As the holidays and the end of 2012 approach, gearing up your marketing strategies for 2013 is important. Coming up with a 2103 marketing strategy is something many B2B businesses are focusing on in order to make next year better than this one. Content marketing is a strategy your B2B business is probably using, but are you on the right track as the year comes to a close? New studies indicate B2B businesses are focusing more on content marketing. In this second post in our two-part series on content marketing, we share are a few things to keep in mind as you rev up your marketing engine for the New Year.
In the study "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America," conducted by Marketing Profs and CMI (Content Marketing Institute), 54% of the B2B marketers polled plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. However, financial spending isn't the only type of budgeting that needs to be considered as you get ready for 2013.
- Time: Using all the different channels to distribute content, such as a social media and trade shows content marketing requires an investment in time. B2B businesses will have to budget their time for content marketing development and distribution.
- Money: The average amount of marketing budget spent on B2B content marketing is 33%, up from 26% in 2011. This indicates more budget will be allocated towards content marketing in 2013 as well.
As a tip, make sure your business is well-staffed and has the capital to support your content marketing strategy. While producing enough content may be a challenge, with the right content marketing team, you can make your goals. Keep in mind the production isn't the only aspect of content marketing that you need to budget for; successful distribution across multiple platforms is key to an effective content marketing strategy.
Keeping Content Fresh
As mentioned in our first blog post about B2B content marketers, producing fresh content on a consistent basis is a challenge. The three biggest challenges B2B content marketers reported in the MarketingProfs and CMI study were producing enough content, producing engaging content and producing a variety of content. 64% of B2B content marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content and only 36% believe they are effective at content marketing. Here are a few tips on choosing and changing up your topics.
- Provide your take on a trend. There is always something new on social media and popular blogs, from TV news shows to celeb meltdowns. Tie the trending topic to your business, clients or industry.
- Rework old content. Take an old blog post and turn it into a video; or, provide a new take on older, popular-at-the-time topic to create an innovative article or podcast. You'll be able to extend the shelf-life of what's already produced.
- Combine content. Take what you have to write about and combine it with what you want to write about. Taking something you are particularly passionate about and relating it to your business or blog makes things much more innovative.
- Company content. Whether it is an expert advice article or a company update column, tap into your company's staff and business updates as inspiration. Don't give away all your strategies, but use what you know to solve problems readers may have that relate to your business.
In order to ensure you're distributing the right content on the right platforms, pay attention to where your audience is and the benefits your business can gain from sharing content on each of the various social networks. While SlideShare and Pinterest are some of the more popular up-and-coming social sites used in distribution, we'll tap into the benefits of the top 5 social channels used by B2B marketers.
- LinkedIn: Like a business directory, LinkedIn offers a large B2B audience and positions your company as a credible source while expanding business contacts. You can share articles, photos/graphics, audio recordings and presentations to reach a wide range of people directly.
- Twitter: You can promote your content with links while expanding your customer reach. Twitter can also be used as a network for sharing answers to common customer service questions.
- Facebook: Share photos/graphics, video, text and links to reach a large, global user base. You can even promote your content to target audiences.
- YouTube: Upload videos that feature support, expert advice, etc. to entertain and teach your customers. YouTube helps your business engage with users, extend the shelf-life of events and places your brand and business in the spotlight.
- Google+: With Google placing more emphasis on authorship for SEO, Google+ is an important network. You can engage with prospects while sharing text, photos/graphics, video and audio, and PDF presentations.
For B2B businesses, content marketing is a great way to earn leads. With compelling content, strategic distribution of the right content on the right platforms, and budgeting broken down to meet your marketing team's needs, businesses can be more successful in content marketing for 2013 than they were in 2012.
How is your business prepping for content marketing in 2013?