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Content Marketing

How Top B2B Marketers Build Experience Business with Content

Content management system

In our recently published “Build an Experience Business” guide, we explored how content management systems can be a major force in building strong customer experiences. Content Marketing is one top-of-the-funnel technique that marketers use in the B2B space. It is used to educate buyers, promote their brand, and generate leads. More and more, content marketers are looking to use content marketing to nurture leads, build loyalty, and increase sales.

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI), whose mission is to advance the practice of content marketing, conducts research on the effectiveness of content marketing. They recently published the 2020 edition of B2B Content Marketing, Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America. It includes interesting findings of successful vs non-successful marketers. Here are some examples:

Focus on customer needs, not internal needs

One central idea of customer experience is to create content the customer wants to view versus content that the marketer wants them to view. In the benchmark study, CMI found that 88% of successful marketers “Prioritize the audience’s informational needs over the organization’s sales/promotional message,” while only 50% of the least successful follow this practice.

Consider the entire customer journey

As mentioned, the traditional role of content marketing is focused on top-of-the-funnel activities.  As such, 84% of the marketers focus content marketing on paid channels with paid social media being the top channel.  For B2B, LinkedIn is the top platform and generates the best results.

When looking at the overall customer experience, the top-of-the-funnel is just the starting point. The study also shows that 74% of the most successful practitioners “craft content based on specific stages of the customer journey.” This compares to only 26% of the least successful marketers who consider the entire journey.

After viewing paid social media content, the content in your web experience or mobile experience is often the next stop on the journey. This is where your content management system comes into play.  If the experience you build on your web site doesn’t match your paid media, then you’ve likely lost those customers you paid a lot of money to acquire.

Prioritizing existing customers

There are two goals that are generating more interest this year than last year.  The first is building loyalty with existing customers.  For instance, 63% of respondents indicated that building loyalty is a priority which is an increase of 10% over last year. Here, the content management system can play a direct role by providing content and experiences for existing customers. This is something that is often missed by marketers looking at prospects only.

Lead nurturing is becoming more important

The second goal is to nurture leads. Here 68% of the marketers are looking to improve lead generation versus 58% in 2019.  Again, this is a place where content on your website or other channels can be used to provide more information. As a result, you provide more personalized experiences to prospects. These activities result in warming leads to the point that sales can take an active role.

If you are a B2B marketer, are you looking to create experiences across the customer’s entire journey? Or are you living at the top of the funnel only? Be sure to check out our second guide to review the current state of content management and how your organization can find the right fit.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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