Content marketing is emerging as the latest strategic battlefield for B2B marketers. More companies are turning to content as a way to reach and engage customers, strengthen credibility, and build a community of brand advocates.
B2B buyers are also more empowered than ever before. Through search and social media, buyers conduct pre-purchase research, and they arrive at a vendor’s door having scoped out their problem and explored potential solutions. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, 60 percent of B2B buying decisions are completed before prospects engage with a supplier’s sales representatives.
This shift in buying behavior has changed the way companies reach and engage prospects. For many organizations, content has become their most valuable salesperson. To explore this trend, Skyword developed a new report: Building a Content Marketing Blueprint for Filling the B2B Sales Pipeline. The report covers seven challenges confronting companies today in establishing a robust infrastructure to reach and engage their audiences with relevant content, and it addresses the required capabilities to solve those challenges.
Challenge 1: Developing an Overarching Content Strategy
B2B marketers need to develop a plan for creating and maintaining a steady stream of targeted, highly relevant content that’s aligned to its business goals. This includes creating original articles, news, or blogs that display expertise in a specific topic and are aligned to buyer personas.
Challenge 2: Recruiting Qualified Writers
To efficiently attract and manage expert writers, B2B organizations need to streamline and automate writer recruitment. Organizations require one interface that provides access to communities of writers with a wide range of expertise, including enthusiasts, influencers, subject matter experts, and journalists.
Challenge 3: On-boarding Writers
To enable efficient writer training during the content creation process, B2B companies must adopt new techniques to efficiently train and on-board writers. Ideally, B2B companies should have one repository where writers can access style guidelines and writing standards.
Challenge 4: Managing Internal and Freelance Writers
Tracking articles and other content using spreadsheets and word processing applications can be onerous. Marketing team members need a system to keep track of which writers have been assigned articles, ensuring ongoing coverage for key topics, avoiding duplication of topics, and managing which deadlines are approaching.
Challenge 5: Editorial Review
Using email and word processing applications to communicate edits to each writer is time consuming and requires advance planning. B2B companies require a framework for managing the editorial review process of writers’ articles and blog submissions. This framework should incorporate a detailed history of activity for each author and facilitate dialog between the writer and copy editors to reduce operational inefficiencies.
Challenge 6: Payment Administration
Managing multiple writers, invoices, payments, and tax reporting creates additional work for the marketing, finance and accounting teams. To efficiently manage writers and reduce administrative time and costs, B2B companies must streamline and automate writer payment and tax administration.
Challenge 7: Metrics and Analytics to Optimize Audience Engagement
Creating digital content isn’t enough. B2B organizations must measure how well different pieces of content perform across various online channels and revise their plans accordingly. Marketing teams need at-a-glance dashboards to deliver content performance metrics for each piece of content, as well as tools that easily facilitate the social sharing of content.
For a detailed content marketing blueprint for filling your sales pipeline, download the report today.