You are currently reading Part 4, the last part of this series.

Part 1 – What is content marketing? What is the importance of a content-focused marketing approach?

Part 2 – How do B2B marketers use content marketing? What are some Pros & Cons of content marketing?

Part 3 – What is the consumption behavior of B2B customers? What are some best practices of content marketing?


We’ve looked at the importance of content marketing in the B2B space, and even some best practices wherein companies leveraged content to empower their business. But how can marketers implement these practices into their own marketing strategy?

Content Marketing is a new term that has been reimagined from an old concept to fit the context of today’s consumers. The goal for any content marketing strategy is to surround a customer with information that is relevant to them. By doing so marketers can build relationships, gain trust, and increase the likelihood of that customer doing business with them. However, marketers need to adopt a targeted, consistent approach when building their content marketing strategy.

The following recommendations and tips can help marketers build this strategy in the most efficient way possible:

Image Source: Entrepreneur

Recommendations

  • Avoid the sales pitch – focus on insights and information
  • Create content that fulfills customer needs
  • Leverage Questions and Answers for content creation
  • Adopt a suitable Social Media strategy
  • Personalize content to fit your target audience
  • There is no “one size fits all” approach
  • Use various content formats – Visuals help!
  • Keep it conversational

Businesses need content.

No matter what industry a company may operate in, content is the common glue that marketers use to engage customers. By creating and distributing relevant content, marketers can attract their target audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action.

Remember: the goal of any marketing effort is to demonstrate the value of your brand to your customer. Create and publish content, engage with your audience, share insights, and ultimately promote thought leadership. Content marketing takes time, effort, and resources but a successful content marketing strategy drives long-term loyalty among your target audience, which can ultimately result in more leads.

Here are some great predictions from experts to help you develop your Content Marketing strategy this year:

Content Marketing Predictions for 2014

“In 2014, small businesses will “bust out of the blog” and really start leveraging video, infographics, podcasting, and other formats formerly dominated by larger organizations. In embracing these formats, SMBs will be able to better leverage their closeness to their customers in delivering the right content to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and in a format that fits their preferences.” – Rachel Parker, Founder and CEO of Resonance Content Marketing – @resonancecont

“In 2014, smart content marketers will segment their messaging to reach distinct target markets. No more one size fits all.” – Diane K. Danielson, Chief Platform Officer of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation – @dianedanielson

“Content consumers will gravitate towards thoughtful, insightful and well-researched long form content. It will perform better in search, more actively share and attract traffic from a community that seeks relevancy and actionable information. Businesses will take content production seriously by investing in experienced or especially talented professionals that can connect the dots in a respective industry like no other. Blogs produced by companies from Moz to Buffer App are already demonstrating the influence of this approach to content – and we’d all be wise to follow in our niches.” – Frank Strong, Communications Director at LexisNexis – @Frank_Strong

“I believe that we are going to see an increase in B2B content marketing. More and more B2B companies are going to be developing highly specialized content as their means of gaining trust with leads, as well as offering a sense of expertise in their respective industries. Businesses will focus on content that will assist in the sales process, versus content for lead generation.” – Alessandra Ceresa, Director of Marketing at GreenRope – @MissAleCristina

“Content marketing in 2014 will feature more short-format video and rich-media executions. More video blogs will debut and marketers will find inspiration from big brands such as Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 initiative.” – Michael Shepherd, President/CEO of The Shepherd Group, Inc. – @shepherdgroup

“Content marketing is becoming inherently more social – as adoption continues to increase and users are turning to mobile devices as their ‘first-screen’ experience, the ability of content creators and businesses to reach them is contingent upon providing an easy, elegant and authentic experience.  Businesses who fail to focus on mobile will fall behind in 2014 and those that embrace platform-agnostic content syndication and tie it back to a user’s social graph will emerge as winners. – Alex Boyce, Chief Strategy Officer at Woven Digital – @alexboyce

“The future of content marketing is entirely dependent on and driven by the consumer.  The more information they want and the faster they want it will determine which brands succeed and which fail based on their availability to match their consumers need for information.  The faster and more local a brand can make their content, the more business that brand will win.  We believe brands are going to begin focusing on meeting this need by embracing technology like distributed marketing platforms in order to allow for the fast, hyper localization of their content.” – Amanda Elam, Marketing Director at EarthIntegrate – @EarthIntegrate

“From brands across many industries, I think we’ll see a needed increase in strategic, relevant content that centers around social customer care. Beyond reactive responses to sensitive issues like a delayed flight or mixed up food order, brands will take a more proactive approach to content that anticipates audience needs. They’ll create and deliver content, ideally using various mediums, that answer questions, provide resources and stimulate helpful dialogue to increase repeat conversations and ongoing customer engagement.” – Andrew Caravella, VP of Marketing at Sprout Social – @andrewcaravella

“In order for content marketing initiatives to succeed in 2014, marketing executives will need to align their strategy with the right set of supporting content technologies. By integrating digital asset, content management, and workflow management technology, organizations will be able to more effectively deliver well-curated content across multiple channels.” – Joseph Bachana, President and Founder of DPCI – @joebachana

Read more Content Marketing predictions at “The Future of Content Marketing: 50 Experts Share Their 2014 Predictions

For more content on this topic you can follow the series on Twitter at #CMforB2B or by clicking here. Feel free to share your comments on this post or the series below.