This past May I wrote an article entitled Why The Value Of Content Is Nothing New. The opening line to that article would also be appropriate here:
It seems the sweeping of said digital notion is still occurring, especially in the business to business marketing world for B2B marketers - according to the results of a study conducted by B2B Magazine, identified content marketing (51%) as being the most important tool for generating leads, outscoring brand awareness (38%), thought leadership (34%) and sales (29%).
The study of 440 B2B marketing professionals also indicates a sincere willingness to make a commitment to content marketing with two-thirds of the respondents saying they will be either "very" or "fully" engaged in content marketing by next year. This represents a 100% increase (66% to 33%) over 2012 to 2013. I would say that is a pretty significant increase, wouldn't you?
In terms of the specific content B2B marketers prefer, social media was named as the the most important followed by articles, e-newsletters, white papers and blogs and several other digital or online types or methods.
It would appear, however, there is a disconnect between what method of content B2B marketers prefer vs. what method or avenue they judge their content marketing success against. From the graph below you'll see that Web Traffic is cited as the #1 criteria they are using to measure success and way down the list is social media.
Could it be B2B marketers, like their B2C brethren and so many others, are still having a problem connecting the social media dots from engagement and interaction to sales?
Reuse, Repurpose, Regenerate - The 3 Rs of Content Marketing
Randall Rozin, Dow Corning's global director-brand management and marketing communications, in speaking with B2B Magazine, said something I have been saying for quite some time which is basically that not only is ok to reuse existing content, it makes a lot of sense, too!
Rozin said "marketers can derive multiple uses from a single piece of content." He used examples such as a video that could double as a call to action while also living on the given company's YouTube channel. The transcript of the same video could be converted into a white paper and/or blog post.
In other words, go ahead and use the materials you already have "lying around." Companies have a wealth of information they use every day that would make for great fodder for Content Marketing such as information they can glean from sales fliers and presentations, annual reports, user manuals, customer service manuals, charts, and on and on.
All they need to do is position it as a value added service they're providing to their prospects and customers. Use the information from the aforementioned items as a way to educate their prospects and customers on ALL that they do for chances are there are some products and services that they may not even know you offer which could of course lead to more sales opportunities for you.
Sources: B2B Magazine, Google Images
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions.