When it comes to business marketing, it is not just about the business per se; it really is about the perceived and actual value you offer your customers or prospects.
The marketing information you deliver to your target audience visually, mentally, physically and emotionally communicates what your brand is about. Communicating value allows consumers to see you as being valuable and as being a brand they would like to do business with.
So, how do you measure value in terms of the marketing information you relay about your products or services? Informational value in the context of marketing is demonstrated when:
As mentioned earlier, business marketing is not solely about your business; it is really about your audience. The marketing information or content you distribute should thoroughly reflect your understanding of your target persona while considering their needs.
As you create marketing content, you want to ask who you are creating the content for and what needs you want to address.
You will agree that it is pretty difficult to create and deliver valuable content if you do not know whom you are targeting. And, if you do not know your target audience, then you would not understand their needs and how to address these as part of your business marketing campaign.
So first things first: Know your target persona and their needs to deliver valuable marketing information.
Consumers perceive marketing information as being valuable to the extent that this information speaks to them according to their position in the sales cycle.
A basic sales cycle consists of the awareness, evaluation and purchase phases. The type of information a consumer at the awareness stage may find valuable would be significantly different from what a customer who is ready to purchase may find valuable.
This necessitates the need to segment and target your business marketing content based on what is appropriate for each of your target consumers in the sales funnel.
The right marketing channel is that which your customers or target audience prefers. Do not distribute marketing information through Facebook when your target audience primarily prefers LinkedIn or Google Plus.
If your target audience is a primary consumer of video content, they may not find the same information presented in a white paper or blog post as being valuable to them and vice-versa.
In addition to addressing your audiences’ needs, marketing information should be presented through the most appropriate channel—and your customers dictate what is appropriate to them.
This takes us back to the first point: you need to thoroughly understand your target persona before you can communicate value to them. So are they Facebook or Twitter users? Do they prefer Periscope to Vine? Are they more inclined to read white papers or would they rather skim through infographs?
What is the point of creating marketing information that is not visible or easily accessible? On one hand, information is valuable to the extent that it is optimized for visibility and on the other hand if it is distributed in such a way that makes it easy to find.
Some of the most impactful marketing content is that which is appropriately optimized for the search engines. Bear in mind that with new features as the Knowledge Graph, semantic search, voice search, direct answers and more, search engine optimization and subsequent ranking is not just about keywords. Google ranks sites based on the value they offer searchers in terms of providing straight to the point, accurate and adequately optimized answers to users’ questions.
Even as you optimize your marketing content with keywords, remember to infuse it with value by delivering information that addresses specific needs and wants.
The customer is always the center of your business marketing efforts. Careful consideration of the customer allows you to create information that makes a long lasting impact i.e. emotional engagement.
Whether a customer is buying a $10 book or a $2,000 ticket to a seminar, they are usually doing so based on the emotional connection they have with a brand.
Does the content you deliver to your target audience make them feel good about doing business with you? Does it entertain them, teach them, humor them, or help them make better decisions? This is how consumers measure value as they decide whether to engage with a brand or whether to go with the competitor.
Customer engagement looks a lot more than funny memes or intense blog posts—it is about creating content that genuinely clicks with your target audience.
Business marketing can only be successful to the extent that you have the first piece of the puzzle figured out: the centrality of the customer. Every piece of information you create eventually points back to how the customer perceives it—your goal is to make this a perception of value.