Most business leaders recognise the importance of content marketing, but there are many who don’t focus on the real value that quality content can bring to their brands. They have a choice of two directions – the value route or the commodity route.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies go down the commodity route – they understand that they need plenty of content to make an impact on the web, but this also leads them to prioritise quantity over quality. Typically, they’re not thinking beyond search engine optimisation and budget. Instead, they’re looking for cheap, mass-produced content that’s typically either pre-written or written by entry-level writers who often don’t even have a native-level command of English or even a thorough understanding of their industry. Sure, they might get some low-quality search traffic (the sort that doesn’t convert) out of it but, for the most part, the investment brings no financial reward. Instead, they’ve wasted their money.
Then there’s value content and no, value does not mean low-cost. Value content is that which brings real financial results to your business. It’s content that doesn’t just drive traffic – it drives the right traffic, generates quality leads, maximises customer lifetime value and a whole lot more. In the world of B2B marketing, where trust and credibility are sacred, those are facts you cannot afford to ignore.
Let’s have a look at some things quality content can do for your B2B company:
#1. Build Industry Authority
As every seasoned marketer knows, trust, credibility and authority are driving factors behind the success of any business, B2C or B2B. However, the emphasis on these factors is exponentially greater when we’re talking about the large sums of money and contracts exchanged in the world of B2B transactions. Since customers are relying on you to improve the performance of their own businesses, and typically spending a whole lot more in the process, trust and authority signals are among the first things they’ll be looking for.
Commodity content isn’t written to align with the specific needs of your organisation. To that end, it provides minimal, if any value, other than perhaps to increase your visibility in the search engines. Even that’s not nearly as likely as it once was given that Google is rather better at defining quality content than it ever was before. On top of that is the fact that search traffic is worthless if all it results in is high bounce rates anyway.
Value content, on the other hand, is crafted with the sole purpose of improving your business by helping it establish itself as an industry authority. That’s why you can’t afford to gamble with commodity content written on the cheap by someone who likely doesn’t have a thorough enough understanding of your industry and the challenges it faces. Instead, value lies in content that helps your audience solve problems and exhibits a strong understanding of their pain points.
#2. Increase Your Profitability
Your best customers aren’t just the best because they’re loyal to your brand and invest the most money in your products and services. They’re the best because they are the brand advocates who will happily refer your company to their colleagues and business partners. They’re the people who are in control of your reputation and help you maximize the lifetime value of every other customer.
Commodity content doesn’t care about any of that. Since it emphasises quantity over quality, it does little to nothing to nurture existing customers. It’s a low-cost marketing strategy that makes minimal impact in the longer term. That’s because it doesn’t help people, it doesn’t solve their problems and it doesn’t address their specific needs.
Value content isn’t just about marketing. It’s about nurturing your existing customers as well by educating them on how to get more out of your products and services and helping them make their professional lives easier and more successful. It helps build real relationships and increase customer satisfaction and, in doing so, it will serve as a valuable method for increasing loyalty, upselling and inspiring brand advocacy.
#3. Raise Brand Awareness
Raising brand awareness is, understandably, one of the most important goals behind any content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many business leaders don’t think far beyond search engine and social media traffic. They’re focused instead on vanity metrics like website visitor counts and Facebook likes. Such statistics are practically meaningless, since they rarely bare any connection to the sort of results that you really should be focusing on, such as conversion rates and revenue per customer.
As we’ve discussed, commodity content rarely comes to anything more than a cheap search engine optimisation strategy. Businesses know they need content to rank, but they often don’t look beyond that. Some even hope to cheat the system by stuffing keywords into content while completely neglecting the needs of the human reader. Again, it might work for a while, at least in terms of enhancing your visibility in the search results pages, but it won’t do a thing when it comes to raising awareness in your brand among those who matter most – your ideal customers!
Value content raises brand awareness among the right people because it’s relevant. And, when B2B prospects read something that leaves them with the feeling they’ve learned something useful, they’ll be far more likely to share it with relevant audiences of the sort you actually want to target. After all, what sounds better to you – a small audience of engaged leads among which there’s a high conversion rate or a huge audience consisting of people (and perhaps fake social media profiles) who bring absolutely no benefit to your organisation? Therein lies the difference between commodity content and value or, perhaps we should say, spam and value.
Do you want to leverage the power of great content to supercharge your business? I help B2B firms make a real impact with white papers, case studies, blog content and more. Contact me today if you’re ready to talk about your project.