Optimizing Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Taking a strategic approach to your B2B content marketing plan will help you get the most out of your available resources.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a "strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."
Producing and distributing high-quality content is a great way to expand your B2B marketing efforts and can help you increase your business' reach, enhancing your brand’s credibility. Ultimately, you should design your content marketing strategy to drive new leads into your marketing funnel, ready for nurturing into sales opportunities.
It's essential to optimize your content strategy in line with the changing needs of your B2B target audience – from potential customers and prospects through to your current clients.
Optimizing your B2B content marketing strategy regularly will help you create content that will resonate with your target audience, in line with your business' overall content marketing objectives.
Focusing your efforts on creating high-quality content which is relevant, useful, and engaging for the audience you're trying to reach will help you take a strategic approach to your B2B content strategy.
As the market you operate in evolves, so will the needs of your prospects and customers, so it's essential to revisit your content marketing strategy regularly.
Why Is a Content Strategy So Important?
Developing a B2B content marketing strategy is vital in helping you take a strategic approach to the content you develop, publish, and distribute on behalf of your organization and the results you aim to achieve through your content strategy.
You should take several steps when developing your content marketing strategy, helping you establish your goals through a well-thought-out process that considers the needs of your desired target audience.
In a B2B world, buyers are likely to do a lot of research before contacting potential suppliers about the products and solutions they have shortlisted. Models like the buyer's journey can help provide an excellent foundation for understanding the steps a potential new client is likely to take, but ultimately, the buying process will vary from person to person, depending on many factors.
Some of the critical factors affecting B2B buyer's journey include:
- The industry they operate in.
- The products, services, or solutions they're looking for.
- The buyer's budget at their disposal and the cost of your solution.
- The size of the buyer's company.
- The number of decision-makers involved in the purchase decision.
- The different and preferred channels the buyer chooses to conduct their research.
The above factors alone clearly show why the buyer's journey is rarely linear. And why creating a solid B2B content marketing strategy is critical if you want to reach your desired target audience at the right time, via their preferred channels.
Strategically creating content based on the different stages your ideal customer is likely to be in will help you be front of mind when a B2B buyer is navigating through their own unique buyer's journey.
A Process-Oriented Approach to Achieving Your Strategic Goals
Content marketing can be overwhelming. In addition, information, advice, and the best B2B content marketing practices continually evolve, so taking a process-orientated approach to achieve your strategic content marketing goals will help you consider all the required steps to creating a solid plan.
This section will explore each of the steps you should take in more detail. Our advice can help you create a process-orientated approach to your content marketing and, ultimately, enable you to achieve your strategic goals.
Step One: Internal Data Analysis
Firstly, you will need to examine any previous content marketing strategies your team has developed and any results and internal data you already have available.
However, suppose you are establishing your content marketing strategy for the first time. First, you'll want to consider what content your business already has (if any) and any results previous content has delivered.
This step is essential to help you focus on what content is currently working for your organization and what areas you need to work on. This step will also depend on your overall objectives for developing your B2B content marketing strategy.
The chances are you will have multiple objectives when creating your B2B content marketing plan. Your content marketing goals are like to include:
- Content marketing objectives related to brand building and engagement, including brand awareness and building trust from your target audience.
- Goals related to your website and SEO, such as page rankings, organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversions.
- And finally, focusing on crucial lead generation tactics, such as increasing your funnel of marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Your internal data analysis step may include looking at content marketing metrics you already have, such as how many people downloaded your content via a campaign landing page and SEO-specific metrics. But, again, these metrics will depend on the amount of content marketing activity your organization has engaged with previously and your overall objectives for creating your B2B content marketing strategy.
Step Two: Understanding Your Existing Audience
After examining any previous content marketing results and internal data, the next step is to understand your existing audience.
As a marketer, it's easy to assume you know everything about your existing audience, especially if you've been in your role and the industry for a long time.
However, it's essential to ensure you're continually reviewing the needs of your current audience as they will evolve. This will help you create a content marketing strategy that produces a variety of useful, educational, and influential content for your current audience while resonating with the new target audiences you're trying to reach.
Factors to consider about your existing audience include:
- What are the different personas of your existing audience? Are there any common attributes of your existing audience? Such as the size of the organization they work for, their job roles, the number of years' experience, their geographical location, their education levels, etc.
- What are the challenges they face in their role, and how can your product or service solve them?
- What content have they responded well to in the past? If you don't have your results for this question, you can look at what type of content your competitors are producing and focusing on, combined with what ranks highly in search engines for the keywords you're looking to target.
Step Three: New Markets & Audience Persona Mapping
Once you've explored your existing audience, you should then look at any new markets and audiences your content marketing strategy can help you step into that align with your overall business and marketing objectives.
One way to do this is by using audience and buyer persona mapping to identify the common attributes of the new audiences and markets you want to reach.
When mapping out your audience's personas, some of the critical attributes you'll want to consider are:
- Job titles.
- Professional experience.
- Organization type and size.
- Whether they are the decision-maker in a buying process or not.
- What are their challenges or pain points?
- Plus, any demographic information may be helpful and relevant– such as education level, age, gender, etc.
When completing an audience persona mapping exercise, you should analyze all the audience personas you have scoped out and then prioritize them. Prioritizing the new markets and audience personas you want to target will help you create a content marketing strategy in line with your priority audiences.
Step Four: Brand Goals & Content Alignment
It's crucial to ensure your brand goals and content align. You need to ensure the content you plan, produce and publish within your B2B content marketing strategy is aligned with your organization's overall brand and marketing goals.
Key questions to consider for brand and content alignment include:
- What is the purpose of the content you are producing?
- What are the goals of the content?
- What brand messaging do you want to get across? How does this align with your overall brand and marketing goals?
- What impression of your organization's brand do you want to put across? For example, do you want to be seen as an expert in your niche? Or do you want to showcase how approachable and easy your team is to work with?
- What message do you want the content to deliver?
- How do you want your target audience to feel after consuming your content?
- After consuming the content, what action do you want the reader or viewer to take?
Step Five: KPI Mapping & Goal Setting
KPI mapping and goal setting are necessary steps when taking a process-oriented approach to your content marketing strategy.
Goal setting will help you to focus on the right content strategy to take through determining:
- The purpose of the content you're producing.
- The action you want the reader to take after consuming your content.
- The results you want to achieve using the content.
Key performance indicators are a great way to determine the success of your content marketing campaigns individually and your content marketing strategy overall.
Step Six: Campaign Ideation & Production
Once you've followed steps one to five, including mapping out your existing audience and the new markets you want to reach, you will want to scope out your content ideas to produce campaigns in line with your target audiences' needs and pain points.
Whether you outsource your content creation, production, and distribution or not will vary depending on the resources, your organization has available.
Plus, once you have produced your content, you will need to distribute it as far and wide as possible.
Content distribution may include sharing via several existing channels you already have – such as LinkedIn, your website's blog, and your monthly newsletter, and working with external suppliers to help your content reach further. When your team's time is limited, working with a B2B content marketing agency or supplier is a great way to distribute your content to the right people, using content syndication to generate high-quality B2B leads.
Why Work with a Leading B2B Content Marketing Service?
Working with a leading B2B content marketing service is a great way to get the most out of your content marketing strategy, in line with your marketing and company-wide objectives.
As a busy marketer, you know there are never enough hours in the day. Outsourcing parts of your B2B content marketing strategy can help you lean on the expertise of a content marketing expert while freeing up more of your time to work on a high-level strategy without trying to do everything in-house.
The benefits of outsourcing your content marketing include having access to an industry expert to free up your time to focus on other areas of your marketing strategy.
You may choose to outsource many elements of your content marketing plan, including your content production or content distribution.
Align Your Content Strategy with Headley Media
At Headley Media, we help our clients generate high-quality B2B technology leads through content syndication campaigns. Our content marketing campaigns are bespoke based on our clients' goals and the type of audience they are looking to reach.
Aligning your content marketing strategy with Headley Media enables you to distribute your content to the right audience, supporting your content marketing goals. At Headley Media, all our campaigns are:
- Managed in-house by our team of B2B marketing experts.
- Run 100% digitally, making every lead fully traceable. Check out our lead generation process to see for yourself!
- Generated through content syndication via our portfolio of five media brands which span 100 websites in 60 countries and 32 languages.
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