Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Helen Nesterenko – Enjoy!
Content marketing serves many purposes, from getting found by buyers to building relationships with those buyers. Developing a strategy isn’t easy, even for those who have years of experience in the content marketing field. Over the years, various trends have come and gone, leaving surprising statistics in their wake. Because consumer preferences change and Google’s quality guidelines are constantly updated, new statistics emerge on a regular basis. The latest collection comes from various sources, all giants in the content marketing field. You might just be surprised with where content marketing is headed in 2014.
How We Market
According to Top Rank Blog, there are at least 30 different content marketing tactics in use, but some are much more popular than others. The latest content marketing benchmarks, which were collected from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs with the assistance of BrightCove, suggests that B2B marketers tend to use a combination of 13 of those content marketing tactics.
The most popular choices are probably evident, such as social media, blogging, e-newsletters, articles, case studies, videos, white papers, and infographics. The most popular of these is social media marketing, with 87% of marketers using this tactic. Infographics saw the largest rise in use since last year, jumping from 38% to 51%.
Our Biggest Challenge
Finding time to market seems to be the biggest challenge, with 69% of marketers stating this as their greatest need. The lack of quality time to complete marketing tasks leaves many searching for productivity hacks. The most common is scheduling, which many marketing platforms offer readily. Writing blogs and planning social media can take place at any time and then set for release at regular intervals. If you’re not watching the clock to meet a deadline for your regular posting times, you’re less likely to panic and more likely to remain productive.
Because 52% of marketers outsource writing and 55% say their biggest challenge is producing enough content, we might assume blogs, web content, ebook offers, and articles take up more time than marketers can give. Outsourcing is certainly a great way to save time on the tasks you don’t have time for, or you could apply some specific hacks to your writing. For instance, an outline before starting is a great way to stay focused and direct your content. Researching as you write will help you include only the information you need rather than spending hours collecting data that isn’t included in the blogs or ebooks. Finally, wait until you have a solid first draft to even think about editing. Don’t worry about the small mistakes until you have a cohesive big picture.
Building Relationships with Consumers
One of the biggest factors in building a relationship with customers is to first build trust. Statistics show the best way to do this may be with custom content. In fact, 90% of consumers like custom content, or content created specifically for their pain points according to their buyer personas, and 78% truly believe the companies providing that custom content are interested in building a relationship.
Creating custom content isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you understand the psychographic dimensions of your customer base and have a great grasp of how your products solve those customers’ problems, your content will nearly write itself. A small challenge may arise if you outsource your content, but excellent content marketers will understand the need to know your buyers and their pain points.
The need for a business blog is undeniable, with companies reporting 97% more inbound links because of their blog. Even more compelling, those B2B companies with blogs report 67% more leads than those who don’t blog. Reasons for this success varies, but by far, the biggest assist comes from Google. The more pages a blog indexes, the higher they show up in search engine results.
These numbers are hard to ignore, but that doesn’t make starting or maintaining a blog easy. Using the productivity hacks above or outsourcing your blog is a great way to build a blog with several pages quickly, but keep in mind that 10% of marketers say finding trained content marketers is their biggest challenge. Lack of budget plagues another 39%. Whatever you choose to do, you must commit. The only way to experience great results from your blog is to keep building.
Only 20% of readers will ever get beyond your headline. That’s 1 in 5 readers. All those words you wrote (or paid to have written) will be ignored by 80% of your target audience. The only way to grab more readers, to ensure your customers get past the title, is to make sure the titles are compelling.
There is a formula for creating headlines: Urgent, unique, useful, and ultra-specific. Just using the four U’s will not guarantee more reader, however. There is an actual science to creating headlines people will read and share. In addition to urgency, uniqueness, usefulness, and specific topics, you must also add in relevance, originality, value, and maybe a bit of shock. Just be sure you don’t use too much shock and not enough relevance. The click-bait schemes may get some shares, but they don’t satisfy.
Use numerals when titling lists posts instead of spelling them out. Then follow with some words that catch attention and boost the possibility of reading and sharing. Some of these words include “you,” “free,” “how to,” and “check out.” Believe it or not, people love to see negative titles. Using “terrible,” “worst,” “stop,” and “never.”
These statistics show us quite a few things. First, your business blog is extremely important. Second, few marketers have the time necessary to dedicate to a business blog and other content. Third, outsourcing might just be the best way to cover all your bases, as long as you work with a content company who understands the need to know your buyers and their pain points.
Did any of these statistics surprise you? Perhaps you discovered solutions you hadn’t before considered. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And if you’re searching for an answer to your content marketing needs, we’re always here to help.
Article by Helen Nesterenko – founder, CEO at Writtent.com. Helen loves everything about blogging, writing and content marketing. That is why she truly enjoys sharing her insights with the audience.