According to The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing can be traced back to the 1895 publication of The Furrow, a magazine launched by John Deere. It now circulates to over 1.5 million farmers in 12 languages to 40 different countries. Was The Furrow a strategically smart marketing idea? Absolutely. Does it continue to have a role in John Deere’s marketing toolbox? Definitely. Have some brands missed the point of this strategy? Without a doubt.
Since farming knowledge, insight and technique is constantly changing and new trends are emerging regularly, it makes sense that The Furrow is at the center of this key industry. But 54 percent of B2B marketers state that creating engaging content is their number one challenge. Other top challenges include producing consistent and/or a variety of content.
As a result, many blogs, whitepapers, videos, etc. are often full of uninspired messages that don’t engage readers or help position the brand in a meaningful way. They are merely “filler” to allow a marketer to check a box. Blog post? Done!
So what’s the best way to evaluate how much content you should be generating and how often? The answer, unfortunately, is not simple.
Since the strategic purpose of any content should be to help build positive brand awareness, keep your brand top-of-mind with your customers and prospects. Why deliver content that doesn’t help your buyer? The buyer should be the focal point of all of your content: understand their needs, their pain points, the problems they’re facing, the hierarchy for purchase decision within an organization and what those influencers need in terms of information.
Content topics can often be best identified by talking to the sales force and/or your customer service reps. They can share the top questions asked by buyers, the top objections they have to overcome and the most asked service issues. Supplement those insights with some investigative work in top keyword searches using Google Analytics, and you should be able to develop a laundry list of topics for meaningful content. Because at the end of the day, buyers don’t want “content” — they want solutions to their problems.
The reality is, no one will notice if you don’t post a blog today. No one will complain if they don’t get your tips ‘n tricks for the week, or if you skip a day or two of messaging. No one except the person monitoring your output — which I promise you, is only your boss.
With all the marketing automation solutions out there, too many marketers are worrying about how to keep feeding the machine. But it’s about quality, not quantity.