Given my size, you would think that not much scares me, but you’d be wrong. I’m frightened by little dogs with big snarls (it’s about attitude, not stature) and loud trucks. I also find those weird blow-up Halloween lawn decorations very unnerving. And, though it’s embarrassing, I sometimes scare myself, as well as those around me, when I pass gas. (Too much information?)
My point is, everyone has fears, whether rational or not. Take this Friday for instance. To us dogs, Friday the 13th is just another day, but to many people, it’s considered bad luck. In fact, fear of Friday the 13th has its own hard-to-pronounce name – parakevidekatriaphobia.
Historians have a hard time pinpointing the origins of this phobia. Some believe it dates back to biblical times, while others trace it to a Norse myth about 13 gods. Regardless of how or why this particular day spawned such superstitions, many people are wary and will go out of their way to avoid black cats, walk under ladders or step on sidewalk cracks.
By now you’re asking, what does this have to do with content marketing? Well, studies show that many B2B marketers would like to do more content or inbound marketing – defined as “promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel” – but hesitate to “go all in.” Why?
The fear of change. Some companies, particularly smaller enterprises, have a hard time switching from “what we’ve always done” to something new and unfamiliar. For years, marketers relied on push-based marketing (i.e., cold calling), but today’s buyers are responding to pull-based programs (i.e., inbound marketing). According to a study by Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research at some point in the buying process, and between 50-90% of the buying process is completed before ever contacting your company. When you consider how much information is available online, it’s no wonder buyers have become more educated and informed about their options.
So, how do you overcome your fear? Educate yourself on how the buyer’s journey is changing and how you can best respond. A good place to start is reading “Selling to the Modern B2B Buyer.” And remember, you can teach old dogs new tricks!
Fear of technology. Marketing automation is helping marketers streamline processes, making marketing efforts more efficient and effective. However, in order to get the most out of these systems, you need to understand how they work, what to automate, and the best way to implement them for your particular company. That can be daunting. But, consider these statistics:
- On average, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology. (Emailmonday “The Ultimate Marketing Automation stats,” 2017)
- 67% of marketing leaders currently use a Marketing Automation Platform. (Salesforce “State of Marketing,” 2017)
- Over the next two years, an additional 21% of marketing leaders plan to use a Marketing Automation Platform. (Salesforce “State of Marketing,” 2017)
- 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across channels. (Marketo & Ascend2 “Marketing Automation Strategies for Sustaining Success,” 2015)
- There are nearly 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation now than in 2011. (SiriusDecisions “B-to-B Marketing Automation Study,” 2014)
See, there’s nothing to be afraid of! Lots of marketers have adopted this technology, and not only survived, but excelled. One way to alleviate your fear is to rely on the expertise of a marketing automation implementation specialist. For more information, check out “Why Use an Implementation Partner.”
(Personally, I’ve found that asking humans for help works every time – those opposable thumbs really come in handy!)
Fear of SEO. To be successful with your content marketing strategy, you need to understand and use SEO best practices. The problem is, the mere suggestion of SEO causes some people to run screaming from the room. I think it’s a bit like those creepy Halloween decorations I mentioned earlier: At first glance, they seem too big to tackle and really strange, but once you get up close and sniff around, you find they’re simply polyurethane filled with air, and not scary at all! In the same way, SEO can seem overly complicated and “techy,” but the truth is, when the right person explains it to you, it’s not that intimidating. For a great explanation and how-to guide, including some free tools, read “Don’t Be Scared! SEO is not that Hard,” by Gini Dietrich.
I hope I’ve helped alleviate some of your fears regarding content marketing. The truth is, the more you know about something, the less scary it becomes (unless you’re researching werewolves, which are truly frightening!). There are plenty of resources out there to help you create and implement an effective content strategy and use marketing automation to stay ahead of your competitors.
Now, when it comes to your fear of Friday the 13th, take a cue from us canines – simply find a cozy spot and nap until it’s over.
(For a non-frightening consultation on creating a content strategy or implementing marketing automation, call Kevin Anger, Director of Business Development at 734-531-7600.)