While content marketing is not easy, it represents a crucial method for drawing and engaging prospects and customers. Content marketing is the key way to create engagement with the social consumers who start their information journey on Google – as a matter of fact, Google handles close to 18 billion searches a month in the US alone, with 20% of these searches for information that has never been searched for before. So it is no wonder that nine in 10 B2B organizations report marketing with content – regardless of company size or industry, according to B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, an annual survey report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
As companies struggle to create compelling content and justify the ROI of content marketing, success stories such as IBM’s Midsize Insider help demonstrate the true power of generating content to connect and engage with prospective customers. With the launch of IBM’s Midsize Insider news site, IBM effectively targets a large potential customer demographic: IT professionals and business owners of small and midsize companies. Using the Skyword Content Production platform and relying on articles written by leading industry experts, this website is driving favorable business results for IBM. Since launching in early 2012, Midsize Insider has received more than 176,000 visitors and averages a click-through rate of 1.2% to the IBM Solutions site. (To learn more about how IBM approaches content marketing, you can listen to our free webinar recording – Kick-start Your Content Marketing with Leslie Reiser of IBM and Paul Gillin)
So how do marketers follow the IBM example and kick –start their content marketing program? Here are six tips from the industry pros:
- Understanding the industry, topic and customer will allow you to identify the content gaps that your brand can successfully bridge. –Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist, Intel
- The visual appeal of great-looking content will continue to rise in popularity and momentum. Sites like Pinterest have demonstrated the value consumers place in visually appealing content. Integrating photos, videos and infographics in to content marketing strategies will continue to soar this year. –Jamie Pappas, Principle and founder, Pappas Advisors
- Experiment first and expand once you know what works.–Mike Lewis, VP of Sales and Marketing, Awareness, Inc.
- Go beyond the surface metrics like followers, likes and Klout. Instead, measure how deeply your users engage with your content and website. Encourage deep, repeated engagement through calls-to-action.–Leslie Poston, Founder, Magnitude Media
- Look for companies in your industry that are doing a great job with content marketing. Study their approaches and see what resonates with you and your brand. –C.C. Chapman, Author of Content Rules, Founder, Digital Dads
- If you took all your content and removed them from your industry, would anyone notice? If not, you have a problem. –Joe Pullizi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
For more key insights and best practices from industry insiders, download our latest eBook: Seven Steps of Kick-Start Your Content Marketing: Advice from Industry Pros. You will learn how to define content marketing objectives, develop your content strategy, create process and choose the right technology infrastructure, and how to cross-promote and measure the success of your content marketing program. Big thanks to all industry experts who contributed to our white paper.
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