Content Marketing Strategy for B2B Firms
It’s no wonder why so many B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their overall strategy. For one thing, “inbound” content like blog posts, news articles and social media interactions consume fewer monetary resources than outbound marketing tactics like advertising. Even better – when done well, content marketing generates more (and better) sales leads.
But content marketing is clearly a “soft-sell” approach – with the focus on providing value. It might be informative … great for those researching a specific topic. It might be amusing … inspiring someone to send a link to their colleagues. It might simply engage people and spark a conversation.
What’s the best way to get started with content marketing? It helps to figure out your objectives right from the start – whether it’s increasing visits to your website, increasing sales inquiries, or something else.
After that, it’s on to developing your program, making sure to the follow these steps:
Understand your audience – In the B2B realm, all sorts of characteristics can qualify as you build your audience profile – ranging from “hard” factors like age, gender, job title or function and education levels to more qualitative characteristics like values and fears.
Examine your existing content – Review your current marketing-oriented information wherever it resides in your company to see if you can utilize what you already have in new content efforts. You could have great content embedded in case studies, testimonials, brochures and spec sheets. The key is to repurpose these materials to appeal to your audience – and to strip away overtly “sales-y” pitches
Brainstorm content ideas – Map your products or services against the needs of your audience. Know what your selling them and why, and then kick around ideas about how best to cover them. Considering how each piece of content fits within the major stages of the marketing funnel: education; evaluation; conversion, and customer retention.
Create the content – When it comes to blog posts and articles, make sure your text is:
- Helpful (useful information that people would want to know, not a sales pitch)
- Well-written (organized, interesting, and easy to understand)
- The right length (sufficient to present information without being overly long or overwhelming).
Distribute the content – Focus on getting your content in front of the right people at the right stage of the marketing funnel. E-mail, social media platforms and keyword advertising are typically part of the mix.
It’s also important to measure your success using metrics like website analytics, email engagement statistics, the numbers of followers or subscribers, positive or negative interactions with social media posts, and the all-important number of leads generated. This is the “wash-rinse-repeat” part of content marketing.
Finally, to ensure that your program is a success over the long haul, remember that it is a continuous process. It requires discipline and focus. But that’s where too many companies fall down; they do things right – except for keeping up their diligence over time.
If you’re looking for assistance in developing a content marketing initiative for your company, we’re ready to help. Call us at 800-457-1099.