Part 3
The future of content marketing

AdobeStock_280337628

Zngly is game-changing in getting your content to the right people in the way they want it – but even Zngly is powerless if that content isn’t up to scratch

In Parts 1 and 2 of our blog series on content marketing, we saw how Zngly cuts through complexity, often by allowing customers and prospects to bypass the B2B sites and channels that were the outcome of ambitious projects of digital transformation. Simplicity in itself is not enough; you also have to be smart. This where Zngly analytics tool comes in.

Analyse your data
You can never tell with anything like absolute certainty which piece of content is going to cut through; this is why marketers have got into the habit of spinning off a range of collateral from a single webinar. Not all customers or prospects want to watch video content; some may be more attuned to closely argued thought leadership. This is one consideration. The other is that every piece of content will highlight a different aspect of the topic that preoccupies your customers, with each marshalling distinctive voices and points of emphasis, and seeding new SEO, which over time will build engagement.

How do you track that engagement? You want better insight than webinar attendance numbers, or click-throughs from the LinkedIn posts promoting the event or linking to the satellite collateral.

Not surprisingly, Google Analytics is the first port of call for most marketers. Google.com is by far and away the world’s most visited website although it is beaten by the likes of Facebook and Reddit for visit duration. An average Google “session” lasts just over 21 minutes. The world’s second most popular website, YouTube.com, only scores an average visit length of 7.43 minutes.

Such statistics may seem meaningful at first glance but in reality they are a blunt instrument because in the optics of Google Analytics a “session” can range from a few seconds to a few hours, and can involve a visitor viewing a single or multiple pages. This isn’t telling you much; you want much more granularity than that.

Many B2B marketers deploy third-party tools to beef up their analytics. There are many such tools on the market, but many of them slow up loading times. This is a bad idea because with each one-second delay, customer satisfaction dips by 16%.

Attribution is complex, making it extremely challenging to prove ROI for anything outside of paid channels. Extending your tech stack to include ad platforms or additional tracking tools such as Adobe Analytics will likely compound your problem because each tool stores its own data, making it nearly impossible to get the whole picture of how each touchpoint contributes to someone becoming a customer.

Zngly comes with a powerful analytics tool that doesn’t “congest” the flow of data, and delivers much more precise and actionable insight than Google Analytics. Zngly will tell you what content was viewed/read, and – crucially – how much of it was viewed/read. At what point did the customer disengage? Zngly can identify those trends, and help you reshape your messaging.

Zngly lists are attractive to share because they don’t come with attachments; you aren’t pressing colleagues or business partners to do something you yourself find tedious: downloading and storing and/or deleting attachments.

Zngly tells you who shared what with whom, and how effective this was – and with the same granularity for each engagement, no matter how often the list is shared.


Don’t talk about yourself, talk to the customer
This should be obvious because if customers don’t buy your product no one else will. But here’s the thing, markets and sales reps are often so engrossed in their product, the real hero of their content is not the customer, but their own passion for what they are trying to get the customer to buy. However, your belief in the product or solution is not a decisive argument for anyone else.

The only consideration for your customers is to what extent your product will help them get their jobs done – not yours. The distinction between “what can my product do?” and “what can my product do for you?” seems subtle but turns out to be huge in practice.

Some marketers and CEOs are misinterpreting the term social media to mean they have to somehow socialise with their customers, and share holiday snaps or “personal struggles” on LinkedIn. But again, this is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of B2B.

If your content isn’t landing you don’t have to ask yourself if it’s the right content. It’s not. But the instinct to ignore hard data is strong because it’s telling you what you find hard to accept: that the content you worked so hard to produce and explains the glories of your product so well isn’t resonating with the customer.

With Zngly lists and analytics you can quickly build up a picture of what each customer and prospect needs – instead of what you think they ought to need!


Conclusion
The B2B e-commerce universe creates an ever-expanding amount of statistics. Everyone is at it, and lists of “All the B2B stats that you need to know in 2022” are irresistible clickbait. No one knows how accurate these numbers really are. Occasionally you will find the same analyst coming up with different or even contradictory “findings”. Another characteristic of the B2B blogosphere is the reliance on very dated research; certain “facts” have been doing the rounds for years.

This points to a problem we alluded to in Part 1 of this blog series: the treadmill of complexity as B2B companies feverishly build “digital experience” structures in the pursuit of competitive advantage. It works – up to a point and certainly at vast expense. But the more science and statistics are unleashed on content marketing, the more marginal the benefits seem to become.

The Zngly media platform is not a revolution. But it is a reset. It gives marketing and sales the wherewithal to be more direct, more natural, and more proactive in the way they build customer relationships.

It gives B2B a breather, and an opportunity for self-interrogation. How much of the digital experience paradigm is groupthink, how much of it is ROI?

A Zngly demo, or sending out your first Zngly lists, will transform the way you view this question – and what you can do to make it irrelevant.