Content Marketing: A definitive guide
Where does your content marketing approach fit in the bigger picture? Or are you just beginning? Diving? Thriving?
Learn how to transit from “where you are” to “where you want to be” with this easy and comprehensive guide to B2B Content Marketing.
According to a study by Skyword, 87% of the visionaries & 81% of the leaders consider content to be central to their marketing endeavors.
No doubt, effective content can help you build customer relationships while avoiding less effective hard sell tactics. It not only demonstrates your subject-matter expertise but also gains trust by highlighting influential topics that affect your prospects.
Further, well-crafted content can elicit targeted traffic to your website and social media channels boost your performance on search results pages and give the audience the opportunity to share your content with their contacts.
In today’s digital marketing world, content marketing has become the steering wheel through which you either win over your competition or succumb to their superior strategy and execution. It’s really that plain and simple.
Use content marketing to reshape the brand image
The content marketing approach provides an organization with a method to earn the client’s loyalty and business providing a deep value proposition.
The moral of the story being that if your B2B content marketing is audience-centric, it can boost your content marketing endeavors in the right direction to drive target engagement & optimized revenues.
Inbound marketing is an invisible tool in the marketing arsenal of B2B brands. It makes the jobs of your clients easier & improves the web-discoverability of your brands as well as of your products and services.
Most people think of Intel as the chips that power computers. But actually, it’s so much more than that.
Intel uses content marketing to reshape its image.
Through its online publication called “iQ,” Intel covers general interest technology topics such as skin cancer detection, blockchain, virtual reality, chatbot, drones, and a lot more, helping the audience understand their brand better.
iQ receives 3 million monthly visitors. Yes, you read that right.
With content or inbound marketing, B2B organizations can more cost-effectively increase awareness, preference, and volume of qualified leads in a way that their prospects will actually like.
Let’s now look into some prudent strategies that you can adopt to take your B2B content marketing to the next level.
1. Assemble the right team
The key to keeping up with your content marketing plan for a long go is to contemplate strategically about how you’ll actually execute all of the tasks involved, week in, week out, over a sustained period of time.
Typically, this is where all marketers fall short. They start out content creation and curation themselves but fail to stick with it because they have to manage so many other things in the business as well.
This is just where your “content team” steps in.
The most crucial step is to assemble the team and define each team member’s role in your content marketing program.
Who’s going to be involved, both strategically and creatively? What roles are needed for your content marketing team and whom do you have internally to fill the role? Is an external agency needed to augment internal staff and skills?
You also need to think about who is going to:
- Contribute the subject-matter expertise
- Write and produce
- Design and develop
- Publish and promote
- Monitor and measure
- Oversee and manage the whole program
It’s absolutely feasible for a person to wear several hats. You should analyze who outside of the marketing department needs to be involved (e.g. IT, compliance, sales, etc.) and kept in the loop.
Assemble the right people in the right roles and you’ll build an efficient content system that can run like a machine, with or without the founder’s direct input on a day-to-day level!
2. Carve your niche
Nowadays, a lot of firms are using content marketing to build thought leadership and to help differentiate their firms. But inbound marketing doesn’t always establish differentiators—it only emphasizes them.
So one of the most critical tasks is to figure out what’s going to be your content marketing niche. Establishing your niche is of utmost importance because your inbound marketing needs focus. You simply can’t cover everything, or be all things to all people, and expect to be effective. So you’ve got to figure out your niche and stick to it.
One of the ways you do that is by answering the following 2 questions:
- What is your firm truly an expert in? Your content needs credibility and authenticity both, so the idea is to cover topics that you are knowledgeable about and can speak about like an expert
- What do you really want to be known for? You should figure out what subject matter expertise will have the most impact on your business development and revenue objectives.
Once you’ve answered these questions, look for where you can find a possible alignment. This will help you carve out a niche.
3. Quality over quantity
In this world of cutthroat demand generation, it seems like “the more the merrier” should be the apt motto for content marketing. But, can you ever have too much content?
The answer is “NO”. If you have too much watered-down, mediocre content that will simply overshadow your strong and influential quality content. Content generation marketing is all about providing powerful, personalized content that is relevant for qualified leads and prospects.
Content marketers today are competing for the undivided attention of an oversaturated audience. Havas surveyed 375,000 people across 33 countries in 2017 about their thoughts on content marketing. The results show that participants describe 60% of the content they’re exposed to is “just clutter” that is “poor, irrelevant, or fails to deliver.”
Quality over quantity in content marketing is must in a time where clients are getting bombarded with content from competing brands. Focus less on competition and more on your prospects and create relevant high-quality content.
When it comes to content marketing, quality triumphs over quantity, and makes your brand more personable in the long run. Always remember, we live in the age of transparency, and consumers crave authenticity.
4. Consistency is the key
Whether you publish blogs day-to-day or once every week, it’s important for your organization to select and adhere to a schedule.
When your content quality, quantity, or publishing schedule isn’t consistent, it can lead to confusion amongst your prospects. Keeping up with a regular strategy not only enables a better client’s experience but also helps build credibility, reputation, and brand trust.
“According to Techipedia, consistent brands are worth 20% more than those with inconsistencies in their messaging.”
To determine a publishing schedule for your clients, you can utilize Google Analytics and HubSpot to monitor and track when engagement is at its highest.
Start the process by publishing content at a specific time each week while alternating days, then publish on the same day each week while alternating the number of times you post.
By tracking different metrics including unique page views, time spent on the page, and bounce rate, you can narrow down when your content performs the best.
If content is the king, consistency is the queen!
5. Optimize your content
The significance of content in SEO can’t be stressed enough but what exactly is content optimization you may ask?
It’s the process of making your website’s page more attractive to various search engines and users. The process aims to mutate keyword research into text that can influence your site’s ability to rank well in organic search results.
Always make decisions to optimize your content creation process by always keeping the audience’s interests in mind. People today don’t want generic promotions. They want to understand how the product, solution, or service will impact their lives.
Writing Optimized Content
Usually, it’s more effective to SEO optimize text content that already exists versus trying to write something for SEO from scratch. One principal guide for the best way to write for search engines is to write for real people.
Search engines are strategically aligned with the goal of providing the best content in their search results pages, so they’re continuously being refined to evaluate content in a way that supports this. This means they reward content well written and organized.
It should unquestionably guide decisions on which topics are chosen for website content creation; however, writers should have some liberty to express their opinion and thoughts about the topic within the context of the overall theme being written. Keyword phrases are often best if they’re 2 to 3, or even 4 words long.
In order to optimize a page for a specific phrase, the page really needs to be about that keyword topic. Just remember to use these keyword phrases several times throughout the article, but do it in a natural writing style.
If possible, work a few links into the body copy to link to other related articles within the site to assist with click-through rates (CTR) and stickiness for visitors.
Use links between pages when the link page can provide value to the reader. Links in body copy are seen by search engines to be natural so as to be more valuable than site navigation links but don’t overdo text links in the body copy.
Just including a bunch of hyperlinks will look like an attempt to over-optimize your site for SEO rather than promoting other web pages for the users to visit.
Lastly, do remember to use anchor text (the exact keyword phrase given to the page being linked to).
6. Set goals and measure your success in Content Marketing
Inbound or content marketing is a strategic marketing approach – you cannot haphazardly keep posting items to your social media feeds. You require a clear vision of what you need to accomplish and how your content is supposed to move you inches closer to your objectives and inbound marketing strategy.
88% of top-performing B2B organizations frequently track their content marketing progress and ROI, compared to only 56% of their least successful peers.
That means measuring and analyzing results of your strategy will help you identify what’s working and where you need to improve.
All thanks to content marketing measuring tools such as Google Analytics, Buffer, Followerwonk, etc. that every piece you write and publish can be tracked and measured to keep you updated.
There exists no exceptional one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy, in fact, there is a unique strategy each brand can come up with and follow to drive sales.
So go ahead and experiment with what’s working best for your organization, helping you meet your objectives and succeed.
Ready to get started with Content Marketing?
Seems like now you have a good handle on what a strong B2B content marketing strategy really looks like. It’s just a question of how well you can incorporate it into your existing marketing campaigns. You might either need a full overhaul or just a few tweaks to your marketing campaign, depending on your business.
Last but not least, you can always run experiments. As on the web, nothing is ever done and it’s okay to constantly experiment your way into success.
Our sales and marketing consultancy firm can help you develop a lead-generating content marketing strategy. We have the know-how required to help you get your inbound marketing programs cranking. Contact us today!