medium and showcase your brand as a thought leader. If done well, content creation will build trust with the customer over time. Consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. They are more likely to buy from a brand that they recognize and trust.
- Establish your target audience: Gain an understanding of your audience and the resources they will find valuable. Follow your prospects and customers on their preferred social networks to gain insights into what content they are consuming and what questions they have that your content could answer.
- Respond to Current Trends: While content may still be king, context is quickly rising in importance. Use social media streams to keep up to date on the current trends, news stories and technology that is affecting your industry so you can ensure your content is touching on the topics that are most important to your audience.
- Align your content with editorial calendar: Your content should not be siloed from your social media and overall company goals. Make sure the content you are creating aligns with your marketing strategy.
You can have compelling content created, but if you are not leveraging it properly, it could disappear into the depths of the internet. It could get lost in the average 6,000 tweets per second that occur, or just completely miss your audience. You want to be maximizing your brand’s online visibility while also attracting potential customers.
- Find where your audience is: Identify key platforms you will be using to tell your story and connect each one for a cohesive brand message. Through social listening, you can discover what type of content your audience is expecting on each platform. According to numbers from LinkedIn, 6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights—the most-demanded type of content among LinkedIn members. Thus, you should be providing your audience on LinkedIn education resources and trends.
- Maximize your content: Make the most use out of your content by extracting pieces of it for different platforms. For example, you may have written a great long blog that you are posting to your website. Be sure to post a clip of it to LinkedIn, but also post a visual with a quote from the blog over to Twitter or Facebook. You could even make a short clip from the piece. You’ll be speaking directly to each audience on the platform and catering to the type of content they are looking for on each specific platform.
- Drive engagement to the website: You want to maximize engagement, but you also want to increase conversions and leads. Make sure your message is clear and that people do not hit a wall when they access your content. Always create a next step for the audience to engage in to keep their interest and help convert leads.
- Supplement with paid options: If your company has the budget, you can syndicate your content through paid ads on social platforms. You can also leverage a PR team if you have one to push the articles directly to the media.
Content Creation & Content Marketing Together: A Cohesive Marketing Strategy
69% percent of content marketing lacks quality; on the other hand, valuable, high-researched content can go unnoticed. Your marketing content strategy needs to include a realistic amount of useful content you can produce, and also a reasonable amount of sources to syndicate the content to.
You cannot have successful content marketing without first having targeted and focused content creation. Your article would not be published in the New York Times without first taking the time to study your subject and create something valuable and engaging. A successful marketing strategy does not simply grow overnight, but takes time and testing with content and platforms to determine how best to target your audience.
Does your social media strategy make use of content creation and content marketing? How do you manage them both? Let us know in the comments below!