Why do some BtoB companies excel at content based, social media marketing while others falter? Based on my experience, and observing how other companies have used content based marketing, I think the biggest reason is company buy-in.
With traditional marketing, the marketing team creates the message, branding, ad content, sales collateral, and the like. They control the message and push it out through the regular channels. The rest of the company sits back and lets marketing do their thing. With traditional marketing, the biggest challenge is getting the funds needed to carry out the marketing plan.
The challenges with content based marketing are decidedly different. Sure, the budget issue is still there, but the biggest hurdle is developing a steady stream of relevant content that resonates with clients and prospects. With content based marketing, you need to go beyond blogging about your newest product enhancement; you have to do more than talk about yourself. Let’s face it, most BtoB companies are not that interesting. You can quickly bore your clients and prospects, and when that happens they will tune you out.
How do you not fall into the trap of only talking about yourself and being boring? The marketing department can only do so much. While marketing must take the lead and pave the way, the subject matter experts within the organization must be willing to share their knowledge, experience, and time. They must get in the game. They must blog, tweet, engage on your company’s Facebook page, help write white papers, and the like. They may not realize it, but most companies have numerous subject matter experts that have unique stories, insight, and experience that clients and prospects would love to learn from. They have knowledge and experience that if shared, would truly help their clients and prospects. They could contribute to building the reputation of the company, and help them stand out from the competition. They should not only help create the content, but share it through their own social channels, spreading the message far beyond where marketing can take it on their own. Leaving content based marketing to a couple of people in the marketing department to do it on their own isn’t enough; it doesn’t work.
So why do companies struggle with this? The reasons vary. For some, it is a time and resource issue. For others, it is because they don’t understand the power of content based marketing. Maybe marketing needs to do a better job at selling the concept. For others, it is because they don’t have an appreciation for the knowledge and insight they have. They don’t think anyone would be interested in what they have to say.
The company buy-in issue goes beyond just content creation. It extends to how the sales organization will use the content. Will they see the value in it and use it to nurture their prospects? For companies that excel at content based marketing, the answer is yes.
Has your company engaged in content based, social media marketing ? Did you get company buy-in or is the marketing department doing it on their own? Please share your comments.