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A report by B2B research, ratings and reviews firm Clutch explores how people recognise, consume and respond to content marketing. The survey defines content marketing as content produced by an individual representing his or her business.

The online business content people most recently consumed likely was part of a company’s content marketing strategy, the report says. 60% of the people surveyed say that the online business content they consumed in the past week was produced by an individual representing his or her business. When audiences encounter content marketing, they know it. Nearly 90% are confident when they identify online business content as content marketing. This data demonstrates the popularity of content marketing, particularly among B2B marketers.

According to Content Marketing Institute, over 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing to engage their audiences.

Because consumers of content marketing are often business people, they are also likely to invest in it and recognise that the content they consume online was produced for a business purpose.

More than one-fifth (21%) notice when content links back to a particular company’s website or identifies the author’s company in their bio. A similar percentage (19%) notice when content discusses a company’s products.

The methods people use to recognise content marketing reflect both the diversity of content that businesses publish and the number of online channels available for consuming content. The number of businesses that invest in content marketing, combined with the number of content channels online, means consumers are more exposed to content marketing.

Two-thirds (67%) believe that content marketing is useful and valuable.

Companies understand that consumers won’t even bother to consume content that lacks value or quality. When content marketing is transparent and high-quality, however, consumers derive more value from it even if it has a noticeable promotional slant.

Hallmarks of high-quality content include:

  • Originality: People want to consume content that provides new information or unique points of analysis about a topic.
  • Narrative: Business content can tell a story. Use narrative elements in your content – for example, storylines, case studies and examples, and themes – to keep consumers engaged.
  • Discussion of common customer issues: Prove that you understand your customers' points of view by discussing common issues your customers face.
  • Actionable tips for consumers: Discuss solutions to solve customers’ problems, rather than just stating that they exist. This builds trust with customers since you not only understand their issues but also know how to solve them.
  • High-quality external sources: High-quality content authoritative, trustworthy sources for support.

 

Content marketing improves a website’s SEO. By ranking for relevant keywords, content marketing increases consumers' awareness of your company's products and services.

To capture potential customers in the awareness stage, focus on producing content that gives you a chance to appear in the results of relevant search queries.

If your company produces content that speaks to issues that customers may use search engines to address, you improve the chances that Google indexes and displays your content among the results for those searches.

Because customers at this stage are intent on learning more, rather than purchasing, consider producing content that is easily consumable and provides clear takeaways.

Examples of this type of content include:

  • Blogs: Produce blog posts that discuss customer issues and FAQs in easy-to-read formats, such as lists and "how-to" pieces.
  • Email newsletters: Send easily skimmable emails that allow consumers to easily recognise and consume content that they find relevant.
  • Infographics: Display content in a visually compelling manner using an infographic.

Once your content marketing establishes awareness of your company, it drives customers toward the bottom of the sales funnel – the "decision" and "action" stages – during which consumers decide about whether they purchase a product or service and from which company.

For customers at these stages, your business should focus on producing content that is more focused on your services and products and how they serve to benefit customers.

Examples of this type of content include:

  • Product descriptions: Provides details about your company's products and services and how they serve to benefit your consumers.
  • Explainer videos: Teaches consumers how to use your products and promotes them as an effective tool for their needs.
  • Case studies: Illustrates the value your company and your products and services can provide for your customers.

82% of business content consumers have purchased from a company as a result of content marketing. People who read business content online are very likely to encounter content marketing.

Business audiences are very confident in their ability to identify content as content marketing and use various cues to recognise it. Overall, people find content marketing valuable and useful, particularly when businesses are transparent and produce high-quality content.

Businesses also benefit from content marketing. High-quality and valuable content marketing effectively transitions consumers through a company's sales funnel and resulted in a majority of audiences converting on a purchase in the past. It also encourages consumers to engage with your content, which helps improve your company’s SEO.

Clutch surveyed 384 employees who read business-related content online in the past week to learn how they encounter, recognise, and react to content marketing. 85% of the respondents were full-time and 15% were part-time employees.

Content@BuzzInContent.com