Getting the most out of your content investments

April 27, 2016

B2B marketers see no value from every 20p in the pound they spend on content marketing, suggests a study from Kapost.

The US-based research shows that B2B firms spend over $5.2 billion a year on the content creation process – but an estimated $958 million of that spend is found to be inefficient and ineffective.

Contently levelled those findings up with a new LinkedIn study, which looked at the disconnect between spending and outcome, detailing why marketers have been looking at the wrong indicators.

The content specialist believes the results of the LinkedIn survey, which saw 6,000 B2B marketers, salespeople and customers from around the globe, provides some answers on how marketers can get the most value out of their content investments:

1. Create content that demonstrates expertise

LinkedIn’s report revealed the three most important factors for buyers’ willingness to engage with a vendor, them being:

  • Understands my company’s business model
  • Is a subject matter expert/thought leader
  • Provides valuable consultation, education, or tools

This demonstrates the importance of producing helpful content that veers away from the hard sell, proving to buyers that you are tuned into to their pain points and that you have a subject knowledge that is second to none.

2. Address specific departments individually

The report shows how the average B2B buying decision involves three or four different departments, headed up by IT and finance. Therefore, instead of allowing age, income and location to determine your content, you should create it in accordance with which department you’re trying to reach out to, with the aim of subtly convincing all departments included in the buying decision to get on board with your brand.

3. Work hardest at building trust

In the study, trust and personal connections are the biggest reasons that buyer relationships get stronger. ‘Value for money’, interestingly, was only fifth on the list. The data suggests that cultivating personal relationships and building trust is the key to making the conversation between buyers and vendors a two-way thing.

4. Roll out the data sheets and demos towards the end

While thought leadership pieces work best in the middle of the funnel, it the business and its products that buyers want to hear about towards the end funnel, as per the report. While linking to your product or services might be deemed a bit gauche by buyers who have just become aware of your brand, it’s regarded as essential by those who are clued-up on what you’re all about.

So, there you have it. That’s should go some way to helping make your content efforts more effective. What is your assessment of the findings?

Kevin Mason - Director