B2B marketers have encountered unique hurdles when it comes to interactive marketing. Although B2C companies have experienced great success with social media marketing, B2B’s are only recently beginning to establish their presence in the world of online marketing. In addition to social media, content optimization presents a unique challenge for B2B companies. According to research conducted by Chief Content Officer Magazine at IDG Connect, a global research library for IT professionals, B2B buyers “complain the relevance of marketing content has declined by 31% over the past five years.”
According to Bob Johnson of CCO Magazine, the answer is personalization (“It’s Time to Get Personal.” Chief Content Officer Magazine 5 Oct. 2011: 18. Print). “Your organization needs to ask questions that uncover your buyer’s role, business issues, buying stage, type and preferred content format – and use that information to create highly customized, effective buying pathways,” says Johnson. To get the most out of content, focus on the new 4Ps of digital content:
Profile: If your company produces any publication, it must include profile information to allow readers to judge whether or not it is worth their time.
Personalization: Get information about your buyer’s interests (needs, behaviors, learning styles) and use it to customize and improve conversions.
Path: Create clear links from one content asset to another based on personalization (i.e. topic, role, focus, buying stage) to avoid dead ends.
Purpose: “Push for better integration of sales and marketing automation to avoid content silos,” says Johnson. Create a content strategy that will drive down cost and increase the engagement intensity of buyers.
The answer to making content relevant again isn’t churning out more content, nor is it relying on search engine optimization magic. Build your buyer’s confidence with your content – “Each time they visit your site or read your content, you should be engaging in a mutual exchange of value, balancing your desire for more information with your buyer’s reluctance to share.”