We need 3 types of Content for effective content marketing

We need 3 types of Content for effective content marketing: primary, secondary and tertiary - 1 for each stage. B2B Marketers want to bring qualified prospects to their website. Then they want to engage them and finally, they want to win the prospect. Marketers need to understand the stage of the buying cycle a prospect is at and accordingly share content.

1. Content to attract, educate and nurture (Primary Content)

The first step is to share with a larger audience a piece of content that creates interest in a prospect to click. This can be achieved through a quick message that is compelling enough for the decision-maker or the influencer to click. For example, an infographic representing the value of artificial intelligence in marketing would create an interest in a CMO's mind to learn more. Once, the CMO clicks on the link, he reaches the website where he reads not just that infographic but comes across several white papers, research reports, case studies, etc.

The CMO then drills down and learns more and more about the value of artificial intelligence. A savvy B2B Marketer who keeps a firm eye on web analytics knows that the CMO is keen on learning more. The B2B Marketers knows exactly what content the CMO read from the resource section. If there are gated content, the CMO must have left his business card information too. By now, the B2B Marketer has performed two of his tasks successfully - brought a qualified prospect to the website and pushed him further to the consideration phase. At the consideration phase, the B2B Marketer ensured that his website had enough content not just to educate the CMO but got an opt-in to be contacted.

2. When prospect becomes Sales Qualified Lead (Secondary Content)

Once the interest is established, the B2B Marketer should get in touch with the Sales team to plan the next steps. These could be an in-person meeting, free-trial, on-site demo, etc. It is important that the B2B Marketer should plan any further communication with the prospect only after consulting the Sales team.

3. When the deal is closed (Tertiary Content)

A good content strategy should go beyond a deal closure. Post closure, it would be advisable for the B2B Marketer to plan content strategy in consultation with the Account Management team. Every relevant product, services or add-on components should be communicated timely and effectively through nicely crafted white papers.

Case studies should be shared regularly around the product or services to eliminate post-purchase dissonance if any. Ultimately, the goal of the B2B Marketer should be to create brand advocates.

The most important deliverable of content - value creation

The most important consideration for a B2B Marketer should be that each communication should be a value-addition for the prospect. If the content is not adding value at a given stage of a buying cycle, it is not worth the effort. A great content strategy should contribute seamlessly to attracting, engaging, educating, nurturing the prospect. Once, the deal is closed, content should help in getting repeat business and in establishing brand advocates.