Marketing in a downturn: content, content, content

Here are our top 7 tips for getting the most value from your content marketing during an economic downturn:

1. Know your Audience
In a downturn, more people are involved in approving every B2B purchase, and the buying committee usually includes senior decision-makers who will not understand (or want to understand) the technical nuances of your product or service. Knowing who’s likely to be on the committee will help you to produce content targeted at the right level in the organization.

2. Plan your Content
Armed with this knowledge, you can plan and create content that targets prospects at each stage in the buying cycle. In the early stages, prospects may just be researching around a problem or business issue, rather than actively looking for a specific solution. You can capture their attention and goodwill by producing helpful content, sharing some of your expertise in how to approach a relevant problem – but not (yet) trying to sell the idea of buying your product.

Later, when your prospects are better qualified and actively engaged with your organization, you can roll out more targeted content, providing case studies, demonstrations, webinars and other materials that clearly show how your product or service can resolve the business issues you know your prospect has.

3. Re-Use and Re-Purpose
Relevant, high-quality content is key to nurturing cautious buyers through an extended decision-making process. Look for ways you can re-use and repurpose existing content across different channels and platforms, to maximize its reach and make it relevant at different stages in the buying cycle.

4. Optimize Content for Inbound Marketing
Your prospects are no longer (if they ever were) waiting for you to drop a brochure in the mail or an eblast into their inbox. They’re on Google searching for answers to their questions, they’re reading blog posts, downloading ebooks, clicking on links to interesting things on Twitter, watching videos and asking peers for their opinions.

The good news for B2B marketers in a downturn is that inbound marketing costs far less than traditional outbound marketing, so it pays to make sure your content is optimized to be found by search engines and shared via social media. And if you have useful content locked up behind registration pages and customer login screens, now may be the time to incorporate them into your content marketing mix.

5. Don’t Forget Video
Many cost-conscious marketers shun video because of the perception that it’s expensive. But while a lavish video case study may cost thousands to produce, other forms of video can be just as valuable to your target audience and cost very little, or even nothing but your time.
You could record your internal product experts demonstrating a useful feature of your product, or film your presentation at an event. An informal video interview with one of your senior execs on a hot industry topic can show how your organization understands what’s happening in the market.

6. Become a Distributor as well as a Publisher
Good content marketing means becoming a distributor as well as a publisher. It’s no good spending money on creating an ebook or white paper if no one knows it exists. You need to get your content out to all the places where your target audiences are likely to see it.

Today, anyone, with any size of budget, can be a distributor, thanks to the ubiquity of social media. Updated your blog? Tweet about it with a brief summary. Created a useful ebook? Link to it in a LinkedIn post, or a Facebook update. Gave a presentation at an event? Share it on Slideshare.
Which brings us to our final tip:

7. Track Everything – and Change What’s Not Working
It’s never been easier to analyze the success of your marketing initiatives, including concrete ROI based on leads, opportunities and conversions. With the latest marketing ROI analytics, you don’t have to wait for a campaign to finish before you start looking at the results – you can watch its impact in real time. That means if a campaign’s not working, you can kill it and reallocate the budget elsewhere – ensuring you don’t waste any money on tactics that aren’t delivering a tangible return.

ProAptivity specialise in the deployment of CRM solutions into small and medium size businesses. They are the Northern Ireland solutions partner for Maximizer CRM which offers both on-premise and on demand solutions with full Mobile CRM capabilities. To find out more information contact 028 90735630. Source Marketo

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