Content: Marketing’s Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

Content: Marketing’s Best Friend or Worst Enemy? image Content Arrow 600x289Content: Marketing’s Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

If you were in the market for a new vehicle would you:

A) Research and compare vehicle models, pricing, features and safety stats online, determine which car you like best, then go to the appropriate dealer for a test drive.

B) Use the phone book to search to call up the sales person at the nearest auto dealership and ask which car you should purchase.

I’m guessing no one selected B. With ready access to the Internet, consumers are relying less and less on sales people and more on independent research. The same is true for B2B sales as well.  With this increasing ease of access to information, more and more consumers prefer to research products and solutions online on their own rather than engaging a sales person right away. Studies from Sirius DecisionsGoogle and McKinsey&Company all cite that about 2/3 of the typical sales process is completed by marketing before sales ever gets involved. The key to marketing’s influence? Content that provides thoughtful insight into the challenges consumers face and are actively trying to solve during their online research process.

So it would seem that content is every marketer’s best friend. However, we also see that “60 to 70 percent of content churned out by b-to-b marketing departments today sits unused.” Scary thought right?

Your marketing team puts time, thought and effort in to creating blog posts,  infographics, whitepapers, e-books, case studies, emails and more in an attempt to inform and influence consumers, but only 30 to 40 percent of that content is actually being utilized! While principle of content marketing is a great idea, “always on” content creation can quickly turn into the marketer’s worst enemy. Content that is not read or not converting visitors is waste of every marketing team’s precious time and resources.

So how does a marketer make sure content is their best friend, not their worst enemy?

Make Your Existing Content Smarter

It’s all about reduce, reuse, recycle. Optimize your content creation process by first creating a content arsenal. Review all of your existing marketing content to see what is best engaging and converting your different personas at each different stage of the sales process.

With this data, you can convert normal marketing content into “smart” content by only serving the most relevant and highest performing existing content to each of the different audience personas visiting your website, instantly making your marketing more efficient and effective.

Once you are getting your best performing existing content in front of the right consumers, you can then focus on content creation for the gaps in your existing content strategy.

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