Content Marketing…Is it better than traditional advertising?

When was the last time you sat down to read your favorite B2B or B2T trade publications or visited their websites on a regular basis? Their advertisers paid to get their message in front of you.  But you are a busy professional and chances are when you go looking for things, the first place you go to is Google and you start searching.  Perhaps it is a product, perhaps a solution, but the search is on!

 

Content Marketing

 

That’s why Search Engine Optimization or marketing is so important in the big scheme of things, and what makes you go up in search results? Good meaningful content!  And you need to be top of mind, when buyers reach that position of the sales funnel when they decide it is time to reach out and contact someone.

 

Heidi Cohen wrote an insightful article regarding advertising vs. content driven marketing that offers some good suggestions for B2B marketers.

 

B2C consumers are even further along in B2B Buying Processthe buying process than their B2B counterparts when it comes to doing research before contacting sellers. But even at the 57% mark, you’d better be in play in
the search game or the ship is going to sail without you.

 

What does this mean for B2B marketers?

 

The truth is we all hate advertising.  It pops up when we are trying to read a web page. It shows up in our email despite never “Opting In”.  It precedes videos no longer including a “Skip Advertising” button.

 

Razorfish recently reported the following regarding Consumer Advertising:

  • 50% of U.S. consumers will do anything to avoid ads
  • 75+% of U.S. consumers hate hearing or seeing ads multiple times
  • 65% of U.S. consumers use a DVR to skip ads

 

If consumers generally hate advertising, whether they are B2C or B2B buyers what is the marketing alternative?

  • 86% of U.S. consumers value brands that are useful over those that have interesting advertising

 

This all means that consumers seek out meaningful value and the begin seeking it when they are well into the buying process.  That means you need to provide them with meaningful content when they need it.  Here are a few suggestions:

 

  1. Leverage the social media venues where your customers are like LinkedIn groups and other online trade associations.
  2. Make sure all of your product info is online for customers to seek & find.
  3. Emphasize product value and solutions
  4. Emphasize best practices when using your products.
  5. Promote Case Studies and “White Papers”
  6. Promote your content via multiple platforms and repeat. Once is not enough.

 

So the question is, how much effort are you using to create great content? Provide your customers and potential customers with products and solutions that help them run their businesses better and more profitably. You’ll be a hero in the end.

 

A tip of the hat to John Sonnhalter and TradesmenInsights.com for this contribution.  Visit Sonnhalter.com experts in marketing for companies selling through Industrial Distribution channels.

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