Take your seat at the head of the table:
Marketing uses content to take on a bigger role
The creation of content has been a popular topic among marketers for the last few years. During the cocooning of the past 18 months, content rose even higher on the priority list. So, one would think that there might be a slide in the demand for creating content as we start to re-engage live and in person.
According to the “12th Annual Content Marketing Survey” by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90% of content marketing budgets will either remain the same or increase in 2022. In fact, 20% of the budgets will increase by 9% or more. These findings underscore the hypothesis that to get to another level in the post-industrial landscape, a new recipe of engagement is required.
The biggest challenge in front of us may be our ability to empathize with others. We have been bombarded with loosely defined content and the combination of that noise and the tools at our disposal have created a world where buyers have all the power. And while the internet is a place for the remarkable, true success is born from having real yet respectful engagement. In turn, meaningful connection takes a lot of work and a different approach, and the thoughtful creation of content may just be the ticket.
In addition, marketing within the B2B space is getting a lot more attention these days and is poised to take its rightful place in building communities based on affection. And while content provides the best platform for success, a shift in marketing's role also needs to take place.
In B2B brands, the journey to transform marketing from “sales support” to “business driver” is long and challenging. Traditionally, marketing teams have reported directly to the sales team and have been expected to fulfill the role of supporting short-term sales campaigns.
Marketing’s role instead focused on delivering sales materials and arranging events. But things are changing, and companies have realized the value that marketing can bring, and as the study shows, marketing budgets are on an upward trend.
A lot of B2B content has traditionally been geared to a late stage in the sales process. The core of companies' content has been focused on product trends, so it is time to take it up a notch. Marketers have been given the green light to start creating hero content campaigns that can also be used for cut-through-the-clutter brand level impact, rather than simply support the next sales campaign.
There is no security in what we do or what we make. A lower priced copy or flashier version will come along tomorrow. So, dependence on the quality of what we produce for long-term success is not sustainable. We must be nimble, brave, and relentless in our efforts to learn and constantly redefine ourselves. The authentic creation of content affords us the opportunity.
Take note, though, that content cannot be spewed out. It must emanate from a sincere place of empathy. It must come from great understanding and an unbiased curiosity. Just like they tell salespeople to not vomit company and product information all over the client, online and printed content must not commit the same sin. Consider that when a salesperson is firing out all kinds of product information, the listener may not consider it content. In fact, they may define it as unnecessary noise and disregard it all together.
Content marketing is not simply the latest fad that attracted thousands of marketers like moths to a flame. It is a chance to gain insight, engage in real conversation and connect on the sincerest level. It is on the rise; it is honest, and it provides the platform for marketing's seat at the head of the table.