If you ask a marketer if they are creating content, there’s a 99% chance that they’d say “yes”. If you’re a marketer yourself, you know how much content you’re pushing out every day. From newsletters, blog posts, articles, social media posts to videos, press releases, presentations and so on, there’s a ton of different types of content being published at a breakneck pace. Consider these stats:
· 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day (that's a 1 with 18 zeroes after it!)
· 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone
· There are over 1.8 billion websites out there
· YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video every minute of the day
Just think about that for a second. That is a lot of information and data to sift through. Clearly, we’ve got a real problem of information overload on our hands. When we couple those statistics with some of the latest reports, it becomes evident where the tidal wave of content is coming from.
For example, Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) B2B Content Marketing 2019 Report found that nearly half of B2B marketers intended to increase their content marketing budget, and a majority (56%) of that money was being spent on creating more content than they did a year ago.
But, how is this “more is better” approach working out for them?
Unfortunately, it’s not doing them any favors according to a Forrester report. 66% of business decision makers in the survey stated that vendors provide them with too much content to sort through, while 57% said they find much of the content useless, due to which 60% of buyers said that they get most of their information from other sources.
Don’t add to the ‘content noise’
It’s the budgeting season and you may be planning to dial up your content production for next year. But what really needs to be put under the scanner is just how much of the content you’re already producing is doing its job. Are the time, budget, and resources you’re spending generating the returns you’re looking for? If your answer is “no” or “I’m not sure”, you may want to take a step back and think about plugging the holes in your marketing strategy.
You need to have a plan in place that allows you to present impactful content that drives results. It shouldn’t be something you think is useful but rather have measurable proof that your prospective buyers are finding it useful. Otherwise, at best, you’re making it harder for them to make a well-informed decision. At worst, you’re making them feel overwhelmed, anxious, confused, and paralyzed by indecisiveness.
When you keep churning out content that fails to engage your potential customers, it won’t be long before they start ignoring your brand. They won’t be interested in learning about your product, or signing up to attend your event or webinar, or reading all of your latest blog articles.
Creating content that matters
The first step is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand what they are having to go through as decision makers. They are wading through overwhelming amounts of information trying to find the best possible solution for their organization amidst the rapidly changing tech landscape — all of this while working within a budget. Of course, they will be worried about the decisions they are making.
You job is to become a voice that they can trust to help them make the right decisions. So how do you do that? Gartner research suggests the following three steps:
· Analyze your prospects’ needs and based on that knowledge, offer resources and tools curated for them.
· Do the legwork in terms of breaking down and simplifying the info they need and deliver it in a way that is easily digestible.
· Help customers evaluate the quality of information and come to their own conclusions.
So the bottom line is, make your content all about your customers and make it as relevant for them as possible.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, ok we already do that.” But let’s consider this stat from CMI: Only 41% of marketers always/frequently craft content based on specific points of the buyer’s journey (compared to 53% last year). Given that content serves different purposes at each stage of the buyer’s journey, this alone could be the reason why your marketing content might be missing its mark.
Often one of the biggest weaknesses of a marketer can be not knowing what they might be doing wrong. If you struggle to understand whether your content is of any value to customers or not, here’s a small exercise to help you figure it out.
Take a minute to consider how you want your buyer to feel after they read or watch something that you are producing. Do you want them to feel?
· More informed
· Eager to learn more
Does your content reflect how you want them to feel?
Notice that the focus of these questions is on your prospective buyer and not on what you are trying to achieve (read ‘sell’). And, that’s because if your content is perceived as valuable by prospects, sales will follow. In fact, Gartner research shows that when customers receive helpful information that eases the purchase process, they are 3X more likely to spend more money on higher-tier products with less regret. That’s a win-win!
What are your thoughts? Do you struggle to create content that leave your buyers wanting more?