It’s clear to most people, and certainly evident on LinkedIn, that “content is king”. For marketing, sales, and business development, it is typically the #1 means of creating leads and influencing sales, purchase orders, and contracts. But as many would agree- it is not easy to come by.
Recently engineering.com produced and released a great industry report, titled “2021 Marketing to Engineers Survey”. The 2 charts below illustrate how important content creation and promotion is- but also shows that for many it is a constant struggle.
Most marketing experts and industry watchdogs believe that the trends over the past few years (regardless of COVID or its aftermath) will continue on into the near future. How do we market complex or technical products? Content marketing is shown as the #1 marketing tactic. Webinars are #2- but it could be shown that creating and broadcasting webinars is essentially also a type of content marketing.
As any avid or regular participant on LinkedIn can tell- content is everywhere! There is so much to be consumed, by B2B professionals and buyers. However, as a company (or an Association like NAASE) it can be hard to always create and have content that is worthy of proper thought leadership. Writing an advertisement or promotion is pretty easy. Writing something that people actually want to read and learn from is another.
Creating/ writing content or even sifting through others’ content (be it blog articles, whitepapers, presentations, etc) is a considerable effort. Ask any marketing director, or CRO. Personally, I have done a fair amount of freelance industry/technical writing and companies, magazines, and websites seem to ALWAYS be looking for more content. The truth is that as content marketing becomes even more important- this shortcoming of the quantity of adequate pieces will be even more troublesome. Who is going to write all of this?
Generally speaking, as a country (USA) I feel that we have become worse writers over time; over the past 20-25 years. Perhaps some college professors can back me up on that? Effective business or technical writing seems to be lacking overall. As a simple anecdote, I recall several years ago when I was mentoring someone who had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He had a major in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. One would think that they would be a pretty darn good writer; better than most that had recently graduated.
In reality- they were not very good and many pieces that they wrote I had to shift and edit considerably.
The point is- as a business concern, content creation can be a challenge, and I believe that issue will become even more evident over the coming years. Buyers and prospects like to consume good content, so the product/service sellers will need to find a way to provide this to them. In the immediate future for B2B, I don’t see a likely Plan B or Plan C.