Best-of-Breed Content Marketing

By: Joe Maglitta, Senior Director of Strategic Content

So 2013 nears, and content marketing is definitely no longer the new kid on the block. BtoB Intelligence recently found more than 89% of organizations surveyed plan to use content marketing next year. That’s a huge jump from just a few years ago.  It’s a clear sign, one of many, that marketer’s use of custom web sites, pubs, video, mobile apps, email newsletters, blogs, webinars and face to face events, info graphics is, as BtoB concludes, “ready for prime time.”

The key findings are a good reality check. In a nutshell, smart marketers know they need to move beyond product promotion and provide diverse content of real value to buyers.  Most goals are to lead generation (51%), brand awareness (38%), thought leadership (34%), sales and customer acquisition (29% each).  Social media is most common distribution channel, driving visitors to websites to gather information and trigger download and other engagements. Key takeaway: Get in or up your game.

But especially interesting is the analysis of best practices at “best of breed” content marketers. These are defined as organizations devoting 30% or more of their marketing budget to content marketing. As the survey found, this committed group enjoyed greater success with markedly different tools, methods and results.  While they resemble lower-performing peers in many areas (difficult in producing enough quality content), there are stroking differences.

So what are “best of breed” content marketing practices, according to BtoB?

1.  Use a different platform mix than lower performers/spenders

  • Social media (88% vs. 80%)
  • Articles (80% vs. 74%)
  • Enewsletters (79% vs. 65%)
  • Blogs (77% vs. 58%)
  • Case studies (70% vs. 58%)
  • Whitepapers 69% vs. 60%)
  • Videos (67% vs. 57%)

  • 2. Use Twitter as preferred method to distribute content

    Overall, content marketers consider Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn key distribution channels, in that order.

    But best-of breed content marketers strongly preferred Twitter (35%), followed by Linked In (25%). Facebook (18%) was nearly half as popular.

    3. Adopt a “Softer” Approach to Content Messaging

    Best of breed organizations recognize content marketing’s ability to boost brand trust, loyalty and engage conversation – all leading to brand devotion. In other words, softer sell messaging offering good value and objective counsel.

    4.  Keep Sales Goals in Mind

    It seems contradictory to the point above. But it’s pretty clear that top performing content marketers are top performers because of close coordination with sales and and tight focus on lead gen and driving revenue. Message soft, but with a hard goal clearly in mind.

    One last word.  I didn’t highlight so as not to seem too self serving. But best-of-breed content marketers and ordinary orgs both shared the same biggest challenges: Lack of resources to implement, producing engaging content, and producing enough content.

    That’s what we do. I’d be happy to chat. jmaglitta@slashdotmedia.com

    You can read more about the BtoB report here. http://www.btobonline.com/section/researchreports12

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