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What makes a successful content marketer? When it comes to B2B content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute and its partners publish an annual review called B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budget, and Trends-North America that sheds light on some of the best content marketing practices.

The 2018 version of that report provides a number of insights as to what the most successful B2B content marketers in North America are doing differently than everyone else. By studying successful content marketers and their strategies, you can focus and improve your efforts.

Here, we list the characteristics shared by organizations that described their content marketing as extremely or very successful.

1. A Documented Content Marketing Strategy

Writing down a clear and specific strategy is important. It should include the goals you want to achieve and contain a profile of your target market, often in the form of buyer personas. Use what you already know about your audience. For example, identify your existing posts that get the most attention. Use analytics to determine which types of content generate the most engagement. Focus on that content and conduct keyword research to gather new content ideas.

2. A Mature Content Marketing Effort

Gartner has developed a Maturity Model for Content Marketing that shows organizations how to advance their marketing efforts over time by highlighting key milestones. The model includes 5 different levels, beginning at level 1 with a nonexistent strategy and progressing to level 5 with content being integral to a frictionless customer journey. Although you can’t suddenly make your content marketing strategy more mature overnight, you can consciously work toward higher levels of maturity.

3. A High Level of Commitment

Research shows that only 20 percent of marketers think their organization is highly committed to making content marketing work. This is a problem because content marketing takes considerable time, effort, and money. Content marketers need the automated tools that will help them achieve success. They need insights from marketing and sales to refine their approach over time. If the leaders of an organization aren’t committed to content marketing efforts, their team will end up doing a poor job. Therefore, it’s best to devote the required resources or save your money altogether.

4. A Realistic View of Content Marketing Results

Content marketing can provide measurable results for your organization. It beats outbound marketing in terms of generating more leads and costing less. However, content marketing isn’t the cure-all some people think it will be. Content marketing works in conjunction with a solid overall marketing strategy. Anyone who is an expert in content marketing knows it isn’t an overnight success. You need time to produce results.

5. A Calendar of Regular (and Often Frequent) Publishing

It’s impossible to build an audience if your content publishing is sporadic. If you publish content daily, weekly or monthly, your audience will expect you to continue to do so. Because of this, successful organizations make publishing consistently and as frequently as possible a priority. According to Hubspot, publishing 16+ blog posts a month brings 3.5x more traffic than publishing 0 to 4 articles.

6. A Focus on Building an Audience

Content marketing allows you to create an audience of subscribers. They’re the people who want to interact with your content and have subscribed to receive it. On the other hand, a lead is someone who you have permission to email but hasn’t taken the next step and subscribed to hear from you. Make it your goal to turn leads into subscribers by creating content that people want to read. It helps to ask your readers questions about the types of content they’d like to receive by conducting surveys.

Overview

Content marketing is a tool you can use to increase your competitive edge and grow your business. If you do it right, it can have a significant impact. However, it isn’t easy and will require a clear strategy, dedicated effort, strong commitment, and focus on one’s audience. In addition, working with knowledgeable experts in the field can make all the difference.

Contact us to learn how we can help you with every stage of your content marketing strategy, from creating buyer personas to developing an impressive content calendar.