Having a sound B2B content strategy can help support your business goals. When prospects see value in the information you offer, they will be more likely to sign up for your newsletter, schedule a call, or request for a demo.
Your B2B content strategy will allow you to build your reputation in your industry and gain the trust and confidence of your audience.
This is easier said than done. Providing the needs of your readers for high quality content is a worthy goal, but if it fails to convert them into paying customers, it will not help your business thrive. Here are essential elements of an effective B2B content strategy:
Define Your Goals
Whatever type of content you are developing, you must first determine what purpose it will serve your company. Identify what you are hoping people will think, feel or do after reading your content.
When you are still establishing your brand in the market, your initial objective would be brand awareness. Unless your prospects know your company exists, you will be invisible, and they will continue to buy from your competitors. Consistently developing quality content is key and it helps with your SEO allowing you to rank higher on important keywords.
Once your content starts appearing in platforms where your prospects do their research and gather information, you can start building trust that they will be willing to provide you their contact information when downloading gated content or subscribing to your newsletter. This allows you to nurture and strengthen your relationship with them with the help of your CRM system.
Conversion and Repeat Business
As you have gain the trust of your prospects and establish your company’s credibility, you are more likely to close the sale. But it shouldn’t stop there, Your B2B content strategy must help you up-sell other products and services. The ultimate goal is to get them to promote your business as brand ambassadors to their peers.
Develop Buyer Personas
Are you truly aware who your customers are? Do you understand what challenges they face and what types of solutions they are looking for? Developing clear buyer personas is vital in any B2B content strategy. To create content that resonates with your target audience, you must first define what your ideal customers looks like. Here are a few key questions that can help you develop your personas:
What are their job titles and what role do they play in their organization?
What are their responsibilities and professional goals?
What business challenges are they facing? (Identify pain points that they often contend with.)
Who influences their decisions? How and where do they gather information?
What is their buyer’s journey and purchasing process?
These questions will help you define your buyer personas to help shape your messaging and narrative.
Create an Ideation Process
It’s not easy to standout when there is simply just too much noise and information overload out there. Often it seems like everything has already been written about. It is hard to create content that is unique and useful to your readers. Having an ideation process will come in handy when planning your B2B content strategy.
The best way to start is by looking at your competitors. What types of content are they publishing on their website? How are these received on their social media platforms? Which content gets the most engagement and which are being shared?
Getting insights from the sales team can also be invaluable. Ask them what are the common questions they encounter from prospects. What are the usual objections and how are they able to address them? These could be good topics to consider for upcoming blogs.
Another useful tool is Google Keyword Planner. It helps you discover which keywords are popular from more popular websites.
Joining communities could also be a great source of new ideas. Look into relevant Facebook and Linkedin groups and monitor their conversations. Are they posting interesting questions or issues that you can address and have the solution for?
Remember that clients are not always interested about who you are but what value you can provide to meet their needs. The more you align your B2B content strategy in addressing their pain points, the better their engagement with your content and the higher the probability of conversion.
Build an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar helps you and your team organize your content topics in one document. It is a simple tool that includes keyword ideas, topics that cover them, the person who will develop the content and the date when they will be published.
A content calendar allows you to quickly visualize your content plan across platforms to help you discover any gaps or overlaps in the topics covered. It saves you time instead of scrambling to look for new ideas on the fly. It gives your team enough time to research, develop and execute ideas consistently.
Choose the Right Distribution Channels
There are always new and trendy marketing platforms coming up but you have to decide which ones make sense for your business. You have to understand your audience well enough that you know where they are going to find out more information. You want to make sure that you are investing in the right platforms that give you the most bang for your buck.
According to a recent Google study, 89% of B2B researchers go online to gather information about a purchase and 90% of them use search engines as a starting point. Google captures 72% of the search engine market share so it pays to invest in SEO and focus on ranking high in relevant search pages.
Email marketing may be an old school tactic, but it is still reliable in delivering results. According to Salesforce, 73% of senior-level marketers believe email marketing is vital to their strategy and is an essential critical touch point in the customer journey.
Social media marketing can be overwhelming and if you are not strategic about it, it can take a lot of your resources without showing much results. This is often the case because platforms like Facebook and Linkedin limit the reach of your posts unless you are willing to pay for advertising. Nevertheless, it still offers a lot of brand value and can help add visibility on search engines. If you have a small team, you do have to be realistic on how much resources you can set aside for social. It may make sense to outsource to help you manage and optimize the right channels.