This is the real test of great content marketing.
Providing free insightful information to your target audience (content marketing) is a way of engaging clients and potential customers in a time-effective and scalable manner.
At its best, it is a demonstration of your skill, expertise and knowledge; an insight into how you think and operate as an organisation.
Over time, people will feel like they are getting to know you. They will appreciate your initiative and will come to respect you as an authority.
There is one major obstacle to achieving such nirvana. Can you keep it up?
In the old days when B2B marketing teams had isolated and fleeting opportunities to catch people’s attention, it was all about being clever and eye-catching.
Today, cleverness is not enough. You have to demonstrate wisdom. And rather than catching the eye, it is more important to be consistent and authentic. Because digital communications allow you to sustain a regular communication and if you don’t have something genuine and authoritative to say, you will be found out.
Any leading business will have such substance and insight, but it is normally stored in highly inconvenient locations: people’s brains, mainly. And those brains are busy doing other things, like running the business.
Your marketing team may be a crack squad of multi-disciplined communication geniuses, but if they only get half an hour a week per business-brain, they will never have enough context, much less content, to sustain a content marketing strategy. This is particularly the case in complex, knowledge-led industries, where common sense and the company handbook will only get you so far.
In such situations, one thing is for sure. A glamorous B2C marketing agency will be of no help whatsoever.
Another approach is to deploy a content agency that is already half way up the knowledge curve. Sector experts who will intuitively understand what you are trying to achieve and be able to extrapolate the briefest grunt or illegible scrawl from your senior partners and convert them into clearly articulated and beautifully presented prose.
And it’s not just about words. They say a picture can paint a thousand words but how often do graphics really earn their keep? Only designers who spend all their time immersed in complex subject matter are able to consistently appear from beneath the waves of chaos with info-graphics and visual approaches that bring both order and beauty to the world.
When it comes to B2B content marketing, you can’t run away from the detail, and you can’t avoid complexity. The best you can do is seek an agency that finds what your company does to be genuinely fascinating. And go from there.