A new study from Crain’s BtoB Magazine noted that 43 percent of B2B brands report a slowing sales cycle. Marketers can blame the world’s economic woes or the proliferation of web content as educational resources that make people more choosy, but the fact of the matter is promotional campaigns must evolve to adhere to emerging customer demands. Naturally, this puts added pressure on content marketers to show long-term ROI from their efforts in shorter reporting cycles.
“The survey results reaffirm that most B2B marketers still need to improve their online marketing mix to meet the needs of the sales pipeline, as over half stated,” VP and Publisher at Crain’s BtoB Magazine said.
In fact, just 40 percent of marketers say their promotional mix meets the needs of their companies’ sales pipelines. That means a significant percentage of brands aren’t effectively using content to generate leads. There’s simply no reason a business can’t produce enough media to fulfill every demand, and BtoB Magazine kindly pointed out some professional areas that still need a little help from content writers.
Content for lead generation: More planning equals more opportunity
The source found that 60 percent of B2Bs say their greatest marketing challenges is generating new leads, and 55 percent say they struggle to reach their target audiences. Companies may be producing a steady flow of media for their websites, but what’s the strategy behind their content calendars?
By looking at the keywords driving organic traffic back to branded pages, marketers can learn the phrases already being used by prospects and current customers, fueling future blog articles and news posts. Piquing consumers’ interest with savvy writing isn’t enough to generate leads or compel visitors to convert – subsequent posts must guide readers down the sales funnel to really have an impact. Therefore, create CTAs on every piece of content that are responsive to all audiences – not just the ones who are ready to buy.
Brand identity: Content sets companies apart
Today’s saturated marketplace makes it difficult to tell the difference between brand A and brand B. Seventy-nine percent of companies say that differentiating their services is a top priority, but 60 percent say they’re not satisfied with their efforts thus far. Content for SEO can prove effective in this situation by aligning a business with unique (and commonly searched) value props or product benefits. Brafton recently reported on a client success story that showed producing diverse landing pages, building secondary keyword strategies and publishing a different types of content can help a company spread its core values across the web and break into new markets.