Econsultancy have just released their first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing of 2015. Wading through the ton of data they give you in these reports, we were never far away from the ‘content’ word. Content Optimisation was a rising star in 2014, cited on many occasions as the most exciting opportunity for B2B marketers.
Before we dive into the detail, for those that don’t really know what content optimisation is, let’s summarise by saying it’s the words that you use on your web pages and in your code and your social signals that tell search engines what the content of the page is about. It’s about gaining authority and positioning around specific content that relates to your business.
In January 2014, Econsultancy reported that where only 11% of the B2C respondents to the digital briefing poll thought that content was the most exciting opportunity of 2014, a noticeable 24% of B2B respondents thought it was.
So what has happened in a year? Now, almost 40% of B2B respondents think that content optimisation is the top opportunity for B2B marketers in 2015 and 24% of B2C respondents agree. Regardless of a small increase in the difference between the B2B and B2C sectors responses, it still demonstrates a massive endorsement from both sectors as the ‘content’ industry continues to grow. And the evidence of this is? What we do know is our inboxes are being flooded with inbound marketing content as the B2B sector uses ‘content’ to create leads (rather than ‘content’ to create ‘links’ which was 2011’s party trick.) .
The results also show a difference between the importance of content optimisation between all companies (B2C and B2B) and agencies; where 29% of companies thought it was the most exciting opportunity of 2015 whilst only 23% of agencies thought likewise; this is because agencies are always looking to sell the next cutting edge experience to their clients, and more companies create their own content.
So, the empirical suggests that ‘content’ is still king in the B2B sector, but other evidence does suggest that we should be considering personalisation a lot more. Maybe we’re all just sick of the spam and generic content that we get emailed on a daily basis; I’ve lost count of the number of Google+ emails I mute. Targeting and personalisation (30%) is now highlighted as the highest digital-related priority area across all sectors and companies and agencies, whilst content optimisation is a close 2nd at 29%. It’s worth noting 46% of the respondents were agencies.
As always, there is an element of horses for courses in these reports and the culture of your organisation and its energy for change and evolution varies accordingly. A company can only address personalisation if it has the data and the business intelligence to do so. If you’ve not got round to measurement of your content optimisation because your business is in hunt or acquire mode rather than retain and refine mode then don’t lose sleep over not keeping up with the neighbours. You’ll know what is on your list of priorities already, if it’s now time for a change, let’s get on and do something about it.