And what you can do about it
First the bad news: a lot of the time, content marketing just doesn’t work.
Now for the good news: we know why and what you can do to make your content more effective.
A recent study by research company Forrester found that just 14 per cent of business-to-business companies believed their content marketing efforts were “very effective” at delivering business value.
A little over half said their efforts were “somewhat effective” and the rest were either neutral or ineffective.
On the face of it, this suggests that we should all pack up and go home.
But a closer look reveals there is hope.
It turns out that most B2B companies who think they’re doing content marketing aren’t really doing it at all.
Forrester says about 80 per cent of B2B websites focuss primarily on themselves, mostly with information on their products and features. That’s just advertising disguised as a blog or an infographic, and breaches the most important tenet of content marketing: don’t talk about yourself.
The only thing this sort of content is likely to achieve is a yawn.
what to do
Real content marketing is about providing customers with interesting and useful information, which canvasses difficulties they might be facing and offers ideas about how to overcome them, or which keeps them abreast of developments in their industry.
That sort of content will do two things, both of which will increase the effectiveness of your content marketing.
First, it will build you business’ credibility and expertise, ultimately leading to customer trust.
Second, if the content is executed well, it will start bringing traffic to your website and attracting social media shares from customers – and ultimately even build you an audience.
Producing content that responds to your customers’ interests and concerns is a lot harder than bashing out a couple of hundred words about your products or services.
But it pays dividends. So give it a go.