Do you want more website visitors? Create more content. Right?
If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times. Organic search is critical to marketing success. And best yet, it’s affordable—at least that’s what everyone says. All you have to do is spend time creating amazing SEO-focused content that everyone wants to read.
Sounds easy, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple. Less than 40% of marketers even believe that content marketing is an essential part of their overall marketing strategy. Yet, at the same time, 81% of businesses report that their blog is critical to B2B lead generation.
So, how do you break the trend and implement effective B2B content marketing that gets you where you want to be?
Here are nine tips to help you succeed at B2B Content Marketing
1) Use subject matter experts
B2B buyers are smart. They are experts in their field, and they expect you to be an expert in your field, or you’re not worth their time. That’s why it’s vital that your content offers in-depth knowledge and expert-level understanding of your industry, services, and products. It must always appear like you are exceedingly familiar with your subject matter if you want to gain trust and boost your company’s reputation.
The good news is that you have all the subject matter experts you need within your organization. Your team should already know your company’s values and solutions better than anyone else. Take advantage of their knowledge to develop and share well-researched content that solves pain points, builds integrity with your audience, and raises the expertise of your business.
2) Gather audience information
You must know everything about your target customer before you start creating content. That’s why it’s essential to create an ideal buyer persona that’s based on real profiles and actual customers. The more detail you have about your customers, the better you’ll be able to create and share content that offers the insights and authority your audience wants.
Just be sure to talk to your sales team to gain insight into your audience before you get started. They’ll know best what individual leads and accounts want on a more granular and personal level. From there, you can use your content marketing to fill in the gap.
3) Collaborate and cross-pollinate
You are not alone. You don’t have to do all of your content marketing by yourself. In fact, collaborating with other organizations when it comes to content marketing is incredibly helpful. Not only does it help you reach a wider audience, but it also helps you better establish your online authority within your industry.
There are multiple ways to collaborate. You can reach out to influencers within your industry and ask them to guest post on your blog. You can also reach out as an expert yourself and contribute content to sites (such as Entreprenuer.com) to increase exposure and send traffic back to your site.
4) Repurpose content
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Your business has a ton of content, even if you don’t realize it, and you can use this content over and over again in a myriad of ways.
For example, if you have a sales eBook, you can turn that into a series of blog posts and vice versa. You can also transform a webinar into a series of short “how-to” videos, blog posts, or social media posts. Blogs can also become lead nurturing emails, and conference presentations can become webinars.
5) Create a content series
One area where almost every marketer struggles are coming up with “new” ideas. In the beginning, it always seems easy to create exciting content day after day. But after a while, things seem to get stale.
One way to overcome this issue is to create a content series focused on a single idea. For example, you can create a “how-to” series via blog, video, and webinar offering best practices for your services or products. Or you can create a content series around the most common customer questions, concerns, feedback, etc.
It doesn’t matter what your series is about. The key is to choose an over-arching topic and then develop a wide range of content within that topic to share with your audience.
6) Focus on thought leadership
Nearly all top-performing B2B content marketers focus on thought leadership. In fact, 90% put their audience’s informational needs ahead of their company’s sales/promotional messages. And this is critical to success.
Your customers want to purchase from companies that know what they’re doing and make them feel comfortable with their decision. They are looking for content that is well-written, educational, and informative. If they feel you offer value, they’ll be more willing to do business with you and convert from a lead into a sale in the future.
7) Create content specifically for sales.
Did you know that only 20% of information on B2B websites displays characteristics of buyer enablement? The problem is a lack of content created with insight from sales teams.
The truth of the matter is that content marketing cannot and should not be separated from the sales funnel. In fact, the entire goal of content marketing should be to help move B2B buyers down the funnel by providing a seamless interaction between human and digital assets.
You need to create content that helps sales generate a sale. This content should be different than your brand awareness and lead generation content. It’s designed to convince people to buy and should be a valuable tool for the sales team on the front lines.
8) Create the right type of content.
When it comes to content marketing, there are almost endless possibilities. You have to know what works best for your business before you just jump in and start writing blogs, filming videos, or posting memes on social media. There’s a wide range of channels available to reach potential and current customers, and you need to get it right.
- Blogs are among the three primary forms of media used in content strategies today.
- 80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales.
- Social media helps marketers improve website traffic, lead generation, and grow fan loyalty.
- Email marketing offers the highest return on investment for small businesses.
What type of content works for your B2B organization will be different than what works for someone else. Perform A/B testing to see where your audience spends the most time and is most engaged, and then spend your effort accordingly.
9) Create a long-term plan
Effective content marketing requires a plan to get it right. You need a strategy for reaching your audience, gaining leads, and moving those leads down the B2B buyer journey. Without this plan, which includes three stages—awareness, consideration, and decision—your content marketing won’t be successful.
There’s a lot to consider when trying to develop a content marketing strategy from SEO to website creation, social media marketing, email marketing, PPC, and more. This can be a struggle for many B2B organizations, which is why we recommend hiring an expert to develop your long-term plan.
At MarketDesign, we’ve been in your shoes. We know how difficult it is to create exceptional marketing. We’ll work with you to develop a successful strategy based on core B2B marketing principles and develop a plan for execution that will move you forward.