The Rising Epidemic in Social Media and Content Marketing
Don’t be alarmed modern marketers, but there appears to be an epidemic on our hands. Numerous reports and surveys have surfaced recently that reveal a disturbing trend. It appears that while the vast majority of B2B companies are investing in social media marketing initiatives, few have clearly defined strategies or tactics for their efforts, and as a result, they aren’t seeing the fruits of their labor they had hoped to reap.
You may recall our last article in which we discussed the fact that while most B2B companies are investing in social media marketing initiatives, the majority aren’t using social media for lead generation or lead nurturing activities. In the end, we stressed the importance of developing a social media marketing strategy that can identify prospects and their behaviors online, and use the intelligence to deliver the right message to the right person through the right channel.
Today, we’ll be dissecting a recent study which shows that an overwhelming 91% of B2B marketers use some form of content marketing, yet only 36% believe their content-based marketing efforts are effective in producing results.
A startling statistic like this may lead some to believe that content marketing is an ineffective tactic for sales integration or deal capture. Before buying into this myth, however, consider the example of Jason Westland, CEO of ProjectManager.com, who was profiled in a recent Forbes article.
The company was launched in 2008 and within two weeks was working with NASA and the United Nations. Today, the company has 10,000 paying customers and by 2015, is projected to own 80% market share of online project planning.
According to the article, Westland was able to accomplish all this without the use of any traditional advertising by simply making content marketing the central focus of his company’s marketing strategy.
Westland even offers readers his “secret sauce” of success:
Westland’s two slides above provide a simplistic view on how his company leverages content marketing to drive brand awareness and sales. However, for many companies, these tactics won’t naturally fall into place without the creation and distribution of quality content.
In Westfield’s funnel conversion process, a company can gain initial trust with the collection of a prospect’s email address. From here, it’s up to the company to build on this trust, which will require the creation and distribution of quality content (in this case a newsletter) that engages, educates, and entertains prospects to take the next step in the lead cultivation process.
Overall, Westfield’s approach to content marketing serves as an incredibly successful example of the extraordinary results that can be achieved through effective content marketing. Marketers just need to develop and implement a unique, quality content creation and distribution strategy that attracts prospects to take action in support of sales outcomes.
For further guidance on defining and creating quality content, check out the latest StrategicGuy blog post, 3 Hallmarks of Exceptional Content.