Technically speaking, the word “enterprise” is synonymous with “company” or “business.” But when you tack “marketing” or “content marketing” onto the end, the meaning changes a bit. In the world of enterprise content marketing, “enterprise” means a big business, often with more than 1,000 employees.
In companies of that size, people from a variety of different divisions and departments need to get on the same page when it comes to marketing strategy. As Oracle puts it, enterprise content marketing requires consistent coordination from partners, IT, sales, operations, and marketing.
Content marketing at the enterprise level looks considerably different from content marketing at smaller brands. Although an enterprise might use similar content marketing tactics as smaller companies, the way they organize their teams and the type of content produced is often different.
Putting Together an Enterprise Content Marketing Team
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between enterprise content marketing and content marketing at small and mid-size companies is the size and number of teams required to put together a content marketing strategy.
As the 2017 B2B Enterprise Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report revealed, 38 percent of enterprise organizations had both a centralized content marketing team (which worked with divisions across the company) and individual teams in different departments across the company. About 32 percent of organizations had only a centralized content marketing team, and 14 percent had a very small team, consisting of just a few or even just one person. Around 11 percent of enterprise companies had an individual content marketing team for each division, department, or product line within the company.
Whether a centralized content marketing team, individual teams for each division, or a combination of the two will work for your company depends on a few factors. First, how important is creating a unified content strategy? If different departments or product lines have little contact with each other, creating a separate team for each can make sense.
But if you want to create a unified strategy for the entire organization, either having just a centralized marketing team or a centralized team and smaller teams within each division is going to make the most sense.
Common Enterprise Content Marketing Tactics
Enterprise organizations typically use about 10 content marketing tactics, according to the 2017 B2B Enterprise Content Marketing report. The two most commonly used tactics were in-person events (86 percent of organizations) and social media (85 percent of organizations).
Other popular tactics include:
- Pre-recorded video
- Email newsletters
- Online presentations
- Photos and illustrations
- Research reports
- Interactive tools
Interestingly enough, the report found that live video, which is becoming increasingly popular elsewhere, is not commonly used by enterprise content marketers. Live video, books, virtual conferences, and print newsletters were among the least popular content marketing tactics for enterprise organizations.
Audience-Building vs. Brand-Building Enterprise Content
One issue that seems to plague enterprise content marketing is who the content is for. According to the 2016 Enterprise Marketing Survey conducted by Clutch, the top two goals enterprise organizations have are to build brand awareness (34 percent of organizations) and build audience/customer loyalty (32 percent of organizations).
But, the 2017 B2B Enterprise Content Marketing report found that many organizations struggle to create content that puts the audience rather than the brand first. An impressive 93 percent of the most successful organizations produce audience-focused content. Meanwhile, just 29 percent of the least successful organizations do so.
What does audience-building content look like? For one thing, it focuses on the needs of the audience, rather than on just inflating the brand. Creating customer personas can help enterprise content marketers figure out who they are addressing with their content, what their audience likes, and what their audience needs or will find useful.
Examples of Enterprise Content Marketing
What does enterprise content marketing look like in the wild? Here are a few examples of noteworthy campaigns:
Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s Hockey Film
In February 2017, Enterprise produced a hockey documentary, Warroad, which aired on NBC Sports. The 30-minute documentary is a great example of content created with the audience, not the brand, in mind. Although Enterprise has been a sponsor of the NHL for a few years, its connection with hockey isn’t immediately obvious. What is obvious is by producing a film that would make hockey fans happy, the brand aimed to convert its hockey fans into car rental customers.
IBM is pretty good at content marketing. So good, in fact, that it put together a blog post just to highlight the greatness of its content marketing. Normally, bragging is pretty annoying, but in this case, it’s warranted. Although it’s difficult to chose which of the company’s content marketing campaigns to highlight, let’s stick with its Tumblr, IBMBLR. The Tumblr gives the company a chance to show off what’s going on behind the scenes. It also creates a centralized content hub featuring input from employees and information on new and exciting research.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson put out one of the first pieces of content marketing back in the 19th century, so it’s little surprise that the brand is still going strong today. Among its roster of content marketing campaigns are BabyCenter (which 45 million parents or soon-to-be parents visit each month), JNJ.com (a content hub for company-centric news), and a YouTube channel.
How Your Enterprise Marketing Team Can Pull Off Content Marketing
If your organization is ready to try content marketing, there are ways to do it right. So, here are a few tips to help ensure that your campaigns are successful:
Have a strategy.
According to the B2B Enterprise Content Marketing report, less than 40 percent of enterprise organizations had a documented content marketing strategy. That’s despite the fact that only 15 percent of organizations found having a strategy minimally or not at all effective in helping them achieve their content marketing goals.
Your B2B organization’s content strategy helps you figure out why you’re having a campaign in the first place. It informs what you’ll achieve from the campaign, and how you’ll go about putting it together. It’s a road map to help you with not just a single campaign, but every time you create content.
Define your audience.
Remember to put the audience first when creating content. To do that, you need to know who your audience is. Creating buyer personas is one way to do that. Give your audience an age range, set of interests, career path, and income level. Survey or interview actual customers to find out what makes them tick. You need to know what they want from you, and how you can go about giving that to them.
Choose channels or tactics.
Once you know who your audience is, you can pick content marketing tactics or channels for your campaign. A blog might seem like a good starting point. But visual content might be easier for your organization to produce, and might connect with your audience better.
Produce, publish, and promote content.
A content marketing campaign isn’t much without content. Whether you work with a centralized team or have individual teams producing content in their own divisions, make sure that there is a plan in place to promote the content after it’s published. Your plan can include sharing on social media, getting write-ups on other websites, and using more traditional ads.