If you’re a B2B enterprise software CEO, you’re probably a strong advocate of your product. You know you’ve created an awesome software solution that offers your potential customers a slew of benefits they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
There’s just one problem.
Those potential customers? They don’t know you exist.
To drive sales, you need an information-rich website, a strong presence in search and social channels, and high quality content that gets inside your ideal customers’ heads.
In other words, you need content marketing.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
When your prospects have a problem, they turn to the internet for answers.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re an ERP software provider targeting small- to medium-sized businesses.
What methods are you using to get your ideal customers’ attention?
Maybe you’re using PPC, SEO and marketing automation. But is it working?
THE ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE CEO & THE SMB PROSPECT: AN IMAGINARY CASE STUDY
The CEO of a medium-sized wholesale auto parts distributor is worried. His company uses outdated software and manual processes to manage its inventory, and they’re having trouble delivering their orders as fast as their competitors. The CEO knows the company needs to streamline its order and delivery processes, but he doesn’t know where to start looking for a solution.
Your ERP software could totally turn things around for the CEO’s company. The only problem? He’s never heard of you. In fact, at this point, he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for. He’s definitely not aware of the fact that what he’s in the market for is ERP software.
One night, after a late delivery causes him to lose another longtime client, our imaginary CEO decides to look for answers. He goes to Google.com and types in: “How can wholesale auto parts distributors speed up deliveries?”.
Let’s stop here for a moment. It’s important to note that our CEO didn’t search for “ERP software” or “software for wholesale auto parts distributors.” In fact, the word “software” didn’t even show up in his search question.
If you’re spending the majority of your marketing budget on a single tactic, ask yourself if it’s working. Maybe, for example, you’re focusing exclusively on SEO. In the case of our troubled CEO (who happens to be a great fit for your product) will your SEO strategy pay off?
If your target keywords are “ERP software” or “software for wholesale auto parts distributors,” then the answer to that question is no. You’re not going to get our imaginary CEO’s business because you didn’t capture his attention when it mattered.
Content marketing is the practice of creating content that gets you found online. It’s the glue that holds PPC, SEO and marketing automation together. When you implement a content marketing plan, you’re delivering the right content to the right people at the right time.
HOW CONTENT MARKETING GETS YOU MORE LEADS THAN ANY OTHER TACTIC
How could things have gone differently in the scenario I just described?
Let’s imagine you had originally decided to go in a different direction with your marketing budget. Instead of pouring all your marketing dollars into a single tactic, you hired a content marketing consultant to create and implement a comprehensive online marketing plan. The content marketing consultant used her expertise to tie together SEO, PPC, marketing automation and content strategy in a way that made sense for your business.
Your content marketing consultant kicked off your relationship with an in-depth review of your business and your customers. One of the things she found out was that you target SMB’s in the wholesale and manufacturing industries. As part of the initial research and discovery process, she interviewed a number of SMB executives, including one from a wholesale auto parts distributor. During that interview, the executive revealed that one of his biggest pain points was delivering products in a timely manner.
Your content marketing consultant turned your prospects’ pain points into items on your editorial calendar, including the auto parts executive’s struggle with speedy deliveries. As a result, your company blog now features a post with the headline, “How Wholesale Auto Parts Distributors Can Speed Up Deliveries.”
Let’s go back to our imaginary CEO and his search for “How can wholesale auto parts distributors speed up deliveries?”. With your content marketing strategy in place, there’s an excellent chance that your blog post, “How Wholesale Auto Parts Distributors Can Speed Up Deliveries,” appeared on the first page of his search results. Because your headline is worded almost exactly the way the CEO worded his question, it’s highly probable that he’ll click through to your website. If your website content clearly explains how your software can solve the CEO’s problems, you’re in the perfect position to gain his business.
And that, friends, is how it’s done.
SMART COMPANIES EMBRACE CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing can sound overwhelming at first, and there are many reasons why you shouldn’t go at it alone. A content marketing agency or a freelance content strategist can create a start-to-finish plan that generates more leads and drives more revenue than any other marketing tactic, and your contribution can be as minimal or as major as you’d like.
Hiring a content marketing expert is the single most powerful thing you can do to grow your business. Businesses that fail to invest in content will face serious obstacles in the near future, including problems with lead generation, search engine visibility, reputation and maintaining a competitive advantage. Content is at the core of everything your business does online. If you refuse to acknowledge its importance, you’re putting your entire future at risk. If you embrace it, you’ll see massive rewards.
It comes down to this: Invest in quality content or keep doing what you’re doing.
The choice is yours.