In 2016 and 2017, humanity generated 90% of the data extant on the planet Earth. By 2020, the total amount of data created will multiply 10X. Under these circumstances, optimizing your B2B content marketing is critical.
Content – and your other marketing initiatives – is in a constant battle for decision-makers’ limited attention resources in a world where more distractions, vying for that same attention, are generated quite literally by the nanosecond.
Three Focal Points for Optimizing B2B Content Marketing in “The Data Age”
Although the basics of content marketing have remained solid over the last few years, the role of technology has continued to grow. Marketers must adapt to new buyer needs, new platforms, new formats, and much more.
Here’s how to bring order to the chaos:
Leverage Marketing Automation
Digital marketing automation has been a major factor in e-commerce and B2B success since small-scale entrepreneurs first sent out broadcast emails. Now, B2B enterprises have the benefit of more powerful tools that can capture data, harness it, and deliver better customized experiences.
Effective marketing teams need to be collecting user data in the form of Web analytics, soliciting feedback with progressive profiling, and using email automation, CRM-assisted lead scoring, and virtual chat bots to make time-intensive tasks more scalable.
Differentiate by Channel and Audience
Your documented buyer personas help you crystallize knowledge about potential customers. That said, they must evolve over time – a continuous refinement process leveraging data from sales and marketing. They are the base from which laser-targeted customer experiences flow.
Ideally, content not only addresses particular buyers, but goes a step further by incorporating the most pertinent information, tone, and offers according to each user’s channel, device, and audience. Industry, past behaviors, location, and seniority are all elements that can help personalize content.
Champion the Human Element
At this historic moment, when technology is causing tectonic shifts all throughout the world, it has never been more important to remember that content marketing organizations – like all functions and enterprises – are made up of people.
Collaboration is crucial, whether in the break room or on Slack. Content marketers do best when they devote time to reflecting on and implementing lessons learned. Ensure junior team members are paired with mentors and there’s annual or quarterly time set aside to uplevel the entire team.
If one phrase could describe content marketing challenges today and in the near future, it would be: Personalization at scale. Marketers must address their different audiences in an authentic and relevant way – without having to chisel each communication out of stone by hand.
Combined with the principles of customer-focused inbound marketing, these tent poles point the way to B2B content marketing success in 2018 and beyond.