As a consultant at Formel S Consulting, Danny Müller supports his clients in expanding their operational business and achieving their corporate goals.  One area that he and his colleagues always look at very closely, of course, is lead generation and marketing. Content marketing is an important component of this and currently a particularly exciting field. We therefore found it exciting to bring together Danny's consulting view with our view as "implementers" and data-driven content suppliers for B2B companies. This resulted in this interesting exchange between Formel S Consulting partner Danny Müller and sentibar CEO Marco Sussiek about challenges and possible solutions for companies that want to be successful with content marketing:

The consultant: These are the biggest hurdles

Danny: "To be honest, it is often the case that there is a lack of understanding of what content marketing is actually used for. But even if the majority understands the presence factor of a content strategy, we often experience that people then simply start producing content in an unregulated and uncoordinated manner - without a proper goal in mind and without having the target group in mind. The result is that neither structure nor guideline are recognizable in the strategy and the audience does not feel addressed - which then, unfortunately, also leads to a lack of organic leads."

The implementer: This is how you can pave the way

Marco: "That's right, and that can be frustrating right at the beginning and lead to the wrong conclusion: content marketing doesn't work after all. In addition, many people don't realize that content marketing doesn't show success overnight. After all, it's always said that content marketing is not a sprint, but a marathon. For a long journey, you definitely need a plan and a goal. It's often helpful if you're not alone and in the middle of your daily work. That's why we always start working with customers by jointly analyzing the status quo and developing goals. This goes so far that we then break it down into very specific implementation plans for weeks, days, channels and formats. And in addition to content production, we always pause and look at performance to see if the activities are actually achieving the agreed goals."

"Content marketing is a topic in which marketers must be in constant progress"

The consultant: These are common mistakes

Danny: "First, the focus is not on the target group. Some people think, 'Content marketing isn't that hard - I'll just write content with added value and then the attention will come naturally.' In my experience, content creators often know a lot about their industry, but they don't have a clear understanding of their target audience. For example, we advise clients to create and customize buyer personas for their audiences to understand who you're producing content for and who you're trying to solve one or more problems for.Second, understanding mature formats. The attention span in various online platforms is very short. Here, I need to score immediately, with a message that is attractively packaged, in a format that is optimally tailored to the channel in question.A third common mistake is this: there are enough clients who had a good strategy in the past, but it is now apparently not as effective as it once was. This is due to the misinterpretation of the motto 'Never change a running system'. Content marketing is a topic where marketers need to be in constant progress in terms of expanding and optimizing their strategy. Otherwise, it can quickly become outdated."

The implementer: Here's how to get it right

Marco: "Understanding the most important factors of a strategy is indeed a foundation that must be carefully laid together at the beginning of the collaboration. I agree with you that an absolute basis for this is, for example, the precise definition of buyer personas in order to be able to work in a targeted manner at all. Yes, it's a lot of work, especially capturing the really relevant information in addition to the general data - but it's worth it. We make this step easier for our customers by guiding them to the creation via a well-managed online questionnaire, which ultimately creates clearly outlined profiles.The third mistake you mention can also be well prevented. Our digitally supported content service gives each client their own individual, clear performance dashboard that not only shows results, but also feeds them right back into the next steps as learning, as if in a cycle. In our experience, it is helpful for many to present the analysis and, above all, the measures derived from it as simply and practicably as possible. We provide a complete control tool with the most important indicators, which saves the customer from also having to become an expert for dealing with the depths of KPI analyses and necessary interpretations from them."  

The consultant: This would be a real help for companies

Danny: "Concrete needs and questions are primarily the following: How do I write content so that it is professional, informative and engaging? What tools should be used for research?"

"Up to 80 percent of the time goes into good topic research"

The implementer: How to really make marketers' lives easier

Marco: "Yes, in fact, many content marketers say that they need up to 80 percent of their time for good topic research - a resource that many don't have. In addition, there is the professional preparation, week after week again and again.

The solution we offer is to be supported by artificial intelligence. We send crawlers through the web around the clock to search for material on any desired topic. Intelligent algorithms automatically find everything that is relevant and can relate it to each other. In line with this, we develop a range of appealing formats, such as small video clips, infographics, quotes, facts and blog teasers, which give the efficiently generated content an attractive appearance. In this way, we generate more visibility, reach and interaction for our clients' online presence in the long term."