B2B companies rely on quality content to differentiate themselves and their products. They will continue to do so during 2012. The website is still home base for most companies, but social media and branded content are augmenting their online presence. Marketing budgets are increasing in these areas. Professional content providers are employing content strategies proven effective in reaching prospects and building relationships that matter.
Prospects are looking for your location, contact information, what you do, a clear message, and easy interaction (click to chat?). Those not familiar with the company head for the About Us page. They also want to know who your customers are. For 2012 you may consider a light, not so serious tone. Be genuine and use simple language. Keep evolving with the design to see what works best as your offers or strategies change. Ways to add interest may include a blog, twitter feed, customer reviews/ratings or videos featuring your customers.
For some B2B companies social media is becoming a customer service outlet. Feedback and response are important. It’s another way to strengthen SEO ranking. According to a recent survey of B2B marketers conducted by the Content Marketing Institute: Twitter outdoes all other channels for content distribution with 74% of B2B content marketers using Twitter followed by LinkedIn (71%), Facebook (70%) and YouTube (56%).
In 2011, a study conducted by the Custom Content Council and the branded content newsletter ContentWise showed branded content (content produced by a brand) represented more than 50% percent of the total marketing budget in responding companies. The most often cited reason for using branded content was to educate customers.
During 2012, it seems branded content will be used by marketers at companies of all sizes. Nearly three quarters of respondents believe it is more effective than magazine advertising. Sixty-nine percent think it tops direct mail and public relations.
Content Strategist help companies create and position their content. Ahava Leibtag predicted that in 2012 more companies will rely on content curation (vetting of information for customers), delivering and displaying content (think mobile devices) and integrating marketing and communications (social media people trained in customer service). Content curation is being talked about a lot these days.
What becomes apparent is that quality content created by professional content providers is a good business strategy for 2012.