Your business has a huge amount of potential. On paper, you should be knocking it out of the park. So why does it feel like your marketing efforts are falling short of the mark?

New research could have the answer. A study carried out for the LinkedIn B2B Institute reveals that most companies switch service providers (e.g. banking, legal, software and telecoms) once every five years. That means 20% are looking per year. 5% per quarter.

Leaving a whopping 95% who are not even remotely interested in what you’ve got to offer at any given time. Harsh, but true.

Forget short-term ROI, focus on the future

Unless someone really wants or needs your product or service, you’ll struggle to make a sale. Which is why you need to be targeting people with a longer-term lens.

When a business is ready to invest, they are more likely to do so with a brand they know. Research tells us that 82% of people searching for a product on Google click on websites they are familiar with – regardless of page ranking.

But looking to the future is hard when the C-suite is notoriously hooked on short-term ROI figures. This data can be hugely misleading. By highlighting the benefits of long-term investment in a brand, you can start to move sales figures in the right direction.

Or in other words, by laying the groundwork now, you increase your chances of making a sale down the line. Remember: the best results take time.

Building trust and awareness through content marketing

Building customer trust and awareness is crucially important in business. Fortunately, opportunities to do just that are rife right now.

Post-pandemic, businesses are now more trusted by the public than NGOs, the government and the media. This means there’s never been a better time to start developing stronger relationships with customers through strategic content marketing.

Here are three ways you can use content marketing for long-term gains:

1 Create relevant, meaningful content

Content can work wonders for a business. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. But that can’t be said for all content; it needs to be timely, relevant and tell a story.

The more strategic your content, the more it engages and stays with them. Make sure your content planning process answers key questions, such as:

  • What are your customers’ pain points and what solutions can you offer?
  • What is your audience looking for?
  • What added value can you offer?

It’s only by understanding your audience that you can create impactful, meaningful content that meets their needs and creates a long-term emotional connection.

2 Demonstrate authority, not products or services

People tend to trust and rely on brands that provide value. Your content strategy can create that value by educating readers, answering their questions and giving them the information they desire. In a B2B context, that could mean offering industry insights or taking a deep dive into a specific topic.

Create content, not with the aim of selling your products or services, but of sharing knowledge and cementing your position as an industry authority.

Never forget: people like to buy from companies they know, like and trust. The reader might not be looking for your particular product or solution right now, but by building a stronger association between brand and industry expertise, you could be front of mind when they do.

3 Remain 100% authentic, no matter what

Customers like their brands to be genuine. In fact, 88% of consumers feel authenticity is an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support.

Failing to be authentic can cause a huge amount of damage to a brand. Not just harming audience engagement, but also harming profits, too.

Luckily, embracing authenticity is straight-forward. It just calls for a strong brand voice (that aligns with your content marketing), uber-responsiveness to customers (to build stronger, long-term relationships), and tackling any negative feedback head-on (showing customers you care and want to make amends).

When it comes to content marketing that hits the mark, it’s all about building long-term relationships and avoiding one-night stands.

Q is a content marketing agency based in Bristol and Bath specialising in content strategy, planning and production. If you’re after a content plan based on facts, not guesswork, get in touch with our team today.

Ben Hollom

September 27, 2021