What is Content Marketing ?

Content Marketing is a marketing lever which goal is to create and promote content. It is a integral part of the Inbound Marketing’s strategy to bring the client to the company with the objective of acquiring a qualified audience and generating leads.

In this definition Stéphane Truphème insists on 2 points:

– the need to implement a real thought strategy and which uses confirmed competences,

– the importance of communicating in an organised way on the content produced.

By respecting these two rules, the company will then increase its chances to succeed its Inbound Marketing and then generate leads.

Over the years, the practice of Content Marketing has developed greatly to provide an alternative to the classic forms of advertisement more and more considered as intrusive. Therefore 80% of the decision-makers in the industry prefer to have provider’s information through an article rather than an advertisement (source Content Marketing Institute) and that customers/prospects spend 50% of their free time online consuming broadcasted contents by brands (source Hotspot).

Marketers have well understood that they had to attract their targets in a different way by offering them more subtle content that could possibly settle the brand in their mind and make it credible. This will also allow them to save money in comparison with Outbound expenses. Regarding this subject, Stéphane Truphème precises us that Content Marketing would cost 62% less than traditional advertising.

Trends that justify Content Marketing

The first trend is regarding customers who, facing constant and omnipresent solicitations, have ended up developing a form of resistance to commercials.

Some statistics that testify this resistance:

  • 90% of decision-makers no longer accept unsolicited phone calls
  • 86% say they change channel when commercials are launched on TV
  • Only 8% of signed cases are originated in traditional channels.

For years, digital has played an important role by creating a form of acceleration from these intrusions, making the web a key communication channel for brands. Clients have to face a new phenomenon:  infobesity (information overload)

The second trend corresponds to the autonomy of customers and more precisely the change in their behaviour for solutions search.

To contextualise this trend, Stéphane Truphème refers to the well-known ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) of Google applied in B2C. Thus, before digitalisation, the purchase act was a 2 steps act. The first one took place in the store where the client lived his buying experience. The second one was during the use of the product. When both experiences were positive, the client played then an influencing role and recommended the product or service purchased.

Today, ZMOT (Zero Moment Of Truth) comes between the stimulus (advertisement or not), and the first prospect contact with the brand/product. It concerns all research and comparisons of information made online. In this new configuration, the prospect will not only take into account the word of the brands but will also put an emphasis on the expression of the customers who bought the product or service. In other words, ZMOT is here to reconsider the brand place in its relationship with the customer.

ZMOT also applies in B2B. It can be noted that today around two-thirds of the purchasing process is done in a complete autonomous way. To answer a need, the customer starts his purchase process alone while seeking information online: comparative guides, guides of purchase… Internet is full of contents that will help him to get a more precise image of his needs. Once he will be in the buying phase, he will have a clearer representation of what he is looking for. Then comes the 2 traditional moments of truth that will lead or not to the purchase act.

A journey that could be separated in 3 phases: a discovery phase, an evaluation phase and a decision-making phase.

Usually companies master the processing of the evaluation and decision-making phase.

Sending quotes, product’s demonstration… all means are deployed by the sales to conclude to sale. On the contrary, gaps appear during the first phase where the leads management is deficient or non-existent.

Internet users who arrived on websites, blogs or companies’ social media and who are in the discovery phase are careless. Indeed, with the absence of a Call To Action responding to their level of maturity, they leave the page.

One of the main challenges of inbound B2B marketing is to cover successfully the discovery phase, to orchestrate the content that will feed this phase and make visible the brand to the leads.

In order to do that, the company must respect some rules that Stéphane Truphème presents us as the next episode of webinar.

How to succeed in your Content Marketing strategy ?

The first content strategy foundation is the definition of positioning.

The company answers the following questions: What value can I offer in my market? What are my specificities? How can I make different my contents from those proposed by my competitors? What is my value proposition? My Mission Statement?

Stéphane Truphème defines this value proposition as the legitimacy of the brand in its market. This legitimacy is reflected in what it brings to its target in opposition to its competitors.

The more its content is different, the more it will stand out in its market, gain places in SEO and be visible on social networks.

The second foundation deals with the specification of the target.

Once the placement is defined, the company must specify its targets group. It needs to understand precisely its need and buying cycle to address the right content. It is there that appears the Persona concept and is very useful to answer this problematic.

The needs of a Marketing Automation editor will be different from those that could have an e-commerce for example, says Stéphane Truphème.

To this end and to a better understanding of the concept of Persona, we invite you to join our webinar « Comment booster votre génération de leads grâce à la Customer Intelligence » (How to boost your lead generation with Customer Intelligence) available in replay on the Leads Café channel of Companeo Groupe.

The third foundation corresponds to the use of the Sales Funnel.

The concept of conversion funnel makes it possible to align its contents according to the targets maturity. Indeed, they are not all ready to listen to a commercial speech. When these targets start a purchase journey, they often need educational information, expertise or simply being inspired.

To sum up the Funnel is based on:

  • The discovery phase: our goal here is to answer the problems of personas defined previously. The content must be disinterested and without any commercial pressure. It will allow the company to feed its leads, not yet qualified, and to create some empathy with its leads.
  • The evaluation phase: here we address content that will help prospects to choose the product that best meet their needs. It will also allow the brand to be a part of the retained prospect’s consideration group.
  • The decision phase: It is most likely the best managed phase by companies and which involves its sales force. The content is rather functional axed on the products description: product sheets, price list…

The different contents are defined for each target, Stéphane Truphème insists on the necessity to use the Inbound Marketing to take the most advantages of its content. He introduces this methodology in 4 steps: Attract, Convert, Conclude and Enchant.

First of all, the company needs to create an audience.

By producing pedagogical expertise content in B2B or B2C through blogs, social media, it will attract visitors. The higher « premium » quality is the content, the more the company has a chance to acquire quality leads. A premium content is a content sufficiently captivating to push the contacts to give their contact information against the content obtention, explains Stéphane Truphème. The media that best meet this objective are white papers and webinars.

Once the lead generated, marketers need to ensure their « maturity » before transmitting them to the sales for treatment. One of the levers qualifying their maturity is the Lead Scoring. It allows to test leads reaction and assign them a certain number of points according to their level of maturity.

Mature leads are then treated by the sales: this is the concretisation phase.

Recommendations not to be ignored !

Finally, our guest offers us 3 recommendations that can further reinforce your Content Marketing strategy and optimise your leads generation.

Ensure your contents promotion: SEO remains the preferred tactic as it will allow you to better plan your contents and ensure its quality. Social media is unavoidable, but new uses emerge such as employee advocacy.

Use CRO techniques: Attract your audience is not an end in itself. It is important to ensure that a maximum of visitors become leads. The conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is therefore a crucial importance. Here it is necessary to rely on landing pages and efficient CTAs. The AB tests must also allow you to optimise your actions.

Invest in Technology: The digital solutions market offers you today a great number of performant tools. As an example, the Co-schedule for Content Marketing. This tool allows to prepare and manage your contents at the same time but also to program the promotion on social networks.

 

To conclude, it is important to note that Inbound Marketing does not replace the Outbound, it completes it and solves its gaps. It is essential to balance communication between the two practices to ensure better prospects for results.

Bringing the customer back to the heart of the strategic reflexion of leads generation is now an imperative in B2B. The interest that the company will bring to its problems will settle the brand in his memory and make it appear in his group of consideration when he will decide to go to the purchase act.

 

Click here to review the entire webinar

 

Speakers:

Stéphane Truphème: Founder of Captain Marketing

Translate by Laura Pitz

Mohamed Khodja: Customer Marketing Director at Companeo Groupe

 

 

Find all our webinars dedicated to leads generation on our Webikeo channel!

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