Content Marketing Must Focus On Customer Value

Forrester_RyanMost marketers are using content marketing but only one-third think they are effective with it.

That is according to a March 2014 report by Forrester Research, Inc., titled “Build Your Content Brand By Delivering Customer Value.” Forrester conducted in-depth interviews with marketers, agencies and publishers in order to gain insights into the importance of content marketing, and the top strategies for how brands can become more effective with it.

According to the report’s author, Ryan Skinner,

Content brands are built by becoming reliable sources of valuable content that consumers proactively seek out, engage with and, ultimately, advocate for. Unfortunately, marketers often lack the resources, talent, commitment, and patience to invest in and see results from their content marketing initiatives.

One of the report’s main conclusion is that most content marketing efforts fail to deliver on key objectives due to the “campaign” mindset that continues to pervade the marketing function. Effective content marketing is focused on the continuous delivery of customer value through interesting and engaging content.

Forrester identified four key objectives for effective content marketing:

  1. Pulls Customers closer to the brand by giving away valuable content
  2. Amplifies the reach of content that encourages customers to share freely and widely across their social networks
  3. Reaches customers early in the purchase process
  4. Tie content marketing efforts into the demand funnel though analytics and CRM integration

According to Forester, the main mistakes marketers make with content marketing:

  • The content adds too little value to customers
  • Branded content suffers from a lack of a solid distribution strategy to reach customers
  • Lack of enough investment to build a brand publishing capability
  • The patience to wait for results that don’t come immediately
  • Failure to link content marketing efforts to business outcomes

Forrester suggests marketers move from “random acts of content marketing to a true content brand.” This can be achieved by:

  1. Creating content customers value
  2. Building audiences as a core asset
  3. Using audience data to inform future interactions
  4. Optimizing over time to improve business outcomes

To learn more, download  “Build Your Content Brand By Delivering Customer Value” by Forrester (Purchase Required for non-subscribers).

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook  and Google+ or  Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Reply

    Nice post, thanks for heads up on the new report. I’ll be turning this into a blog post as well!

    Great list of objectives — the key is integration into CRM/automation package of the organization. You can’t answer the ROI question without that piece, and most of my clients can’t justify an engagement on traditional PR metrics alone.

  • Khuram Dhanani
    Reply

    Yes, I think the reason why some marketers don’t get the desired outcome is because they don’t know how to showcase their ideas through a well produced content.

    We need to learn to connect with our target customers through a consolidated message that a well written content can deliver.

  • Marisa
    Reply

    A friend of mine frequently says, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The same principle applies in marketing. Consumers need to know they are more than just dollar signs, and businesses need to show that their customers and future customers are worth the extra time and effort it takes to create valuable content and earn their loyalty.

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