The Future Of Business To Business Marketing Summed Up In Two Words: Content Marketing
While generating leads remains the number one objective for business to business marketing folks, the method by which they are generating those leads is shifting as more business to business marketers move toward Content Marketing as a tactic. But the road to successful Content Marketing is paved with many challenges.
The results of a survey conducted by HiveFire this past August revealed that Content Marketing is changing the way business to business marketers operate. In fact twice as many business to business marketers use Content Marketing than they do print, tv and radio advertising. And Content Marketing is even more popular than search marketing, events marketing and public relations.
Ok, so we know that Content Marketing is clearly the most visible item on the business to business marketer's radar. And they like to use Content Marketing as a marketing tactic to mainly engage customers/prospects (82%) and of course drive sales (55%). But they also seem to like Content Marketing because it doesn't cost them too much money, hence the fact that while Content Marketing is obviously very important to them, only half of dedicate les than 30% of their budgets to it.
However, there are challenges they face in generating a consistent supply of Content Marketing material, not the least of which is time.
So let's recap, shall we...
We know Content Marketing is very hot right now among business to business marketers. We know they like this marketing tactic because it A) helps engage prospects/customers and B) doesn't cost all that much compared to other marketing tactics. We also know that business to business marketers, like everyone else in the world, don't have enough time in their day to do all the things they want to do.
To me business to business marketers have two choices when it comes to Content Marketing and overcoming the challenge of not enough time.
- Work with an agency who will provide you with all the content you need on a daily, weekly, basis. An agency that will get to know your customers as well as you do for after all, this is about them, not you. Working with an agency will help offset the lack of time you have to commit to Content Marketing and will free you up to focus on other priorities.
- Use the materials you already have "lying around." Believe it not you have a wealth of information you use every day that would make for great fodder for Content Marketing such as information you can glean from sales fliers and presentations, annual reports, user manuals, customer service manuals, charts, and on and on. Just position it as a value added service you're providing to your prospects and customers. Use the information from the aforementioned items as a way to educate your prospects and customers on ALL that you do for chances are there are some products and services that they may not even know you offer which could of course lead to more sales opportunities for you.
Ok, business to business marketers, what do you think of all this? How do you use Content Marketing? Is time an obstacle and if so how do you deal with the lack of it?