Wow – it’s less than one week until Content Marketing World 2012  – the world’s largest gathering of content marketing professionals. I’m thrilled to be speaking at this event. My presentation will explore how B2B companies can use content marketing to generate leads and shorten their sales cycles.

In preparation for Content Marketing World, I wanted to run blog posts that address some of the biggest B2B content marketing fears. These fears usually manifest themselves in the form of excuses that can hold B2B marketers back from evolving with the times, meeting their customers’ needs and getting the most ROI from their marketing.

This is the first post in the series and explores perhaps the biggest B2B content marketing excuse:

That’s Not How Things Are Done in My Company or Industry

This can be a huge concern among B2B marketers who are considering implementing a content marketing strategy (whether it’s launching a blog, developing more educational materials or overhauling your entire marketing strategy). If you work for a large, traditional organization, it can be hard to convince your executives to do something new – especially if they don’t see a need for it.

However, if you continue to do nothing, because you believe “that’s not how things are done in my industry,” you’ll start seeing your competitors take advantage of content marketing. The B2B Content Marketing 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report revealed that 90% of B2B organizations are marketing with content. This means that chances are, your competitors are using content marketing to generate leads, shorten sales cycles, build brand awareness and enhance their customer relationships.

Here are three ways to get your team on board for content marketing:

Your executives want to know how any new marketing initiative is going to benefit the company’s bottom line. While it can be hard to determine how many sales will come from your content marketing efforts, you may have an easier time setting projections for how many people will visit your website or how large of an audience you will reach through social media. Meeting these smaller goals will eventually increase your sales.

Provide stakeholders with examples of content marketing strategies that you like, so they will have an idea of what you are planning. You can show them things your competitors are doing or you can show them examples from other industries. Also be sure to explain why you think a similar strategy will work for you. 

One of the biggest challenges of content marketing is getting your team used to their new content marketing roles. For example, your CEO may need to blog, or your salespeople may need to change how they talk about your products or services. This shift in thinking can take a lot of work – so be prepared to answer lots of questions and provide the proper training to get everyone on the same page.

Plus, you can start small. You don’t need to immediately overhaul your marketing or start blogging every day. For example, you can start by looking at your email communications. Are all your messages about product updates or company news? Are your open and click-through rates suffering? If so, you have an opportunity to engage your audience by emailing them helpful articles that address some of their key concerns.

What about you? What are your biggest challenges in terms of getting your team on board for content marketing? Feel free to share your comments below.


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