Content Marketing: The creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service.
The Role of Content Marketing in Demand Generation Content Marketing is “The creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service.” Though the focus of this content may not specifically be about your organization or its offerings, often assets created for the purpose of content marketing include a mix of problem-specific information and thought leadership.
Demand generation is the function of a B2B marketing department that creates demand for your product or service. This is much more than lead generation, as it also includes the conversations and activities that occur prior to the lead being passed to sales.
This is because organizations are finding success by increasing awareness and demand for an entire industry, allowing the company to benefit from the expanded market and its increased interest. To be effective, you cannot just focus on the benefits of your product or service, but instead share the business benefits of employing best practices in your industry. Companies that successfully use content marketing will improve their credibility amongst customers and prospects and will be able to claim a larger share of the available market than competitors. This is because they are building trust and rapport with these prospects and customers, making it easier for them to justify purchasing your product.
Content is not just white papers, webinars and web pages. It includes a wide range of information your company uses to educate buyers. This is thought leadership and can include:
- Case Studies
- Information Guides
- Microsites/Web Pages
- Online Courses
- Product Data Sheets
- Reference Guides
- Resource Libraries
Effective content marketing is imperative to demand generation because it helps create product demand. Content affects demand generation in three important ways:
- Lead Generation
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Lead Generation
A core function of a marketing department is lead generation. For content to be successful for lead generation, it must follow these six rules of content marketing:
- It is not promotional – promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire, both critical components of content marketing.
- It is relevant – generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader will not result in increased success. When writing content you must make sure it will be useful to the reader, regardless of whether it supports your company message.
- It closes a gap – content marketing should answer a business question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort by the organization.
- It is well written – poorly written thought leadership may not only provide poor results, but may also hurt the company’s reputation. Take time to ensure content is presented in a thoughtful manner and is free of errors.
- It is relevant to your company – if the content you create does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.
- It gives proof – since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure that content you create gives proof either through quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.
While following the steps above will allow you to create good content, good content is not enough. Instead, you must share this content so that it is consumed and information about prospects is gathered.
A McKesson ENT Company