Forget about content. Focus on value.

When done well, content can facilitate conversions. In fact, according to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and produces three times as many leads. Equally important is its ability to move business buyers down the purchase path, culminating in purchase and brand advocacy.

So what could possibly go wrong? One word: Value.

In the zeal to create mounds of content, marketers often fail to consider whether their audience actually wants it. They overlook the need to add value, and make it useful or actionable. Here are three ways to make your content more valuable in the business marketplace:

  1. Define value for your audience

Business buyers love content because they perceive they’ll get something out of it. Make sure they do. Any content you produce should educate, inspire or entertain. It should encourage sharing and make the recipient look smarter or more plugged into their job. If not, it’s just more advertising.

  1. Create content that aligns to your audience’s interests

Never publish content simply to get your name out there. That’s a monologue. Instead, formulate a content strategy that a) takes into account what’s on the minds of your audience b) adds your brand’s unique POV to this discussion in way that creates value and c) clearly links your efforts to your overarching business goals. By connecting relevant content to your business goals, you can better engage audiences with topics that matter to both of you.

  1. Match content to the purchase path

Just as you integrate brand communications (ads, PR, digital, tradeshows) to reach buyers at key stages along the b2b purchase path, it’s critical to develop different content for key points of the buyer journey.

For example, early-stage content should simply get you into the consideration set (“What type of packaging is right for my product?”). Middle-stage content should focus on your audience’s specific area of interest that directly relates to your brand (“Why standup pouch packaging is ideal for soups and sauces”). And late-stage content confirms the buyer’s choice to do business with you (“How one standup pouch design has grown by 30% in the last three years”).

Keep in mind these three ideas and you’ll soon discover that a little quality content goes much further than volumes of unfocused whitepapers, blogs or infographics any day.

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