Good B2B marketing is strategic in nature—and so is good content marketing. Treat your content marketing the same way you treat all your B2B marketing: create a strategic foundation upon which to build and execute your marketing plan. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
Yet many B2B companies that are doing content marketing are doing it without a written strategy. According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, almost half of all companies that have implemented content marketing do not have a documented content marketing strategy—and 14 percent don’t have a strategy at all.
Creating a B2B content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, our clients who have completed our Growth Catalyst process have done some of the hard work already. They know who they are, they know who their audience is, and they know how to connect with that audience in a way that resonates.
All that’s left, then, is to determine how to deliver your message to your target audience. Here’s how:
- Find out what search terms your audience is using. Finding and using the right keywords in organic and paid search will help ensure your content is served up to your audience using the words and phrases they’re searching (by the way, your company name probably isn’t one of them).
- Find out the channels your audience prefers to get information through, and build a presence in those spaces. If your prospects and customers use LinkedIn, spend some time setting up a stellar company page where you can share your content. If they all attend a specific tradeshow, make yourself highly visible.
- Find out all the formats that appeal to your audience. Most likely, your audience will respond to more than one format, so be prepared to develop your content in various ways: blogs, webinars, podcasts, white papers, infographics, videos, etc.
- Write it all down (this is the “documented” part of a documented content marketing strategy!).
Once your content marketing strategy is completed and documented, you’re ready to assemble a plan that allows you to act on it. It should include high-level detail about what you’re going to say, along with how, where and when you’re going to say it. Make sure staff knows when content is being published online, so they can share it with their networks too. And don’t forget about tracking—you can use Google Analytics, the tools built into most social networks, or other programs to measure the impact of your content marketing (reach, engagement, open rates, etc.).
Now that you’ve laid the foundation for a really good content marketing program, get out there and create some really good content to go along with it!