Content marketing is clearly gaining more traction in the B2B space.
According to B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend in the next 12 months.
But What is Content Marketing?
According to Junta42.com, content marketing “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Content marketing can be any form of online media content used to educate and point a customer to your products. This can be in the form of eBooks, podcasts, blogs, or other media outlets.
Content marketing is important for three main reasons:
1. Improves search engine rankings
Maintaining a regular blog on your website can improve your search engine rankings and boost traffic to your site. Writing quality content relevant to your industry can help attract new site visitors and customers.
2. Helps generate leads
If you regularly post quality content you have an opportunity to capture more leads from your site’s increased traffic. Including calls-to-action at the end of your blog posts and throughout your website can make the lead generation process more effective and efficient.
3. Establishes you as a thought leader
In addition to SEO and lead generation benefits, publishing quality blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks can establish you as a thought leader in your industry. As thought leader you may benefit from increased inbound links and referrals from those who see your company as an expert in your field.
Content Marketing for Channel Partners
So how does this all fit into the sales channel? Well most vendors don’t have problems creating content through social media, blogs, and whitepapers because they have the resources to do so. Partners, on the other hand, are usually smaller operations and struggle to regularly develop fresh content.
Content syndication already helps partners with product and service information as well as leads, but it could also be taken to the next level by automating blog or article publishing or even social media syndication. Most vendors have a lot of resources that can be reworked for this type of syndication, so initially you would not have to come up with content from scratch.
Pushing content with relevant best practices or how-to information to partner websites can enable you AND your partners to reap the benefits of content marketing. Your partners benefit from increased, relevant content that can drive traffic to their sites. You benefit from establishing or maintaining your thought leadership position by syndicating valuable content to hundreds or thousands of channel partners’ websites.