Content is King: Selling Thought Leadership

Due to my direct experience with inbound marketing (content marketing) and paid media digital channels, such as Display and Retargeting, I have intimate knowledge on how to move someone along the "buyer's journey." But as a digital marketer and a professional that leans on digital channels to produce tangible results, I have found it is necessary at times to take a step back from the copious amounts of data and analytics reports.

Especially in B2B, I believe we all have to really empathize with what best influences a purchasing decision in order to build credibility, nurture trust, and establish value. Therefore, we must frame our organization as a thought leader in its respective industry. One might ask, how do I do that?

This is accomplished by creating thoughtful, technical (if applicable), and relevant content to make a solid first impression on new eyes to your brand. It’s all about building credibility from the start and trust over time, building across attribution touch points, and through the marketing and sales process.

Content can be used in a variety of ways and through a range of channels across the purchasing process from first touch to last touch (from awareness to decision). The goal is to get prospects to your site, nurture those visits so they become leads, turn leads in to opportunities, and finally, opportunities in to paying customers. You want to digitally “walk” someone through the process while building a relationship through marketing nurturing touches and direct sales interaction. You can see it clearly encapsulated in this infographic or below in a quick list of 10 types of content to consider that can get your company on its way to content marketing success:

  1. Company Intro Video
  2. Analyst Reports
  3. Industry White Papers
  4. Industry Webinar
  5. Data Sheets
  6. Case Studies
  7. Product Video
  8. Product Webinar
  9. Vendor Comparison
  10. Product Comparison

Ultimately, with marketing touch points, you need to make them count by educating your audience on why your solution is the best one for them. What types of content have you found successful? What part of the funnel worked for specific types of content and why?