Traditionally, B2B finance brands like asset managers have focused on communicating via advertising such as print or digital, which has meant they aren’t building a relationship directly with their target audience.
“The problem with this approach,” says Tristan Fawley, executive creative director of The Dubs UK, “is that it relies on third-party channels to communicate with our customers at a time when these channels are seeing a decline in audience numbers.”
“In the current marketing landscape – and to get established for the future – B2B brands must start building a direct relationship with their customers. This is what an owned content program is great for.”
In the current marketing landscape – and to get established for the future – B2B brands must start building a direct relationship with their customers.
Use what you have
So, what does an ‘owned content program’ really mean? Well to start with, it’s about identifying and leveraging the knowledge and processes that already exist within a business.
“B2B businesses are full of experts whose minds are bursting with specialist knowledge on interesting and highly relevant topics to their customers,” says Fawley. “This type of information has typically been used to produce technical, lengthy documents like research or whitepapers.”
“A great content program is about using this knowledge to create the types of content that your audience wants to consume – like podcasts, concise videos and short-form editorial,” he says.
Consistency is key
While the sky’s the limit in terms of what content could be created, it’s important to be pragmatic in your content approach and consider resourcing and budget.
“Not every brand wants to make a video every week,” says Fawley, “and nor do they need to. The most important foundations for an effective content plan are consistency and quality.”
Whatever type of content you choose to produce, make sure you can maintain a consistent publishing schedule and keep your output fresh and relevant. This could mean starting small with a program of short-form editorial in one of your markets and gradually scaling your approach. Maintaining a regular and useful output will position your brand as a knowledgeable publisher and a credible subject matter expert.
“Building a sustainable approach to content is key,” says Fawley. “This worked extremely well for one of our clients, Aberdeen Standard Investments. We started an always-on social media program across just two of their markets starting on about 10,000 followers. By building a sustained and high quality program of content we have grown their social following to over 250,000 and now operate in over twenty of their global markets.”
Recent research has helped us to pinpoint exactly what types of content B2B customers are looking for – you can find out more on our blog.
By building a sustained and high quality program of content we have grown their social following to over 250,000 and now operate in over twenty of their global markets.
Distribution is half the battle
Once you have set up your program of always-on content, you need to nail distribution. In today’s market, an amplified paid model is usually the best route.
“We need to remain pragmatic and design an approach that works for client budgets, but there are a few crucial tips for distribution,” says Fawley.
Ensure that wherever your content is posted is mobile enabled – most of your customers will be looking at it on their phones, particularly if you are linking to it from social media.
Make sure you are clear where each piece of content fits into your user journey and distribute it accordingly. It is an initial awareness-driving piece or does it belong further down the sales funnel?
Amplify and target online content. Make the most of the tools at your disposal to ensure your content is hitting the right audiences for your brand.
Don’t forget to measure
“Make sure that any content you amplify is performing properly and optimise your approach if necessary,” says Fawley. “We always report on both the effectiveness of the content itself and how well amplification techniques are working. This helps to design a content program that builds effective long-term relationships with customers.”
If you need help establishing and executing a consistent, always-on content program, please get in touch.