Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant, useful content—blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos, and the like—to current and potential customers. When it’s done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values the people to whom it sells.
The consistent use of content marketing establishes and nurtures relationships with your prospective and existing customers. When your audience thinks of your company as a partner interested in their success and a valuable source of advice and guidance, they’re more likely to choose you when it’s time to buy.
Why it’s important for B2B
Content marketing is a go-to tactic that’s proven to work. Also, it provides a competitive advantage. Let’s take a look at what the data from Mailchimp says about content marketing:
- Businesses with blogs get 67% more leads than other companies.
- 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative.
- Companies that use content marketing see approximately 30% higher growth rates than businesses not using it.
- 72% of business to business (B2B) marketers say content marketing increases engagement and the number of leads they generate
Kickstarting your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Set your goals
You need to have a clear idea of ”success” for your content marketing strategy. So, make sure to agree on what metrics you will track to gauge performance in relation to a specific goal. For example, the goal might be to increase lead generation by 50% by March 2022. It’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. It’s a SMART goal.
Create buyer personas
A buyer persona is, according to HubSpot, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It’s based on market research, actual data about your existing customers, and a few (educated) assumptions. Buyer personas help you to understand and relate to the people you want to market products and services to – including the challenges and business problems they face.
Keywords are essentially the words and phrases you use to enable search engines (like Google) and people to find your website and content online. Keywords are the foundation of your SEO effort. These all-important words and phrases are the terms a prospect types into a search engine when they’re looking for a company, product, or service. When you include the right keywords in your content, you’ll attract more traffic. Make sure to use keywords that are relevant to your business and offer solutions to what your clients are looking for.
Because of the importance search engines place on a copy, using keywords throughout your content is important. Use the following guidelines:
- Focus on 1 to 2 keywords. Avoid “keyword stuffing” by writing about what matters to your prospects with a focus on just a few keyword phrases.
- Use keywords in the title. Make what the article is about clear and explicit.
- Use keywords throughout. Find a way of naturally incorporating your keywords into your content.
- Stay on topic. Good-quality content that provides advice related to a headline will perform best.
Define content types you are going to use
When we talk about ‘content types’ we’re referring to blogs, case studies, infographics, videos – essentially what kind of content asset you’re going to create.
Each content type has its advantages and disadvantages – and how and where you use them will affect overall engagement. For example, in today’s world, it would be accurate to say we’re in the age of video and consumable media. Think Instagram, TikTok. People like watching things – it’s easy, entertaining, and more engaging.
Set channels you will use for promotion
For the most part, all social media channels are free – but all social media platforms fulfil a specific role so it’s up to you to work out which ones will work best for your business. The best social media outlets for you are the ones frequented by your audience. Consider the big, popular channels, as well as smaller, industry-focused ones that are likely to connect you with good prospects. Ask your audience what channels they favour and build a manageable list based on their preferences.
Track and report on the performance of the content
Track responses from the various channels for quantity and quality. Fewer high-potential engagements may mean a channel is a good fit, and the content is considered valuable and relevant to what the audience is looking for.
Website analytics will help you to understand the performance of your B2B content marketing strategy or make improvements to it. You can analyze if the content you have created does really bring traffic to your website or not yet.
Last but not the least, your B2B content marketing strategy should, therefore, focus on solving the business challenges your customers have. They want answers, help, and advice – they don’t want to be sold to. By educating customers, demonstrating you get what they’re going through and can help them resolve their challenges, you can quickly build trust.