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This year’s Content Marketing World message summed up in a song lyric: “Baby You’re Much Too Fast.”

Even a seasoned content marketing professional had something to learn at CMWorld, held Sept. 8-9 in Cleveland. Like other web marketing strategies, the landscape of content marketing is evolving. The output of content has jumped 35%, but engagement has dropped 17%. It’s time for companies to shift their approach.

Businesses vying for a customer’s attention must develop better, customer-centric stories to stand-out. About 50% of B2B marketers surveyed by Annuitas disclosed that they are failing to align material to their buyer’s pain points.

The message reinforced at this year’s CMWorld: churning out content is not enough. While companies are producing ridiculous amount of blogs, guides and e-books, very little of it is resonating with would-be buyers.

So how do you create engaging, customer-focused material? Well, the insightful speakers at CMWorld had these nuggets of wisdom to share:

  • Tell problem-to-solution stories. Answer the questions that your customers are asking.
  • Take a stand. There is power in strong opinions. Be brave by addressing issues that your industry competitors shy away from.
  • Research-based content yields great engagement. Whether you’re aggregating curated data or conducting an original survey, the results are worth the time investment.
  • Back your articles and other resources with evidence. Every story should be supported with measurable results, including stats that prove your point.
  • Involve other expert matter professionals in your content. Their point of view will enhance your message, and their participation will amplify your reach via social sharing and link building.
  • Ask yourself, “So what?” Reframe your product or service until you have identified the real value to the customer. Your content should address why your story matters to the buyer.

The path to a successful content marketing strategy starts by slowing down. Take a step back to discover your brand’s “why,” and establish real customer empathy. There is value in being deliberate and thoughtful.

Interested in the value of content marketing, but not sure where to start? Let’s have a conversation.

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Beth Kereszturi

Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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