Content marketing involves connecting with buyers through unique, consistent and genuinely useful content. It taps into the idea that buyers no longer follow a linear journey to purchase and instead value an engaging, relationship-based approach. Marketers regularly debate the value of content marketing but there’s no doubting its popularity. Found in 88% of B2B marketing strategies worldwide, it’s lauded for being efficient, effective and highly adaptable to almost any business and industry.
Some common mistakes
A 2014 survey by Forrester found that more than half of B2B marketers rated their content marketing strategy as ‘very mature’, yet 87% also admitted that creating engaging content that connects with buyers is a significant challenge. This reveals a disconnect between the perceived potential of content marketing – and the reality. The same survey revealed three main mistakes marketers make – which may be why they value the techniques but undervalue the results of content marketing:
1. Focusing too much on the channel
Around 60% of marketers admitted producing content only on a campaign-by-campaign basis – which is a method that fails to tackle the whole customer experience. Just under half focused solely on ‘owned’ channels (their website, email and corporate social media profiles). Overall, the data showed that marketers hone in on acquisition over the rest of the customer journey.
2. Failing to make content a priority
If marketing’s job is to communicate with customers, advocates, influencers, and the wider world, content must be its principle vehicle. However, 72% of marketers surveyed said that less than half their department was devoted to content marketing activity. It follows, therefore, that marketing ends up revolving around more traditional techniques, and fails to make the most of content marketing’s potential for reaching and engaging target customers.
3. Breaking the connection between content and return on investment
Almost every marketer surveyed by Forrester said that content marketing was a priority, yet a staggering 85% ranked it as only somewhat effective – or less – at generating revenue, retaining customers, or creating lasting loyalty. When asked to evaluate their last 12 months of content marketing activity, less than 15% gave their strategies and practices good marks for return on investment.
Diversifying your strategy
Gartner predicted that, by 2016, gamification would become the norm for marketers looking to generate brand engagement and customer loyalty. Gamified environments may have one up on other types of content in that they drive customer motivation. If designed and delivered well, gamification could lead to empowered, educated customers who will want to engage with you and your products time and time again.
That’s why we developed Simulcation Datacenter. Connect with your customers at every stage of their lifecycle by becoming an advertising partner. Through unobtrusive native advertising and featured products, new customers will experience your offerings as a natural part of their virtual experience, clicking through to learn more and purchase. You’ll also get a set number of ‘sponsored users’, depending on your subscription tier. These are accounts you can assign to your staff, partners and customers, together with a custom leaderboard to foster even greater engagement and lasting loyalty.
Experience the power of a new form of content marketing – contact us about becoming a partner.