Just 10 years ago, content marketing was an unfamiliar term for companies trying to employ new marketing strategies. Fast-forward to 2017 and many early adopters of content marketing are beginning to see the fruits of their labor.
The Content Marketing Institute reported in its 2017 B2B Content Marketing survey that 62% of B2B content marketers said they are “much more” or “somewhat more” successful with their content marketing than they were last year. 63% of B2C companies said the same. Just a year earlier, only 30% of marketers said their content marketing efforts were paying off.
‘Unglamorous’ Industries Can Benefit
One thing seems certain: content marketing isn’t going away. Among those that stand to benefit the most from content marketing are B2Bs working in what we at SPROUT Content affectionately refer to as unglamorous industries. In these industries, content marketing offers an effective alternative to standard transparent marketing strategies that solely benefit the brand. Still, no matter what the industry, many companies don’t know where to start when it comes to launching themselves into the content marketing space.
Before getting started with an initiative of your own, it’s important to remember the basic tenet of content marketing — the content you’re creating needs to be high quality if you want it to work. Consumers are more savvy than ever — that’s exactly why traditional marketing tactics are far less effective than they once were. They’re going to demand tailored, valuable information and you’ll get nowhere fast with sub-par content. According to CMI, 82% of consumers said they feel more positive about a company after reading custom content, and 90% find custom content useful.
“Consumers are more savvy than ever and now demand tailored, valuable information. You’ll get nowhere fast with sub-par content.”
In content marketing, it’s about both quality and quantity, but the quality has to come first. So, let’s take a look at what some of the most successful SaaS marketers are doing and how these strategies can be applied across industries — from the most glamorous to the less so.
- Kissmetrics – When it comes to a solid strategy and quality content, Kissmetrics excels. When Neil Patel co-founded the analytics software company, he and his team created a custom content strategy that has enabled Kissmetrics to hold its own in a world where Google Analytics reign. The success of the company can be largely attributed to content that provides value to customers across a host of topics, not just what the company is aiming to sell. What’s more, Kissmetrics focuses on quality over quantity and understands the value of influencer marketing. Some of its best content comes from influencers and industry experts who provide valuable advice and insight through guest posts.
- Shopify – Shopify publishes a huge amount of helpful and in-depth content and guides, showing the online retailers that use the platform that it is invested in their success. Its blog provides useful tips and advice, and features respected influencers. It also offers a its content resources in a variety of formats, including videos, podcasts and case studies. This mix of content has helped the e-commerce platform establish trust and therefore, generate leads.
- AppRiver – A cloud-based email and cybersecurity solutions provider for businesses, AppRiver provides useful and informative content to its clients and others. Blogs keep users informed of the latest trends and security threats, and white papers provide in-depth information for businesses looking to improve security or put security measures in place for the first time.
- Data Box – By creating mobile-first KPI dashboards that are accessible within a single platform, Data Box helps its customers identify what KPIs matter most to its business by defining, setting, and tracking business goals. The company uses its authority to publish content to educate others on best marketing practices and leverages influencer and SEO best practices by regularly featuring the marketing expertise of trusted and respected experts in its blogs with links back to their blogs.
- Curata – Curata leverages machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence to power a content curation platform and a content marketing platform. Its blog explores effective content marketing, dialing down into content strategy, curation, creation, promotion, and other tools. Like Data Box, this SaaS company also regularly features industry peers, offering them recognition based on their expertise and credentials.
- Expo Logic – Through its software and services, Expo Logic makes trade show and event planning seamless for its customers from check-in, to displays, to lead capturing. But its content goes beyond just the moving parts of setting up for an event. The company assists clients with lead retrieval and other aspects of gaining new customers. Expo Logic covers topics including the latest technologies that can enhance the tradeshow experience, from SnapChat to Uber. Content is engaging and heavily focused on how its customers can use their trade show presence to generate maximum revenue in their business.
- Thanx – In an age of loyalty program saturation, Thanx has set itself apart in its approach by focusing on relationships over discounts. The company has proven to its customers the benefit of focusing on the highest-spending customers to generate the maximum value for their businesses. Its content centers around educating clients and prospects on best practices, and also draws attention to focusing on real and proven data in determining the best way to design their loyalty programs.
- ThingLogix – As tech-savvy as you fancy yourself, you may not have heard of — let alone understand — the concept “the Internet of Things,” aka IoT. But ThingLogix has developed an entire platform (called Foundry) around it. Essentially, IoT refers to devices that collect and transmit data via the Internet — from cell phones, to wearable devices, to cars. The Foundry platform serves as the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Content marketing can certainly be a boon when you’re on the cutting edge of a concept like IoT, and ThingLogix is leveraging its blog to become a trusted authority on the new, and widely misunderstood topic.
No matter the size, or how exciting or seemingly mundane your business may be, just about every company can benefit from the trust-building and far-reaching benefits of content marketing. By developing engaging and informing content you’ll gain the trust of prospects and clients who will come to rely on you as an expert in your field, rather than simply a company looking to make a sale.