Do not contribute to the ”content chock”

Without a well thought-through plan for your content you will lose both money and time

If ”content is king”, then distribution should be ”queen”. There are loads of different platforms to create and consume content in and on: Live streaming video, podcasts, LinkedIn Pulse, Instagram, blogs, native landing pages, knowledge banks, Snapchat and dozens of other ways to publish you content. That’s why your target group is currently experiencing a bit of a ”content chock”.

Many of today’s brands know that it’s important to deliver experiences, in order to ”get paid” in engagement. Each point of contact is a potential branding opportunity – to make your mark and be acknowledged as the leader of your specific industry. From your content, your social media posts, to the way you answer the phone, are each end everyone a possibility to gain trust and loyal ”fans” that share your content.

A new way of thinking 

To create and choose the right content for social media and content platforms has become paramount. It is thorough these choices that you can own your audiences and get their long-lasting attention. Now more than ever, brands must develop a focused strategy to make use of the marketing opportunities that are out there, to generate and engage a more loyal clientele. 

Here’s a short check list of trends to adapt to in your planning:

Social media is no longer the big, crucial player it used to be – a free platform has taken that role. To really stand out by the help of social media will require a larger budget if you want it to really result in an increased distribution of your content, leading the consumer of this content to your conversion pages.

Where your content lives and is being consumed is now changing in a major way. It costs a lot of money to drive traffic to your web page. Placing your content on rented space (e.g. LinkedIn Pulse, Facebook, YouTube, guest blogging, sponsored posts, native advertising, etcetera) becomes cheaper and cheaper. At the same time, you lose a lot of control in those spaces, if what you want is to measure your target groups behavior or engagement. So the question you need to ask yourself is: What worth more – getting attention in rented spaces with a large audience for a low cost, or tailoring your content space, driving a specific target group to a platform you control yourself and can adjust to them.

Emails, or LinkedIn’s InMails, will now become a bridge, creating enormous value together with the platforms to which you drive your traffic, from the target groups of your choice. All ways of marketing will need to lead to your email database. With emails and a functioning and cooperating automized system, together with physical InMails, you can take care of the traffic that is being converted and continue the conversation with them.

”All signs point to video. Regardless if it’s Facebook Live, Twitter videos, Periscope, Instagram, Vine or good old YouTube. 2016 will be the year when video becomes the primary source of content in content marketing for all brands – even B2B. Partly because the customers’ appetite for video seems to be insatiable, partly because video is the most efficient way to divide and add to your content marketing. If you have video, you have sound. If you have video, you have text (subtitles). If you have video, you have images. But it doesn’t work the other way around.” – Jay Baer

You can’t cheat video with automation. There has to be an actual person in front of the camera, which, in turn, will create a personal touch – something that an automated email could never do, no matter how much you try.

Marketing needs to become a series of tailored, planned, efficient and measurable processes for your target group. Without a written strategy or plan, you will lose money, time and patience.

The quality of content must increase dramatically. There is so much content being produced out there, and ways to make it really good and valuable. The future of content marketing is less content, with better quality. I’m thinking – like ten times better. Otherwise it will just be a waste of time. Few companies have their own editorship that can produce good and engaging content – because that’s rarely a part of the core business – still companies try. So far I haven’t come across any company that is completely lacing content, but there’s an overconfidence and a belief in so many of them, that they can engage their target group with it. I believe that if you choose to cooperate with someone who actually can create content, that is based in the deep-rooted knowledge of your company, that could become the shortcut to really good content that, in turn, will lead to functional content marketing. Together, you can take help of journalists, industry analysts and experts that are relevant to your target group, to create depth and value to your content.

To be of help for your customers is still the best strategy for competitive differentiation, if you ask me. If you can help your customers becoming better buyers of your service or product, you’ve come a long way. It might even create less of a need for your sales force to physically process your customers. And, if not that, they can at least focus their attention to the customers that are most important to you and the ones that are about to buy.

In 2017 more B2B marketers need to crack the code: High content quality, scalable video, a narrow target group (only a few target accounts), and a tight budget. 

Download: Account-Based Marketing, where to begin?

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