Thanks to online research, buyers are a lot smarter now than they were even a decade ago. Today, there's simply no excuse for being an uninformed buyer. But, by the same token, there's no excuse for failing to educate potential customers even before they become leads.

The overwhelming majority of B2B marketers understand that content marketing is the best way to do that; unfortunately, only 12% of B2B marketers describe their content marketing strategy as a high-performance engine.

What's holding B2B marketers back? B2B marketers are overwhelmed: Two of the top three content marketing challenges relate to content production, according to the most recent content marketing study by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute.

The challenge is understandable. A marketing department, regardless of size, isn't the same thing as a content production team.

Where to begin?

1. Develop your roster of in-house subject matter experts

Content marketing material is distinct from sales and advertising material in various ways. A key difference is that good content marketing educates your audience on relevant topics rather than relevant products; that's important because your focus needs to be on the audience as opposed to the customer (a relationship that will come later).

So how do you educate your audience? Start by identifying educators, often called subject matter experts (SMEs). These are people within your organization, but they often operate in different silos; sometimes, they don't interact at all.

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Todd Ebert is chief marketing officer at MultiView, where he oversees the marketing organization, with responsibility for brand, product marketing, demand generation, online marketing, sales support, and communications. Reach him via

LinkedIn: Todd Ebert