New businesses are often keen to introduce themselves to different kinds of people. Those are going to include any of their potential customers and clients, partners, sponsors, and so…continue reading
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What Is a B2B Content Strategy?
B2B or Business-to-business content strategy is the sharing, creating, and promoting of contents designed to attract a business audience. The goal is to use content to build brand awareness and discover new clients.
This strategy is your visualization of all the content marketing efforts–the fine points of how your content will be managed, created, and eventually archived and restructured. This strategy provides a roadmap to constantly make valuable, appealing, and helpful content that entices the right visitors, converts them into leads and closes them into customers.
Generally, a content strategy should describe:
- The target market of the content
- What questions the strategy will answer for the target market
- The goals to be achieved with content marketing
- The uniqueness of your content from everything else
- The formats used when publishing a content
- The platform where the content will be promoted
- Scheduling the creation and managing its publication
- How the success of the content marketing will be measured
Why Is a Content Strategy Important?
Content strategy is an important plan that gives a “why” factor which paves a way on how the content marketing goals will be accomplished. This does not just serve as a blueprint but, it also has a set of guidelines to help get from point A to point B. Without this plan, there is a higher chance of losing sight of the business goals, which results to a struggle on getting back on track.
This strategy is the key to create the right content at the right time to influence the target clients as soon as possible. Additionally, it is not wise to just publish any old content marketing strategy.
Another reason to create a content strategy is to make sure there is the accuracy in targeting the market. This highlights one of the key variances between B2B and B2C marketing. Furthermore, a content should be engaging and searchable enough to impress the information collectors. It also needs to send an impression to the person in the organization who has the power to make buying decisions.
While most consumers might be enthralled by emotive and product launch campaigns, businesses are not easily swayed by these tactics. Instead, businesses want authoritative content. They want actionable and useful information to help them resolve real commercial challenges and grow their organizations. A clear, logical marketing strategy can help create the content needed to amaze this audience.
Managing content is a challenge for some marketing teams–from what to write about; to who will write it; to what to do after hitting “publish”–it is easy for content creation to get lost in the scuffle of other marketing tasks.
Likewise, the lack of clear and documented strategy means being incompetent in constantly publishing new content. There is the risk of producing the wrong content like a content that does not help achieve the business goals.
Although, 92% of businesses see contents as a critical business asset, only 30% see their content marketing as effective. As mentioned, B2B content marketing shows various challenges from B2C content marketing. With B2B, this means targeting other businesses, whereas, with B2C, this means targeting individual consumers.
B2B can be more complicated as there is no impulsive buying when asking a company to drop figures on the products or services. Instead, the decision maker usually depends on others in their organization to collect information and endorse vendors.
In general, these folks are busy. A content has to be ultra-clear, very precise, and focused on the target market. This makes content strategy for B2B much more multifaceted.
There should be no mistake in trying to make everything up as you go along. Before investing in content marketing, take the time to document your content strategy upfront to set yourself up for success.
What does the data say about content marketing strategies?
As to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), businesses with a documented content strategy are:
Expected to consider themselves really successful at content marketing. And about 69% of businesses with a documented content strategy consider their organization to be among the top performers at content marketing.
Keeping a strategy in place is one thing but, how effective is that strategy? There are 95% of the most successful marketers who say they use metrics to measure content performance whilst, 83% have KPIs associated with content, and about 67% measure content marketing ROI. If you want to be more efficient at content marketing, take the time to document your strategy and monitor results frequently.
Some of the most successful B2B content marketers use their strategy to build loyalty with customers (84%), nurture subscribers and leads (83%), and generate sales revenue (75%).
In addition, having a documented content strategy helps businesses of all sizes by:
How To Develop a Content Marketing Strategy:
Every business has more competition than ever.
In 2020, more than 40% of marketers planned to devote most of their time and budget to content marketing. For your business to be competitive, you need to have a content strategy in place. Here some helpful steps for Content Marketing Strategy:
Step 1: Set goals.
Having goals is a significant part of any content strategy. Choose a goal that is tough to achieve but possible.
Step 2: Develop a buyer façade.
Before creating content, it’s important to understand the people who will see it. The best way to do this is to make buyer personas. This is where you need to include information such as demographics, industry, job roles, goals, challenges, decision making factors, where they go for information and more. Creating buyer personas for your business will help drive your marketing and sales strategies; help you know your customers and prospects better; make it easier for you to tailor your messaging, content, product development and services to the specific needs, goals, pain points and behaviors of your ideal customers and; help get everyone in your organization on the same page about who you’re aiming.
Step 3: Map the buyer’s journey
Mapping the buyer’s journey adds an extra layer to your buyer personas, helping you line up your content with the questions a prospect has through each diverse stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and decision.
Each stage of the buyer’s journey, his or her questions and needs change. A good content strategy answers questions at every stage of the buyer’s journey and provides a roadmap for how you’ll do it. Take your knowledge of your most important buyer persona(s) and combine that with your knowledge of their buyer’s journey. That way, you are talking to the right people, giving them clear, helpful answers to every question they have, increasing their comfort and confidence in your business and improving the chances that they will purchase from you.
Step 4: Determine your brand voice and tone
Every successful brand has their own established style and personality—this all starts with voice and tone. Voice and tone are the pillars of your brand’s personality. Developing a strong voice and tone needs to be something you constantly work toward because consistency is memorable. Voice and tone help you create a powerful, unforgettable brand your audience will connect with.
Step 5: Conduct a content audit
Do an in-depth look at the content you have already made. Evaluating your current content helps you learn what is working and what your audience is engaging to; what is not working so you can do less of it and; find gaps in the types of content you create and topics you cover. Spend time checking your site, reading some content and forming opinions based on what is impressive.
Step 6: Brainstorm new ideas
Well-thought content ideas are at the heart of any content strategy. Inspiration for new content ideas is found everywhere. You just need to know where they are. Some ways to come up with new ideas include: competitive research, lateral thinking, keyword research, and choose content ideas that are most relevant to your personas.
Brainstorming is important to find a balance between timely content (based around current news within your industry) and those that are evergreen and will stay appropriate for a very long time.
Step 7: Document and execute your strategy
Part of what makes a documented strategy prevailing is that everyone on your team can see what your company is working on and how you are engaging with your market. This alignment within your organization makes it easier to get buy-in from executive team members and get other people involved with creating content. Moreover, create an editorial or content calendar because this is a timeline of all the content you intend to publish over a given timeframe. This helps you publish on a constant schedule, strategically plan your content ahead, see the big picture of your content marketing initiatives, save time by rationalizing the writing process, make collaboration among your entire team better and easier, find out what topics are and aren’t working, and repurpose topics and content in the future.
Step 9: Measure the ROI
There is only 21% of B2B marketers who were successful at measuring content marketing ROI. This is the way of finding out how much revenue you gained from content marketing in comparison to how much you have spent. For some businesses, ROI is the most important measure of success because it is directly tied to revenue.
Does it take long to build an effective content marketing strategy?
It takes a minimum of 6-12 months, depending on how much time and investment a company is eager to make with strategy.
How much content does a company need to create to reach critical mass?
There are no official benchmarks, however, its said that 40-50 pieces of content (with unique urls) is a practical goal. Numbers of successful B2B sites get lesser than 100 visitors per day, but if those visits are evocative, it could be worth the leads generated.
Is a blog worth producing if no one comments?
Of course! It acts as the nerve center of social media activities. Blog postings should be highlighted on all social media outlets because it doesn’t just help a company build authority and brand awareness in your industry. This leads to social sharing and helps with SEO.
It is important that everyone knows who’s responsible for each task for a content strategy to be effective. If you and your team know who’s working on the certain tasks, you could find that people miss their deadlines or tasks are forgotten. This is where having a B2B Content Strategy really makes a difference.
Just putting tasks into your project management software is not enough. Sit down with your team regularly to ensure everyone has a clear grasp of what tasks they are responsible for and how they can meet their goals.