The dawn of the ‘Contsumer': Are you prepared?

If the research findings by B2B Content Marketing Trends is anything to go by, then content marketing has moved from buzz word to an absolute must have for B2B companies.

Given the sheer weight of information available to clients (B2B) or consumers (B2C) these days, the consumer is in control. The result is they are less reliant on the company or your sales people as their primary source of information and they form perceptions and build trust in your brand long before they come into physical contact with it.

Content is the new digital bait

Content, and in particular thought leading content, can not only equip your business with game-changing insights to facilitate conversations with your clients, but in the process differentiate you from the competition, set you up as trusted advisors and ultimately underpin future sales.

The consumer of yesterday has become a ‘contsumer’ today. ‘Contsumers’ are hungry for information and seek as much as possible to help inform their buying decisions. They have access to a wide range of information about your brand, product or service and many are having conversations with brands via Twitter, the web, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs as they create their own path of influence to purchase.

It is the brands that best understand these customers, the issues and challenges they face and then provides them with useful, insightful content where they consume it, who are rapidly becoming the brands of choice.

Content is a powerful currency for your employee value proposition

One of the unsung outcomes for companies who play the content game well is the significant impact it can have on their employee value proposition. Brands like Ernst&Young, Deloitte, King & Wood Malleson and a host of others are using social media platforms to engage and share content with the pool of talent interested in their sector and from which they will potentially hire in the future.

By delivering relevant content to your audience, you go beyond selling a product or service, taking on an important role in their lives and your content currency appreciates even further when they share it with others.

Whether you are in HR, PR, marketing, operations or finance, your job often comes back to how you package and share information about your plans, what you have done, your team, your goals, and the like. Whether this is for internal or external consumption, the bottom line is that each one of us is a content creator.

Your content goals

The three key content marketing goals flagged by the 740 B2B Technology Marketers who responded to the B2B Content Marketing Survey included:

1. Lead generation (68%)
2. Thought leadership and education (50%)
3. Brand awareness (39%)

Make sure the content you are generating to engage with your audience is planned and insightful, but more importantly relevant to the people at which it is aimed. And I’d recommend you stay away from the overt product or services push – this is the death of great content.

Those brands not crafting new and interesting content or not exploring thought leadership as an option in order to differentiate themselves will come second.

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