If you are marketing today and not doing so through organized publicity of your intellectual capital through Content Marketing, you’re missing the boat!
Before you jump in, there are a few things you need to know:
It’s a LOT HARDER THAN YOU THINK! This takes planning, organizational alignment, rigorous scheduling, and new processes to start, and – most importantly – discipline to maintain.
It’s a LOT SIMPLER THAN YOU THINK! The tools available to support your efforts in this area were simply inconceivable only a few years ago. Now they enable you to do this complex job more efficiently and effectively.
It’s about WILL POWER! Focus and tenacity are the hurdles here. If you have them, you can be winning with content marketing in very short order.
What are the benefits? “Brand Stickiness,” “Google Juice,” – whatever you want to call it, will bring recognition>leads>business!
The graph displayed here is an image from an excellent research piece done by Roy Young of Marketing Profsand Joe Pulizzi of Junta 42“(B2B Content Marketing, 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” [download here] that will give you an overview of the major components of a content marketing effort, along with some very useful statistics.
Nine out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing to grow their businesses.
Enthusiasm for content marketing is high; however, marketers are still unsure about the effectiveness and impact
Content marketing deployment is high across industries, with no single industry reporting below 78% adoption
Web traffic is the most widely used success metric (56%) followed by direct sales (49%)
On average, B2B marketers allocate approximately 26% of their total budgets to content marketing initiatives
The largest challenge is “producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers” (36% of respondents
Social media and article posting are the most popular tactics and are currently used by 79% and 78% of B2B marketers
If you’ve read this blog you know I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin. His posts really make marketers think about the job we’re doing. It’s probably the best blog out there for marketing professionals, and Seth is very economical with his words.
Yesterday he posed a particularly provocative thought onpreparation. The challenge is to think about the level of effort and expertise you are applying to your preparation. Basically, are you a pusher or a leaner?
He argues there are three levels of preparation: “Beginner,” “Novice,” and “Expert.” Basic premise: Most of us languish in the novice stage and never push hard enough to reach expertise.
As sales and marketing professionals, we can take this to heart in many areas: Go-To-Market Planning, Pre-Meeting Planning, Product Development, Websites and other marketing efforts. Do you ever find yourself phoning it in? Why start if you’re not going for something brilliant?
Yesterday, I had the satisfaction of closing a sale on which I’d been working for over two years. I can’t describe the feeling better than to say this is why you get into sales!
A two-year sales cycle is crazy!” you say? I would submit that it is more the norm these days when you look at the total life of a deal. As you can imagine this represented the culmination of many, many touch points with my client.
In their outstanding book “Professional Services Marketing,” the partners at Wellesley Hills Groupespouse the concept of “Nurturing.” I could not agree more. As mentioned in the book, the “long sales cycle” equals the months and even years that it takes to foster a strong relationship while the client builds to a point where they have a real initiative and funding and are thus in active buying mode. The concept is that the “short sales cycle,” once the client is able to buy, is much shorter – perhaps only several weeks.
But you need to focus on the nurturing that puts you in a position on the long-cycles so when that buyer is ready, you are a trusted source for solutions and the obvious choice.
What are you doing to stay in front of your highest priority customers monthly, or even weekly, to nurture your way to more sales?
I love Tom Peters. If you have not read his extensive body of work, you are cheating yourself. One of my favorites is “Re-Imagine!: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age” which touches on some of the absurdities and opportunities to improve business in the 21st century. It really resonated with me and continues to remind me why I chose a career in consulting to help clients improve their businesses.
I ran across this video from Tom Peters from a recent tweet of his. It’s a snippet from his new book, “The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE,” and it really stuck with me. At first, this seems like an upside-down concept. Why would I attack the very systems I’ve worked to put in place? But it’s genius. This type of self-analysis is what will keep a company ahead of its competitors (and protect it from itself)!