Mark Pinnes, Deputy Marketing Director at Flagship Consulting highlights the importance of trust in content marketing...
We are saturated with marketing and advertising messages on a daily basis. In fact, the average person is exposed to more than 5,000 messages per day. When consumers are hit with so many different call-to-actions, only those organisations that are genuine in their conversations and communications strategies will stand out from the crowd and entice target audiences to trust in the brand.
Yet, despite the need to have an authentic marketing approach, many B2B marketers are failing to create content that actually resonates with their audiences. In fact, recent research by The Economist Group, in association with Flagship Consulting, has found that more than nine in ten marketers still include sales messages in their content.
This staggering amount of sales-led marketing strategies means too many are missing the mark on how execute content marketing effectively and build brand trust. They are failing to provide objective information, help and advice. And the lack of alignment between marketing messages with what business executives actually want is causing 70 per cent of them to feel turned off by such content.
Below I give my four top tips on how B2B marketers can create campaign strategies that build brand trust and enable organisations to stand out in the saturated space:
1) Customer research and profiling
Customer research is pivotal to the success of any content marketing campaign. Brands must know who they are speaking to and what interests them. Whether a multinational corporation, SME or start-up, marketers must spark up the right conversations with the right people. The content must relate to the audience, and provide them with a message that stimulates interest in the brand. While in theory this may sound simple, in practice how many times have you created content because it’s what your business wants to say, without genuinely relating it to the audience?
2) Provide quality and authentic content
Mass produced marketing messages often cause content fatigue. To create a trustworthy brand that keeps target audiences excited, organisations must look to consistently provide high quality content. When looking at what business executives actually wish to attain from marketing, three quarters use it for research, and not to overtly support a purchasing decision. Authentic and high quality messaging is therefore essential in enticing and sustaining the interest of audiences.
3) Target them using the right communications channels
According to Demand Gen’s 2014 B2B Content Preferences Survey, B2B buyers are most likely to use white papers, case studies, webinars, e-books and videos to make purchasing decisions. It is essential that organisations use these channels of communication to connect with their audiences. By sharing interesting content in a way that resonates with audiences, people become familiar with the company and will look to the organisation as a credible source in providing useful – and informative – content.
4) Incorporate content into the buyer’s journey
Many marketers now have the added pressure of aligning their activity with ROI. This can certainly be a daunting task – and it proves very difficult to validate marketing spend. Tracking engagement across a customer’s purchase journey is a great way to start. Discover where the lead was established, the impact marketing had on nurturing a relationship with the customer and how this was turned into a sales opportunity in order to discover how marketing impacted the buyer’s journey.
It has never been more important for brands to steer away from drilling sales messages at consumers. By concentrating efforts on creating helpful, objective content, this will build audience trust in the brand and contribute to marketing nirvana.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].
Keen on targeting the PR community? Learn about sponsorship opportunities here.