Too many marketers become blinded by the excitement of content marketing, the drive to act now
in response to upper-management directives and their grand ambitions of what they hope
it will do for their business and their own professional standing.
What results is a lot of clutter and a misguided focus on quantity, quantity, quantity. All the while, they're sacrificing the most important elements of purpose, strategy, editorial quality, planning, and metrics for success.
Examine why and how content will amplify your brand story, and then
create a step-by-step roadmap to get you there, complete with editorial calendars, style guides, content systems and processes, owners, timelines, proposed audience and takeaways, external launch plans, and more.
Data is one of the biggest assets to B2B marketers, so here are five foolproof ways to amplify your brand story with data-driven content:
If you've got the data, flaunt it.
For companies in the technology and digital marketing space, there's a lot of data waiting to be tapped. Use statistics from your client campaigns, but not just for their own sake. Extrapolate chunks of data over periods of time to understand recurring and new trends and patterns.
Treat these data the same way you would a thoughtful birthday gift for your family or friends. Wrap the information up as a packaged trends report—aligned with your branding and editorial voice—and present it to clients, prospects, journalists, and analysts.
If you don't have the data, you should ask, learn, and share.
In the world of B2B, providing value to clients and prospects has less to do with overt selling and more to do with sharing knowledge. What matters most to your clients and prospects? Their customers and their happiness/engagement.
This is a perfect opportunity—often untapped by B2B marketers—to use consumer-facing research to shed light on what their customers really
want/need, how they are interacting with brands across multiple channels, and the types of online experiences and ad formats that are most likely to convert them from casual browsers into loyal brand advocates.
Develop survey questions that will deliver unique, validating, and even surprising statistics. Those stats will provide clarity to your clients and prospects and, in turn, will strengthen your own company's credibility.
When showcasing client successes, take your ego out of it.
Case studies bolster a B2B company's reputation in many ways. They reassure established clients in the value of their investment with your company's solutions and expertise. They act as a sales-supporting piece of documentation in new business pitches. They tell journalists that you aren't just blowing smoke up their sleeves—you have the numbers to prove your worth.
If your value is there, let the case study story and stats do the work for you.
Know what's happening out there and use it across multiple channels.
If you're not constantly up to date with what's happening in your industry, you'll lose out on key communication opportunities. That means reading the news daily, knowing when breaking news hits, and catching up on reports about digital sales trends and forecasts.
Tap into current events and trends as the topic or angle for blog posts. Also, work with your external PR agency to pitch/secure editorial bylines in relevant publications that your core audience of clients/prospects read regularly.
Also, provide rapid-response commentary to media outlets/reporters when a story breaks. All these opportunities position you as a voice with real insights, best practices, and opinions.
Double your intellectual property and credibility through partnered content.
More than likely, you have a designated business development and channel sales executive responsible for forming partnerships with brands, technology vendors, and digital agencies.
Maximize those partnerships to develop co-branded e-books, webinars, events, infographics, and so much more.
Ragini Bhalla is a data-driven storyteller who helps brands masterfully intersect their communications, PR, and content marketing efforts in meaningful and impactful ways. She is also a regular contributor for The Makegood, where a version of this story originally appeared. Follow Ragini on Twitter @RaginiBhalla.