Guest article : This article was written by a member of the Plezi team. Publisher of a B2B marketing automation and inbound marketing solution, Plezi recently published its B2B barometer of inbound marketing in London. From the lessons of the barometer, the author gives us in this article the 3 keys to success of a content marketing strategy.
The Inbound Marketing 2020 barometer provides an overview of best inbound and content marketing practices with London BtoB SMEs. Here you can find good practices identified with the most successful companies in content marketing.
The BtoB 2020 inbound marketing barometer is the result of several months of audits and interviews with 200 London SMEs. This study was carried out by Plezi, a London marketing automation solution, specializing in inbound marketing BtoB.
The reason for this study? The observation that many a priori prevented marketers and companies from embarking on inbound: you have to have a lot of resources, a lot of content, ROI is difficult to measure …
In marketing, it’s true, many myths are still alive and can be real brakes to the development of your team and strategy. By looking with these companies and by talking better about their experience of the environment and their results, we observe that many of these myths deserved to be deconstructed.
Here are three success factors for companies whose marketing strategy has taken off: what if you did the same?
1 / Agile teams, supported by providers … who do not need to be numerous
Marketing teams are rarely the most substantial in a company, and even less in SMEs. This is one of the biggest obstacles to launching an inbound strategy: the lack of internal resources.
What the barometer raises, however, is that marketing and inbound are not the prerogative of large companies. 75% of the teams responding to the barometer show this: 1 to 3 people are in the marketing teams… with a third of the respondents alone in orders.
As the barometer points out, the profiles making up these teams are real Swiss knives. Marketing team managers are often alone or accompanied by interns and manage all of the strategies and objectives of their structure.
It may seem complicated, in this configuration, to manage everything and free up time to focus on its content, and yet: the arrival of inbound marketing even allows these small teams to reorganize as they go.
Outsourced production to relieve the team
The majority of barometer respondents say they maintain their production of content internally, while declaring that they lack the resources to do so. For the most accomplished companies, however, this is a factor of success. Among the respondents, 33% mix internal and external and 12.7% outsource. 70% say they cannot do it mainly due to lack of resources.
By postponing the implementation of a marketing strategy due to lack of time, marketing managers are nevertheless shooting themselves in the foot: at first, a success factor for a content strategy … is an existing content strategy! Relying on trusted providers can make a real difference, even if it means internalizing once the first results – and the first budgets – allow you to do so.
This small multitasking team with an outsourced part is probably the best configuration to start with: we will see later, but content does not need to be produced to be produced, and it is more important to find your Strategic “sweet spot” than producing content blindly.
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2 / Smart and useful content
A success factor for the companies interviewed is intelligent content, which serves prospects and customers in their purchasing process but which also feeds the internal, or, if necessary, does not handicap it.
Content that responds to real customer or prospect issues
By doing the work upstream to identify real customer or prospect issues, you will be able to produce much more adjusted content, therefore much more effective. You will reduce your efforts and focus on the essentials. As always, you have to know how to gradually ramp up, and by having a strategy approach from the start, your content will only be better.
However, at Plezi, we have noticed that if our “fun” articles like our “live my life as a marketer” are highly appreciated by our prospects and customers, they do not convert.
It is rather the content that we produce to respond to concrete problems that bring us the most leads. For example, to help our prospects create their personas, we offered them an article and a practical kit. And it works!
Why ? Because we have been able to identify content that prospects have need, and will use as such.
Content that matches your reality in business
A trend noted by the inbound barometer: the majority of premium content produced in companies is made up of content that takes the longest to do! White papers, for example, are the most time-consuming, many proofreaders, or the intervention of an outside provider.
Content from the company’s internal resources and therefore requiring less work is little used: content related to the product, demo … And online content like kits is very little used, despite their very high return on investment in terms of prospects.
With few resources and little time, favor content that is smart, quick to produce and that you can immediately associate with a stage in your conversion tunnel.
3 / Regular content, rather than too much content
For the content itself, the verdict is pretty clear and breaks many of the preconceptions we might have about the content.
65% of the barometer respondents publish less than 5 content per quarter, or 1 to 2 content per month. These companies generate on average 220% more leads and see their web traffic increase by 26%… And perform better than companies producing between 5 and 15 content per month which certainly have more web traffic (+ 49% on average) but “Only” 74% lead generation.
Surprised ? In fact, this study supports the deconstruction of one of the biggest marketing content myths: you don’t have to produce a lot to get great results. The curve is not exponential, on the contrary.
Indeed, marketing teams that produce too much burn out and do not have time to promote their content. Blind content is of no great interest, however qualitative it may be!
In addition, unless you have an army of writers on hand – and therefore spend a lot of money – it is difficult to create content both in quality and quantity. The marketing team caught in this crazy gear then loses sight of other essential missions such as the passing of leads to salespeople … and is exhausted without generating leads.
Do not hesitate, for lack of time and to keep this ideal calendar of 2 articles per month, to recycle content: a white paper can become an infographic or a script for a video, an article can be written from a presentation to a living room…
If you only need to remember one thing, remember that the consistency and quality of the content will always make the difference.
So, to boost your marketing content strategy, follow the examples of London SMEs:
- relieve your teams by outsourcing to trusted providers;
- produce original and useful content, both for you and for your teams;
- do not confuse quantity and quality and favor regular publication of adjusted content rather than rush to production.
Do you want to know more about inbound marketing trends in London? Take a look at the Plezi Inbound Marketing Barometer!