Not All Content is the Same – Insights into Defining a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is center stage now in the world of B2B Marketing.  Countless studies show that more and more organizations are increasing their spend on content marketing, committing to content strategies and others are developing content teams.  However, many organizations are struggling to see much, if any, payback from their increased spend and efforts in content marketing.

Before organizations begin to paint their organizations with a very general content marketing “strategy” brush stroke, they would benefit greatly from understanding that not all content is created equal and just “investing more” or “having a strategy” does not equate to success.  Marketers must be sure to be very prescriptive in their approach to content marketing.

Let me explain further.

In looking at Demand Generation, there are specific content types that should be developed.  At ANNUITAS we look at three stages of content –  Engage, Nurture & Convert.

–          Engage Content is content designed to address the buyers top of mind issues, interests and frame their pain points.  This content is designed to begin the dialogue with the buyer.

–          Nurture Content is focused on moving past the top of mind issues and into more specific solution categories that match the buyers challenges and pain points.

–          Convert Content is solution-specific content and delivered at the point in time the buyer is through their purchase process.

While each of these content types is used in Demand Generation, the content in and of itself is different.  However many organizations are not differentiating which is preventing them from having true success.  According to the preliminary results of the ANNUITAS Enterprise Demand Generation Survey, only 29% of organizations align their content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey and only 38% develop content specifically for nurturing.  This means marketers are using general content for a specific purpose.  Unfortunately, with content relevance being so relevant today, this generic approach will simply will not work.

In addition to needing various content types for Demand Generation, the need for unique content does not stop there.  Organizations need to begin thinking about the content needed for brand, product marketing, promotional marketing, customer marketing, etc.  Each of these is unique in and requires specific and unique content.

Let’s circle back to Demand Generation to get a better understanding of why this is so essential.  The goal of Demand Generation is to intersect with the buyer at the time they begin their purchase process i.e. a “trigger”.  These triggers can be caused by an organizational shift, market condition or other factors.  It is at this point that specific content needs to be created to first Engage the buyer as detailed above.  However, there are many interactions a buyer may have with an organization before they move into a full-fledged buying cycle.  These interactions necessitate the need for relevant branding content.

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This means very different purposes necessitating very different content as the buyer is interacting in different ways with a different mindset at every stage.

As many marketers continue to look at ways to maximize their content and define their strategies, it is first necessary to understand what purpose the content will be used for, then the strategy can be defined and the content properly developed.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo is CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS.

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