Buyers today are sophisticated: they explore and discuss their options by accessing relevant content and connecting with others in their social network. They form perceptions about a brand before they've even had their first direct interaction with that brand. Research shows that by the time a buyer engages with your brand, he or she is already 60% of the way through their decision-making process. In order to reach that potential customer earlier in the process, you need a magnetic, well-targeted content marketing strategy.
At LinkedIn, we have always believed in a “members-first” approach to everything we do and marketers can benefit from doing the same. We have observed that professionals act differently on a professional social network as they are demanding more content and insights so that they can be great at what they do. As our members continue to seek out quality content, it opens up new opportunities for content marketers and publishers. By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships with prospects early on in the buying cycle. This fundamental shift is changing the mantra from “Always be Closing” to “Always be Helping.”
But creating remarkable content is only half the story. The latest findings from the Content Marketing Institute show that while 87% of survey respondents use social media for content distribution yet it received less than a 50% effectiveness rating. This is a clear indicator that there is a disconnect. The answer isn’t necessarily to create more content, but create more relevant content. The focus on relevancy will provide for a much better content experience and ultimately close this gap around content marketing success.