5 Essentials of Any Successful B2B Content Strategy
I get it, I know. We have all heard it over and over again for the past, I don’t even know, number of years. Content is king. Content marketing will get you more leads. Content will help you rank higher up on search engines.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is a reason we keep on hearing these cliches. It is because they are all true. A content strategy helps drive leads. B2B content marketing is the key to getting more visits, converting to more leads, and helping to increase sales.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. We all know that B2B content marketing is important. But when can we find the time to do it? It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of thought.
While you may want to consider outsourcing or a freelancer, it can be hard to find someone who knows your audience and can write with your brand’s voice and tone. And, if writing doesn’t come easy to you, new content can take days to finish.
Here are a few tips that can help you get some quick wins when it comes to content marketing.
1. Listen to Your Audience
When writing, think of your audience first. Consider these questions:
- What are they struggling with?
- How can you help them solve their issue?
- What makes your solution unique and different from your competitors?
- What’s in it for them?
If you’re unsure about who your audience is, figure that out first. Ask your teams (marketing, sales, support, etc.) the questions above. Narrow down to and focus on your most important customers – the ones who make up the bulk of your sales. This will help guide the language you use, what information you share, and how you write about each subject.
After narrowing down your audience, write to make that connection. Use everyday language, not jargon or acronyms. Speak their language, not yours. Remember: they may just be learning about you, your industry, your solutions, and so on.
Tap into an emotion, a feeling. Something that makes your audience say, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel.” As you write, think to yourself, am I being helpful? Relatable? Approachable? And most importantly, human?
2. Keep Your Content Diverse
Think about how you personally consume content. Do you:
- Watch videos?
- Read books?
- Listen to podcasts?
- Download long-form content?
The digital options to get the information you seek are endless. And your potential customers are no different. Take a step back and think again about your audience. How are they searching for answers? Where are they finding them? You need to be present where they are looking.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, video will be the top investment for B2B brands in 2022. Are you creating videos already? If not, don’t fear. It does not always need to be a huge, expensive production.
Keep it simple by using your smartphone. Record yourself candidly and speak conversationally. Again, we are all human. Just be sure to stay on brand and don’t go rogue. You are still representing your company but you can also have a little fun with it.
Videos are not everything though. Based on a study done by WordPress (2020), WordPress users produced about 70 million new posts and 77 million new comments each month. Check out these primary forms of content based on a study conducted by HubSpot (2021):
So, don’t put yourself in a box. Think creatively. Experiment with different forms of content marketing and see what works, as well as what doesn’t.
3. Plan a B2B Content Strategy
Content is great but it cannot be haphazard. Think about what is important to your audience. Focus on what they’re interested in – not just what you want to promote. Come together as a team and plan out your content topics as well as what form they will be presented in. Will it be a blog or a video or a podcast or something completely unique?
Consider the content you already have, too, by completing a content audit. Some of it might just need a quick refresh to make it current. Or you may notice what topics or formats you’re missing after looking at your current content.
While 82% of marketers actively use content marketing, only 48% of businesses have a B2B content marketing strategy. Take the time to plan your content strategy out, set due dates, and get yourself in order.
Then, try to stick to the plan. However, keep in mind that things change – environment, supply, pain points, etc. So, you may need to revise and adapt your plan as you move forward.
4. Optimize, Optimize… Oh Yeah, and Optimize
Although you are writing for your audience, don’t forget you are also writing for search engines. So, choose the search intents your audience is using online when they are searching for a solution. Of course, there is a science to this and a lot (and I mean A LOT) of intricacies when it comes to search tools.
But you don’t need to do everything. Start simply by hopping into Google and start typing words in. See what auto-populates as you type in some searching options. This happens for a reason – other people are searching for it too!
After a random Google search, look into some keyword research tools. Both are a great resource and can give you information on the keywords you are thinking of focusing on. And, they even give you alternatives to your original keyword. Once you have your keyword focus, consider using Answer the Public or a dedicated HubSpot Topic Generator tool to help you narrow the title.
5. See What’s Working and What’s Not
Writing your content is only half the task. You need to also keep on top of what your audience is responding to.
- What videos are getting the most attention?
- What blogs are getting the most reads?
- What offers are being downloaded most frequently?
- What do potential customers look at before becoming a customer?
This data will not only help you prove ROI, but also provide insights into what your audience is looking for. You can start by downloading our content audit worksheet to review your resources. Then, you can use the data to transform your marketing strategy.
And if you get the opportunity, dig a little deeper into your Google Analytics too. Review time on site and bounce rates. Where do your website visitors fall off the radar? Why are they dropping? Consider adding heat mapping to your web page(s) and see how people are engaging.
A heatmap (or heat map) is a graphical representation of data where values are depicted by color. They are essential in detecting what does or doesn’t work on a website or product page. Hotjar offers a free program for heat mapping which you may want to try.
B2B Content Marketing is Here to Stay
About 80% of the buyer’s journey and decision is made before actively engaging with your sales team. As a B2B content marketing agency, we understand that your copy needs to draw in your audience based on what they are searching for.
We approach B2B content development and dissemination with a focus on attracting the right target audience through strategic keyword use. Let’s work together to accomplish (and blow away!) your business goals.