Content Marketing went from buzzword to critical marketing component in hardly any time at all. In the industry today, content is a key component of telling a company’s story in a relevant and engaging manner. To help businesses stay on top of updating and optimizing their content strategy, the Content Marketing Institute produces an annual report detailing how challenges, priorities, and the overall use of content marketing is shifting. Here’s what they cite as the top five priorities for B2B content marketers.
- Create More Engaging Content
Creating engaging content seems like a no-brainer, but determining what your audience will find engaging may be the tricky part. Understanding what information your audience is looking for, and where they’re looking for it, is a great place to start. Create content that is relevant to hot topics in your industry or offers solutions to common challenges. To me, content is engaging when it provides information I’m looking for or makes me view a situation in a way I hadn’t considered.
- Better Understand What Content Is Effective (and what isn’t)
It’s critical to measure the performance of your content marketing, just as you would any other marketing effort. Tracking how effective your content is can be a relatively easy task, as long as you know what to look for. Know your goals and then figure out the best system, tool, or way to track how your content marketing is helping you reach your goals.
- Find More and Better Ways to Repurpose Content
There are plenty of great ways to repurpose content you’ve created—both the message and visuals—to suit additional communication channels. Consider taking a presentation that you gave at an annual conference and turning the content into an educational blog. Have insightful research on a particular demographic that’s relevant to your customers? Great! Make a killer infographic and extend your reach with supporting social media posts on relevant networks. It’s about working smarter, not harder here.
- Create Visual Content
I’ll be honest, I mentioned killer infographics because I’m a sucker for them. Great information packed into a simple, visual punch is my cup of tea. And I’m not the only one. But infographics aren’t the only way to up your visual-content game. It can be as simple as adding meaningful images to your blog posts or, even simpler, posting relevant visuals on Instagram or other social media channels, when appropriate. Powerful visuals will help your audience receive the intended message before they even read a word.
- Better Storytelling/Better Understanding of Audience
It’s simple math; the better you understand your audience, the easier it will be to craft messaging that has meaning to them. Spend the time to get to know your audience as well as possible; then, use that information to guide your content development and communication efforts.
As for better storytelling, know the message you want your audience to absorb and then try presenting it through, what I consider, the trifecta of writing: be original, be believable, be human. In other words, you don’t want to just show your audience something they’ve already seen somewhere else, but you still want to be perceived as knowledgeable and credible. The “be human” part can be tricky considering you want to be believable—stating facts and drawing conclusions—without sounding like a research report. One approach is simply to use a conversational tone that’s relatable while maintaining a professional demeanor that’s appropriate to the subject.
If you’re thinking, “great, I can work on these things now, but what will next year’s priorities be?” Fret not. This list only varies slightly from the previous year’s, and our experts here think these priorities, which we also consider best practice, won’t change anytime soon. Want more tips on how content marketing can help grow your business? Let’s talk.