It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are managing because every business should direct resources and effort into developing an effective content marketing strategy. Why is this so important? A content market strategy, if it is built adequately, can bring a wide range of advantages to your business.
To start with, it will increase the visibility of the brand you are trying to promote and raise awareness around it. This also translates into more customers and a higher number of sales. But, more important, such a strategy will work on improving your brand’s authority and reliability, so that people will trust it and follow it for years to come.
What is B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
The B2B content marketing strategy makes references to the content marketing strategy you adopt, as a business, in order to let other businesses know about your products and services. In other words, it will help you establish new business-to-business collaborations that will help you grow your business and brand. The purpose of B2B content marketing strategy is to help you improve your ROI or Return-on-Investment, by positively impacting your revenues.
Practically, this strategy is part of your plan to close deals and contracts with other businesses, which may need what you have to offer, with the purpose of generating more revenues and develop your business furthermore. It doesn’t matter what products or services you provide because as long as your goal is to sell them to another business, the B2B content marketing strategy will help you out.
How to Plan for an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
Regardless of the type of business you own, competition will always be serious. So, even if you are activating in the B2B sector, finding and retaining businesses for a fruitful collaboration will not be an easy task. While a B2B content marketing strategy can indeed help you turn the odds in your favor, it must be well-built. Thus, a solid plan is more than recommended before going for it. How to create the best plan in this case? Just take a look below and have these aspects in mind.
Research on Target Audience
You can come up with an effective content marketing strategy if you don’t know your audience. You need to understand to who you will address, so you will be able to come up with a strategy that is tailored to their needs, preferences, and interests. If you can’t yet define the best audience for the products and services you want to sell, you must then start doing some research in this area first.
There are a few methods for determining the target audience for your business, like industry analysis reports and competitor case studies, for example. Just do some digging, until you find the ideal audience that will be most receptive to what you have to say.
- Buyer Persona
Defining your buyer persona is an extremely important step for every B2B business. If B2C companies can afford to go a bit wider when it comes to their product or service offer, when you intend to work with other businesses, the offer must be more personalized. It must fit the needs and requirements of a particular business. Thus, you need to have the right outline of your buyer’s persona if you want to be able to launch hard-to-resist offers.
So, it is definitely worth spending some time and effort in determining the buyer persona in the case of your business. The deeper you go and the better you are able to define this persona, the more capable you will be to communication on its language and make your collaboration fruitful.
- Their availability on different platforms
Considering that by now you know everything about your target audience and you are more than capable of defining your buyer persona, you need to see on which online platforms they are available. So, where do your prospects enjoy spending most of their time online? You may find social network platforms, blogs, or websites that provide content related to their activity niche.
Also, when they look for information on search engines, what kind of questions they ask or what kind of info they are most interested in? This type of information is extremely important and will definitely give you a good insight into the kind of content your prospects are most interested in. Speaking of social media networks, it would be more than recommended to see which of these networks are most preferred. Once you find a social network populated by a good number of prospects, it’s time for you to create a business profile there as well, so it is easier for you to reach them.
But, it is not enough just to have an online preference in the same place as your prospects. Yes, you will promote a type of content that is meant to direct their attention toward your business, but there is something better you can do. Study your competition and see where there are gaps in their strategies. These gaps can represent an ideal opportunity for you to grab the attention of your prospects, so make sure you find the best way to fill them up in your favor.
Besides checking the online places where potential clients are, it is also worth checking out the kind of events they like to participate at as well. Each industry and activity niche has a set of events that take place around the year. These events are the best place to meet and connect with other businesses with the purpose of closing collaboration contracts.
- Type of contents target audience use to like
As mentioned earlier, the inquiries of your prospects on search engines represent a great source for content ideas. Once you know the kind of content your target audience enjoys consuming, it is easier to come up with a B2B content marketing strategy that will generate the desired results. After finding out the type of contents appreciated by your audience, you will have to continue with researching keywords.
Research on Content Topics
You see, although we are talking about a marketing strategy that uses content, it should not look like you are trying to sell something. Thus, the content you are going to use, for marketing purposes, should be structured on topics and provide useful and interesting information. Because we are all great information consumers, content is currently one of the best ways to raise awareness for any kind of aspect. This why content can be incorporated so successfully into a marketing strategy that can provide the desired results. Having said all these, here is on what you need to focus:
- Keyword research
Utilizing the right keywords in a content marketing strategy is a must. The keywords will make your content visible online and will grab the attention of those that are looking for your kind of content. So, use the adequate tools, like Google Keyword Planner, for determining the best keywords for your content marketing strategy. Only this way it will enjoy the level of visibility it deserves.
- Topic research
How to find the ideal topics for your target audience? Tools like Quora, Buzzsumo, or Topsy can help out by allowing you to have a clear view on the kind of questions and information your prospects are looking for. Topic research is required if you want to come up with an effective content marketing strategy, so don’t overlook this part.
- Target Contents Based on Events
Every piece of information you find about your target audience can be extremely helpful when it comes to creating the right kind of content. If you know that an event is coming or, better yet, if you are part of an event in your industry, do not hesitate to use the event as a source of ideas for the content you will create for your marketing strategy.
- Target Contents based on Buying Cycle
Buying cycles and buyer behaviors can also provide excellent clues for the content you can create for marketing purposes. Based on previous purchases or interests, you can create content for your prospects that will make them buy again or become your customers for the first time.
Develop Engaging Contents
Again, in spite of the fact that the created content is for marketing purposes, it should not sound promotional or like an advertisement for your products or services. On the contrary, it should sound like you are lending your prospects a helping hand, you are giving them valuable information that can make their lives better, you are offering them solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. So, you must be subtle and not make the audience feel that you are trying to convince them to buy.
- Identify the Company’s expertise
What is the strongest point of your company? What can it do best? Being aware of the company’s expertise will open the door toward exceptional content in the area where the company excels. Why offer general content when you can easily focus on the things you are best at and provide high-quality content that will be much appreciated? So, think about this before starting to create your content.
- Perform Content Audit
Once you started creating content, it doesn’t mean that you have to go with the flow. Perform content audit on a periodic manner and see what topics you covered and what gaps you could fill with future content. No one likes a repeating story or a story that has been re-written too much.
- Match business theme to the expertise
When looking for the best themes for your content, you will notice that they can be quite broad. In order to make sure that you are going in the right direction, you should see which of the themes you found are best fitting the area of expertise of your company. This is very useful as it will underline the topics that will enable you to show the best part of your company by coming up with interesting and engaging content.
Content Distribution Channels
When it comes to distribution channels, there is a wide array of options you can use. You can utilize your own website, blog, social media profile, newsletters, or social media networks. But you can also find help on the outside, like industry influencers, websites with high authority, and other bloggers that publish your kind of content. You can also get the help of paid media, depending on your budget.
- Search Engine Optimization for Organic Search
With the help of SEO, you can obtain organic results, meaning that you won’t have to pay for your content to be displayed. Your content will be visible due to SEO and, therefore, people will find it naturally, based on the keywords they are using in their inquiries.
- Paid Advertising on Search Engine
But, besides organic results, you can also pay to get results as well. If you want to utilize the power of search engines, Pay Per Click Advertising is one of the most known and used methods. Practically, with PPC, you will end up displaying an ad on search engines and pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Of course, the ad will actually be a link to your website.
- Paid Advertising on Social Channels
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and so on, also give companies the chance to pay to have their advertising campaigns present on a social media channel. So, if your budget allows, it is definitely an option worth considering, having in mind that it will enjoy a high level of visibility.
- Social Sharing
When you create a profile on a social network, you will also start creating a group of followers. Well, you can use these followers to easily distribute content around the network. They will take it and share it with their followers, and so on and so forth.
- E-mail Marketing
While some consider e-mail marketing obsolete, it is worth knowing that it still works very well. If you formulate a newsletter, personalized offer, or notification well, most certainly the receiver will open the e-mail from you instead of deleting it.
- Branded Contents
You can also use the power of other brands to get your content upfront. While people may not react too much to a brand that is new, they will definitely pay attention to a known brand, which is beneficial for your company if it is mentioned in the content.
You can always use your fans, followers, customers, partners, collaborators, and so on, to push your content forward. Because it involves a high number of people, crowdsourcing can be extremely effective in a very short period.
Measure the Performance
So, do you think that if your company’s content marketing strategy is up and going you can sit back and relax? No, you shouldn’t do that because measuring the performances of your strategy is a must. You have to see if everything works as it should and it the desired results are generated. Keeping an eye on the performances of your strategy will give you an insight into what doesn’t work as it should and where you can bring some improvements, for results of a higher quality.
Content is still king on the Internet and considering the fact that customers these days, regardless of their nature, don’t buy traditional advertisers anymore, you definitely need to change your tactics. You need to turn yourself into their partner, not just a seller, and content is the one that can get you there. Take in an effective B2B content marketing strategy and you will see that your brand’s reputation is growing, together with the number of your clients.