Inbound Content Marketing: Why it Pays to Put Your Audience First

Posted by David Terry on February 05, 2019

Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

Inbound marketing is helping companies to engage with their consumers on a personal level.

By providing answers and solutions in an informative, helpful and sometimes humorous style, inbound marketing is helping brand’s to build a loyal and highly-engaged audience. Want to know the key to inbound marketing? Content. 

According to a new study, the majority of all top content marketers are now recognizing this. Today, a staggering 90 percent of top content marketers in North America are putting the informational needs of their audience ahead of their own company’s messages and promotions.

The new findings come from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProf’s ninth annual report on the state of business-to-business (B2B) content marketing in North America - titled “B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends - North America”.

Limited to respondents who had used content marketing for at least one year, the survey found current trends and common practices to help content marketers plan for the coming year.

Beside the majority of content markets putting their audience first, The Brit Agency has listed six other important findings from the study:

1 - Content marketers are successfully building trust

The aim of the content marketer has long been about focusing on google algorithms in a bid to write content that will be found by your audience and to ensure that they take actionable steps to engage with your company.

However, with content marketers now turning their focus towards putting the needs of their audience first, there has been one important outcome. Content marketers are now creating a bond with their audience - they are building a relationship.

In fact, the study found that 96 per cent of the most successful content marketers agree that their customers now view them as a trusted and credible source for information.

2 - Conversations with customers are not a priority

Less than half of content marketers research their audience by talking to their customers. In fact, the survey found that only 42 per cent of content marketers have conversations with their customers as part of their audience research.

Some three out of four B2B content marketers look for feedback from sales and use website analytics to research their audience, while 65 per cent use keyword research.

3 - Email campaigns and educational content are king

With 58 per cent of the survey’s respondents claiming they have used content marketing successfully to nurture subscribers, audience or leads in the last 12 months. The top two methods for this were email (87 per cent) and educational content (77 per cent).

Here are the complete answers on how content marketers nurture their audience:

  • Email - 87%

  • Educational content - 77%

  • Clear calls-to-action for next steps - 62%

  • In-person events - 61%

  • Storytelling and relating to the audience - 45%

  • Offers and incentives - 27%

  • Membership perks - 6%

  • Predictive technology - 5%

  • Other methods - 2%

4 - Investment into content creation is on the rise

Content is king, and B2B content marketers have realized that content creation requires more investment than ever before. In fact, content creation is where B2B marketers were most likely to report increased spending over the past 12 months.

Content creation was far the most invested in area, with 56 per cent of respondents claiming it was the part of their business they invest in the most last year. Content marketing staff came second with 37 per cent and that was followed by paid content distribution at 36 per cent.

5 - Video content is increasing, but text-based content is keeping pace

Some 64 per cent of respondents have increased their use of video content compared with a year ago, with content such as videos and webinars playing an increasingly important role ibn many content marketers techniques.

Despite the increase in video, content is still keeping pace with 61 per cent of respondents also claiming that they have increased their written digital content when compared with a year ago. The use of images came in third with 56 per cent claiming they had increased that area of their content marketing.

6 - Search algorithms and SEO are the content marketers top concern

While content marketers are putting their audience first, that doesn’t mean they are forgetting about search engine optimization (SEO) and search algorithms. In fact, SEO and search algorithms was cited by 61 per cent of content marketers as their biggest concern for 2019. This was followed by changes to social media algorithms (45 per cent) and content marketing  as a revenue center (41 per cent)

The lowest concerns were emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) at 14 per cent, followed by content for voice search (13 per cent).

Want to learn more about how content marketing can encourage the growth of your business and boost revenue? Contact The Brit Agency today for more information.

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THE BRIT AGENCY is a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency providing Inbound Marketing, Inbound Website Design and Inbound Sales services to companies across Canada, North America and the UK. We're focused on growing website traffic, generating qualified leads and closing sales, using Inbound lead generation and the HubSpot marketing automation process.

THE BRIT AGENCY is a Certified Platinum Tier Hubspot Partner, a HubSpot CMS Certified Inbound Website Design Agency, a Shopify eCommerce Partner, and a certified "Google Badged Agency Partner". We have offices in Toronto and Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and in Salisbury, UK.

David Terry

Written by David Terry

David Terry is CEO / Founder of THE BRIT AGENCY.