How to Identify the Right Audience for B2B Content Marketing
Post on 11-Apr-2017
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How to Use Customer Intelligence to Identify the Right Audiencefor your B2B ContentFeaturing: Nick Stein
Hana AbazaVP Marketing,UberflipNick SteinSVP MarketingVision CriticalTWEET YOUR QUESTIONS@visioncritical
Jeanne Bliss Bio:Pioneered the role of the Chief Customer Officer, holding the first ever CCO role for over 20 years at Lands End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Corporations.Co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association.Author of Chief Customer Officer 2.0.Currently President of CustomerBliss, coaching firm for C-Suite and Chief Customer Officers around the world. They work primarily with Fortune 100s.
How to Use Customer Intelligence to Identify the Right Audience for your B2B ContentWatch the on demandwebinar for full detailsvisioncritical.com/resources
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78%of B2B marketers plan togrow their content marketing teams by one to three peoplein the next year(Marketing Charts)
88%65%of B2B buyers report that the winning vendors content had a significant impact on their decision (DemandGen Report)
76%OF B2B MARKETERS SAY THEY USE CONTENT MARKETING(Content Marketing Institute)of B2B marketers say they plan on producing more content in 2016 compared to last year(Content Marketing Institute)B2B CONTENT MARKETING IS MAINSTREAM
Before I dive in into customer intelligence and how it can help your content strategy, I want to step back and look at the current state of content marketing.
We all know content marketing is already mainstream. A great majority of B2B companies already do content marketing. If youre listening to this #Uberwebinar, thats probably because youre already doing B2B content marketing and are looking to get more out of it.
Content marketing is the norm nowbut more importantly, its poised to grow further. As you can see from these stats, a majority of B2B marketers plan to produce more content in the next 12 months.
Content Marketing Institute50%of organizations intend to increase their contentmarketing budget
Brands also plan to increase their content marketing budget. B2B content marketing is here to stay. 6
WHY B2B CONTENT MARKETINGIS GROWING
So why is content marketing growing? This is not a comprehensive list, but from my perspective, these are the reasons why B2B companies are investing more in content marketing.
The most obvious reason is that content marketing works. From getting new leads into the database to re-engaging existing leads, marketers are getting a lot of mileage out of the content they produce.
Related to that point, content marketing is cheaper than traditional ways of marketing. Many companies are realizing that producing high-quality, useful content can be a lot cheaper and just as effective as a 30-second Super Bowl spot.
FinallyI think this ones most relevant to B2B companiesuseful marketing content is really the most effective way of marketing in todays B2B buying landscape.
B2B BUYING IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN EVER
57%OF THE WAY THROUGHTHE PURCHASE DECISION BEFORETHEY MEANINGFULLY ENGAGEA SUPPLIER SALES REP(CEB)CUSTOMERS ARE5.4Is the average number of people involved in a B2B buying group (CEB)
11 to 17average number of interactions betweena B2B buyer and a vendor in successfulbuying transactions (SiriusDecisions)
To hone in on the last point, the B2B buyer journey is now more complex than ever.
At Vision Critical, we sell an enterprise customer intelligence software, so this issue is something were familiar with. Our customers include companies like NASCAR, Univision, DEWALT and Adobe. We market to big enterprises.
There are more people involved now in B2B buying. More importantly, B2B buyers are empowered. If they want to learn about your company, all they have to do is do a google search. Theyre going to social networks and blogs to educate themselves about your solution. 8
THREE CHALLENGES INB2B CONTENT MARKETING
The rise of content marketing, along with the increasing complexity of the B2B buying cycle, bring new challenges for B2B marketers. Lets look at three of them. 9
PROBLEM 1: OPTIMIZING DISTRIBUTION
There are many distribution channels available to content marketers. And the list keeps growing, if you consider emerging networks like Snapchat and Medium. The question for B2B marketers: how do we prioritize the marketing channels available to us and optimize content distribution? 10
PROBLEM 2: CREATING CONTENT THAT STANDS OUT
Content output from brandshas increased 35% per channel,but content engagementdecreased by 17%TrackMaven
As B2B marketers create more content, standing out will become a bigger issue. In fact, were already seeing this: according to TrackMaven, brands are producing more content but are seeing less engagement for that content. 11
PROBLEM 3: ATTRACTING THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
The third problem has to do with the audience that marketing content attracts.
In content marketing, you dont necessarily control who comes in, especially if youre producing content for the top of the funnel. Marketers put things out there and hope that they attract a decent size of leads they can nurture and send bottom or middle of the funnel content to eventually. 12
90%OF CONTENT GOES UNUSED BECAUSE ITS IRRELEVANT
90%of content goes unusedbecause its irrelevantForrester Research
But despite the fact that companies spend a lot of time and resources in creating content, most of that content isnt reaching the right audience.
According to Forrester, 90 percent of content brands are producing arent being used. This is largely because the content that brands produce are irrelevant. 13
SALES TEAMS AREFOCUSED ON VERYSPECIFIC PERSONAS
If you step back and think about what your sales people are trying to do, theyre very focused on specific personas. They go after leads and prospects that have specific titles, that come from specific industries and have certain roles. If you have a mature sales organization, its very likely that your sales people are going after specific companies as well.
To some extent, thats the opposite of content marketing, where youre trying to get a wider audience.
The result is a serious misalignment between marketing and sales. Often, content marketers bring leads that sales dont consider to be in-target, or people who arent quite ready to talk to sales.
This creates a big challenge in marketing organizations that invest time and money generating leads that arent followed-up on. 15
FIXING THE MARKETING-SALES DISCONNECT
Account-based marketing is the hottest trend today.
The rise of account-based marketing is really driven by the fact that sales organizations have always been account-focused.
This emergence of this trend is an attempt to provide more relevant and personalized content and experience to B2B buyers. 16
RISE OF CUSTOMER MARKETING123Identify and engage advocates you can use for marketing campaigns, media opportunities, events, etc. Reduce churnIncrease expansion revenue
In conjunction with the rise of ABM, weve seen the rise of customer marketing.
According to Forrester Research, it costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. Customer marketing really focuses on engaging with the customers you already have. 17
THE SOLUTION TO THESE CHALLENGES:GET A CLEARER PICTURE OFYOUR TARGET PERSONAS
86%of B2B buyers say thatmarketing content is notuseful, relevant or alignedwith the needs of decisionmakers at their companyIDG Connect
Heres why you need to really understand your target personas: Most B2B buyers think that the content brands produce dont speak to their real needs. If youre producing content without customer intelligence on your target personas, youre going at it blindlyand youre limiting the effectiveness of your content. 19
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE YOU CANDEFINE YOUR PERSONASLearn about the pain points of your target audience UNCOVER PAIN POINTS Discover the business challenges facing your target audience, so you can use content to address those pain pointsOPTIMIZE CONTENT MARKETING SPENDDiscover how your leads and prospects prefer to consume media and which platforms you should invest inTEST CONTENTGet feedback before launch to maximize your content marketing ROI
This is where customer intelligence comes in. From our point of view at Vision Critical, customer intelligence is about producing insight into customers that is both smart and useful.
Customer intelligence tells content marketers and decision-makers not just Who, What, When and Where, but Why. Its the knowledge of why customers and your target personas behave.
Having customer intelligence can help enhance your content marketing efforts in several ways.20
HOW MOST COMPANIES DO IT TODAY
There are three main ways companies get insight on content marketing today.
The first one is simply by using their gut feeling. Marketing is a creative field, and many marketers believe they simply have to rely on their own instincts.
The second one is by using a focus group.
The third approach is to send ad hoc surveys to customers.
Unfortunately, these approaches have important drawbacks: Information