Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Tell a Consistent Story Across All of Your B2B Marketing Channels

How to Tell a Consistent Story Across All of Your B2B Marketing Channels image iStock 000016359347 Medium

Multimedia is big in B2B.

According to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report, B2B marketers are using a variety of media types. The top 10 B2B content marketing tactics include online presentations, white papers, videos, case studies, social media, blog posts and more.

If you are experimenting with new tactics, it can become hard to tell your story across all of your channels. The more tactics you have – and the more people who are creating content for you – the harder it is to keep your message consistent.

However, telling a consistent story is vital if you want to raise brand awareness, attract high-quality leads and convert them into customers. The TechTarget Media Consumption Research Brief revealed that 65% of B2B technology buyers review at least four pieces of content before they make a shortlist of vendors. If a buyer sees four pieces of your content – with four unrelated messages – the buyer won’t be able to understand your value or make a business case for your products or services.

Here are four ways you can tell a consistent story across all of your B2B channels:

1. Think of your audience first and your channel second.

You can create amazing ebooks, videos and social content, but if your target audience doesn’t think it’s relevant, you’re wasting your time and resources. TechTarget found that “media is only effective if the information that it features is relevant to their research and is helpful for them during the process.” If your content isn’t relevant, your buyers will search your competitors’ content until they find what they are looking for.

2. Stay focused on your long-term business goals.

Many B2B marketers don’t think about their overarching goals when they create content. They often get caught up in short-term planning (e.g. promoting an upcoming webinar) but fail to think about driving business in the long term.

If one of your goals is to attract more high-quality leads and convert them into customers, then your messaging should focus on moving customers through your sales cycle. Each piece of content should lead customers to another related piece of content where you expand on your story and work on gaining their trust.

3. Create content guidelines.

If multiple people contribute to your blog or other content marketing efforts, then you must create and enforce a style guide. The guide can outline:

Information about your target audience, so contributors will keep your ideal readers in mind when they create content

    • Your desired tone

    • What topics you will and won’t consider

    • Blog post length specifications

    • Tips on formatting content for easy reading

    • Information on how to submit content to your editorial team or content marketing manager

4. Hire a content marketing manager.

Your content marketing manager will ensure that all of your content tells a consistent story and helps you reach your business goals. They are skilled at planning content strategies and developing editorial calendars. They will also work with your contributors to ensure that every piece of content meets your standards.

If you want customers to follow your story across multiple channels, you must think of the story first and the channel second. For example, don’t rush to the latest social network if you don’t know your story. This will just create confusion. Instead, use the tips outlined above to get a clear sense of your target audience and your message. This will help you to better engage customers and move them through your sales cycle.

Source: B2C_Business

How to Tell a Consistent Story Across All of Your B2B Marketing Channels

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