Content marketing is designed to attract and engage prospects that are more independent than ever. B2B customers today go through more than 70% of the buyer’s journey before speaking to a salesperson, but you can engage with them before that point with the right content marketing strategy, which should include different types of content to appeal to prospects as they go through each stage of the buyer’s journey. Content marketing generates three times as many leads and costs 62% less than traditional marketing alone, so it should be included in your overall marketing strategy.
Video marketing is a great way to guide a prospect through the buyer’s journey. Record a customer testimonial to grow emotional connection and mitigate risk, or produce a product demo to showcase how you have the best solution. Video marketing is the most common form of content marketing, and 80% of those who leverage it report that it has increased sales.
Companies that run a blog report 67% more leads than those that do not. With the ability to host long-form content like in-depth analyses and short-form content like listicles — which are shared twice as much as other content — a blog is a great way to incorporate SEO practices, like tagging long-tail keywords or image file names, that helps your website rank higher in search results, making your company more visible to prospects.
Use infographics to share a large amount of information or tell a story in a visually appealing format. A good infographic design can take a complicated set of data and make it easier for customers to understand. Since infographics are liked and shared three times more than any other form of content on social media, it’s apparent that customers value them.
How-to guides that provide instructions or step-by-step tutorials can also generate a lot of traffic. Educational content like this can improve customer satisfaction by making sure they are getting the most value possible from your products. Clarity is key for how-to guides, so remember to include pictures, illustrations or video clips for visual aids. If you prefer, your how-to guides can take the form of a video itself.
Show your value to prospects by matching the pain points and challenges your customers face with real results your company drives. Case studies can include success stories from loyal customers to connect with prospects and encourage purchases. In fact, case studies are the second-most-valued form of content when it comes to researching information or making a purchase decision.
White papers are detailed and data-driven, improving customer trust and growing thought-leader status for your brand. White papers are also excellent sources for gated material and lead generation, because 76% of consumers are willing to share personal information to gain access to the content.
E-books draw in high-quality leads as long-form content that works well gated. Sixty-three percent of people are willing to share personal information to access an e-book. A customer may have an easier time following an e-book compared to a white paper, as e-books usually provide a more general overview of a topic and are usually supplemented with a lot of visuals.
To engage different prospects at different stages of the buyer’s journey, you need to have a diverse array of content. Fortunately, there are several forms of content you can include in your marketing strategy that will work for many business models and audiences.