Why content marketing can make the difference amid the COVID-19 closures

Report: Content marketing is going to be vital for lead generation

With events and roundtables being cancelled in all industries across the globe in the wake of COVID-19, and no indication when they may be able to start up again, content marketing is going to be vital for lead generation.

However, according to a new report, only 12 per cent of marketers believe their content marketing programs target the right audiences with relevant and persuasive content.

According to the CMO Council's new Making Content Marketing Convert report, only 21 per cent of marketers are sufficiently partnered with their sales counterparts in developing and measuring demand generation programs, and most view their content marketing process as ad hoc, decentralised, and driven by internal stakeholder, rather than customer, interests.

While 88 per cent of business buyers/customers say online content impacts vendor selection, just 9 per cent think of vendors as trusted sources of content, rating content produced by professional organisations and industry groups as more usable and relevant.

Another of the Council’s reports, Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field, highlighted the critical need for marketing organisations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics. 

It says well-conceived, customer-centric themes and subject areas, strong content origination capabilities and partnerships, more effective delivery networks, and measurable content performance tracking systems are vital not only in uncertain times, but during regular operations.

"Marketers must act quickly and decisively to increase the impact, scope, reach and return of their content marketing investments in 2020," CMO Council executive director, Donovan Neale-May, said. "Our research also shows there is a critical need for marketing organisations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics."

The report said good content is vital in the selection of vendors. In fact, nearly 30 per cent of content downloaders say they share what they source with more than 100 colleagues, while another 31 per cent share it with 25 to 100 business associates.

Peer-powered organisations are the most trusted and valued sources of online content; 67 per cent of respondents named research and whitepapers from professional organisations among the most trusted content sources, compared to just 9 per cent who named vendor white papers. Other trusted and valued types of content include papers from industry organisations (50 per cent); customer case studies (48 per cent); analyst reports (44 per cent); and independent product reviews (41 per cent).

The report says the top 10 essentials for effective authority leadership-driven content marketing are:

  1. Partner with credible and trusted sources

  2. Produce relevant and compelling strategic insights

  3. Add customer-contributed views and validation

  4. Present authoritative, newsworthy and enriched content

  5. Engage qualified, verified and predisposed audiences

  6. Target the whole influencer, specifier and buyer ecosystem

  7. Embrace multi-channel distribution, promotion + syndication

  8. Authenticate content consumption and buyer engagement

  9. Ensure lead legitimacy and compliance

  10. Cultivate, activate and convert prospect flow.

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