In order for your marketing to succeed, you need to define what success looks like. You need to pinpoint the results that you want your business to obtain from content marketing. According to industry research, four of the five items shown below are the most important results to B2B marketers in North America. The fifth in this list– Web Traffic/SEO– is one of the most important results, in our opinion. How many of the following results stick out as
ones that your business needs to pursue? Which is your most important?

Lead Generation
On HubSpot.com, Anum Hussain says that generating leads through content is about making an organic, genuine connection in which someone “indicates interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.” Someone who signs up for your newsletter, requests more information about you, comments on one of your posts, or shows interest in some other way has become a lead. By presenting content that is valuable, funny, or inspiring, you’re perpetually prospecting for leads, inviting consumers to investigate you. When a consumer encounters your content and shows they’re interested, you have obtained a lead that is of better quality than you would have gained from something like a cold call.

Lead Nurturing
According to Lindsay Kolowich on HubSpot, 50% of leads aren’t ready to buy at the time of conversion. That means there’s a transition between interested consumers and invested customers. According to this infographic by Eliv8, nurturing the conversation and connection with a newly-converted lead involves persistent and relevant email marketing.

Sales
When it comes to closing the deal, research conducted by LinkedIn shows that 86% of buyers will listen if sales professionals provide insights about their business. Whether you are your own sales rep or you’re working with a sales team, remember that, according to an excellent article by Alex Lopes at the Content Marketing Institute, today’s largely digital marketplace means that it’s not just about face time; sales efforts need a generous dose of
valuable content in order to demonstrate credibility, build relationship, stay top of mind, prove you solve the problem, and speak your prospect’s language.

Brand Awareness
It’s not just about the biggest billboard, the smoothest cold calls, or the most web ads– it’s about showing consumers what you have to offer by providing real value for them on a regular basis, even before they make any purchase. By consistently teaching, entertaining, or inspiring your readers with content that reflects your brand, you will prove yourself as a thought leader in your market and, as a result, come up first in a consumer’s mind when their need arises.

Web Traffic/Search Engine Optimization
Quality content will drive traffic to your website. With proper consultation and analysis, you can make sure that your content is both appealing to audiences and organically optimized for search engines. You don’t need to cut corners when it comes to search engine optimization; simply be intentional about producing a stream of varied content that addresses your target market’s problems or interests and use relevant keywords in every place you can, including metadata and image descriptions.

Smart Marketing=Specific Results
Smart marketing is all about producing better results. Which of these five results does your business need to focus on the most? What other results do you want to glean from your content marketing? For more tips on defining your results, laying your foundation, and planning a customized marketing campaign that achieves your goals, check out our series titled Tools for Your Marketing Campaign.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

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