When Analytics Inform the Strategy
B2B brands are quickly realizing they must prioritize fostering relationships with potential customers early on the sales cycle. Creating and distributing content (aka content marketing) has become one of the primary, and most effective marketing tactics for accomplishing that goal.
Winning The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
In 2011, Google released the ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) concept, which provides an updated model for how people experience purchase decisions. Jim Leciniski, VP of Sales & Service at Google stated “Marketers who believe in the Zero Moment of Truth, who optimize and build their marketing programs around the Zero Moment of Truth, stand to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.“
While the release of ZMOT didn’t send shockwaves throughout the traditional advertising communities, savvy internet marketers were already seeing the signs, such as “one-off” campaigns not delivering the impact of previous efforts. This for me was the start of our own content marketing discovery that led to a matured approach to SEO, where personas became the foundation for how our clients could better connect to their customers.
Google’s foresight was completely on target and with search and social now driving the majority of how businesses initially connect with customers online, we are witnessing an explosion of client generated content. This demand for content generation is now forcing marketers to invest in developing structured content strategies that are based on identifying new opportunities across business and industry channels to ultimately increase the right traffic.
The pursuit of information plays a big part in a customer’s buying (buy-in) journey, and increasingly customers start with search engines. While identifying Personas can help formulate a comprehensive content strategy, knowing which content areas can really move the needle starts with understanding what opportunities exist, and in turn where to focus your content marketing efforts. The approach for developing a B2B content strategy is addressed in another one of our blog posts, “What your B2B content marketing strategy is missing.”
The Right Tool for the Job
One tool we utilize to identify content topics that will drive results is Searchlight by Conductor - an enterprise Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology platform. In April of this year, Conductor was named a finalist for the 2014 SIIA Software CODiE Award for Best Business Intelligence/Analytics Solution.
Conductor ‘s unique approach to measuring search rankings brings together search data in intelligent ways to support and inform content strategies and marketing objectives. One example of this is allow marketing teams to focus on content areas already in striking distance where the development of additional subject related content could lead to an increase in rankings and traffic surge ultimately leading to conversions that support overall marketing efforts.
How allwebcafe Uses Searchlight
At allwebcafe, we use the Searchlight tool in a variety of ways, but the most valuable purpose it serves is in guiding our content creation strategies. Through Searchlight’s data, we can take a data driven approach to identifying gaps that exist in clients’ digital content strategies.
To do this in Searchlight, we categorize target keywords and content using marketing personas that have been identified, and then analyze which personas and areas have the most opportunity to achieve current business objectives. The result is an informed marketing strategy that focuses on incorporating keyword and content performance data into your marketing strategy.
What this Means for Your Future Marketing Efforts
Marketers and agencies who are not focused on building engaging content that directly deals with customer pain points are finding that their search campaigns are suffering and losing customers to content-savvy competitors.
Start by working with your agency partners to determine what sort of trends and results they are seeing in the data, and find ways to work with them on aligning your strategy accordingly. From there, you can establish actionable goals to ensure that overall marketing and business goals are being satisfied, and that the client / agency partnership is set up for success.
A strategy is only as good as the execution and these goals should consider many factors beyond connecting potential customers needs with right content. Work to find strategic, data-driven ways to align your marketing strategy with both the needs of your customers, and your company’s business goals and objectives, and you’ll be on your way to success (and possibly a promotion).