You see the phrase content marketing everywhere these days. So much so, it almost feels overused.
But the concept behind content marketing is solid, especially as digital-native Millennials now represent more than 60% of B2B tech buyers. According to Demand Gen Report’s 2022 Content Preferences Survey, a whopping 72% of buyers have engaged with more than three pieces of content before they contact Sales. When asked what type of content they consumed, respondents cited:
So, content marketing is essential, but there is a bit of science to executing it well. What vehicle is best for what type of content? What do these options look like in action?
WHAT IS IT? A deeper dive into a topic, designed to address a specific market need.
GOOD WHEN YOU WANT TO: Explain how your product or service addresses a clear need.
DO: Include information and/or perspective readers can’t get anywhere else.
DON’T: Make it too copy-dense. That’s called a whitepaper.
TIP: These are great to offer free in exchange for someone subscribing to your mailing list.
WHAT IS IT? A “Here’s the proof” communication that can take several different forms.
GOOD WHEN YOU WANT TO: Add credibility and validity to your brand.
DO: Boil it down to the essence to avoid bogging the case study down.
DON’T: Use a case study you’re not prepared to defend under questioning from prospects.
TIP: If getting clearance to use a client’s name is problematic, you can anonymize it without undermining credibility.
WHAT IS IT? A deeper dive into a technology, an industry trend, or shared challenges.
GOOD WHEN YOU WANT TO: Highlight a clear problem only you can solve, promote your thought leadership, boost credibility via a third party (like Gartner or another analyst).
DO: Be specific with ownable insights, technical information, and innovation.
DON’T: Restate the obvious. White papers ask for a healthy time investment so get to the meat or you risk losing readers.
TIP: Most readers judge a white paper by the Executive Summary, so make it compelling and inspire them to dig in.
WHAT IS IT? A collection of informally written posts centered on a topic or its author.
GOOD WHEN YOU WANT TO: Demonstrate thought leadership; engage audiences.
DO: Offer new perspectives on different aspects of your wheelhouse.
DON’T: Try to overtly sell your product or service. That’s not why people read blogs.
TIP: Have a strategy and accountability plan in place before launching one. A stale blog works against your brand.
Of course, there are more examples. Just remember that when it comes to producing content marketing assets, don’t put the execution cart before the horse. Start with the What and the Why behind the effort, and your path forward will be a more productive one.