You use your website content to articulate, inform and educate businesses about your services and products. Good helpful and educational content shows your credibility and helps your clients decide faster. However, the static general content, typical of all websites is never enough. To create a successful lead-generating website you need to come up with an effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy.
But before we go further, what is a B2B content marketing strategy?
Content Marketing is an approach where you use specific, targeted content i.e., blogs, videos, e-newsletters, webinars, podcasts, etc. to direct, engage and convert your website visitors to paying customers. Nearly all websites have the usual content about the company – the homepage, about page, and services pages. But a lead-generating website attracts targeted users with a wide range of helpful content.
Content Marketing is a cost-effective, long-term strategy for brand awareness, lead generation, and growth. It is a subset of your larger B2B Website Strategy, which describes how your business development goals should reflect on your website.
Successful businesses have now understood the power of content marketing. Research by Content Marketing Institute suggests that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid advertising. From 2018 to 2019, businesses that had a documented content marketing strategy jumped from 39% to 65%, as stipulated by Impact Brand.
Unlike B2C, where end users can be influenced by influencers or emotive advertising, businesses will not be impressed by those. They need authoritative and actionable information which solves their commercial problems and grows their organizations. A clear well-thought content strategy can help create useful content that can impress your clients.
How do I build an effective B2B Content Strategy?
Not all content strategies are the same. However, all of them should start with knowing your objectives and your long-term goals. It is surprisingly easy to get started once you know what is involved. Firstly, you need to ask yourself:
Who is your target audience?
You may have a general answer to this question – engineers, managers, or business leaders. But what is needed is thorough research on your customer base, who they are, and what are their characteristics. After all, you are writing content to convert visitors to paying clients. If your content does not resonate with them, they will not move through your Marketing Funnel.
Now, how do you identify your audience?
- Create your buyer persona – a semi-fictional person who is likely to buy from you.
- Segment your audience based on their Buyer Behavior.
- Identify the problems and needs of your segmented audience.
Your clients don’t want to be sold to; they are looking to you to solve their business challenges. Therefore, your B2B content strategy should focus on help, and advice to solve their potential problems.
Set your goals
What do you want to achieve by creating content? Work out the goals of your B2B Marketing Strategy to stay on track and measure your progress. Your goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. In other words, set clear realistic goals that can be achieved in a certain amount of time, and you are able to track your progress.
For example, if you want brand awareness and website visits with your content, most of your content will be in the shape of blogs, informative articles, introductory video content, etc. On the other hand, if your focus is lead generation, most of your content will be in the form of eBooks, white papers, case studies, etc.
Keywords and Search Intent
You have identified your audience and set your goals. But how do you make sure your content reaches the right audience? By using the right keyword and identifying the user search intent.
‘Keywords’ – for the unfamiliar is a phrase a search engine or people use to reach your content. Through analytics and keyword search tools such as Ahrefs or Ubbersuggest, you can find established, low to mid-competitive keywords to use in your content. Apart from targeting phrases – you need to understand the intent of searches. For example, if a phrase has ‘how to’ the searcher is looking for information. For transactional searches like ‘buy monthly subscriptions,’ the intent can be to make some kind of purchase.
The intent of user search can affect your keyword choices and needs to be accommodated into your B2B Content Strategy.
Create Multi-Dimensional Content
Long texts with in-depth research are great to showcase your expertise, especially if you are targeting other businesses. However, too many words can be overwhelming and could be dull for your website visitors.
It is safe to say that we are in the age of video and consumable media. People like visual representations with images, videos, and animations. Reading is still important but is mostly reserved for people who have passed the initial stages of your Market funnel.
The solution? Multi-layered content with texts, videos, and animations. You can still have extensive content in the form of e-books, guides/kits, market research, white papers, and research studies for the more meticulous of your user base. But mix it up with visually captivating content on your website, blogs, e-newsletters, and social media channels.
Show Your Content to the World
If you have researched your audience earlier, you already know where on the web they hang out the most. Now you need to focus on reaching those prospects through targeted marketing campaigns.
First and foremost, improve your website’s discoverability on search engines. The goal is to appear on the first page for your chosen keyword. So, optimize your page SEO by using keywords strategically in your content, adding meta descriptions, and adding alt-text on your images.
Next, set aside a budget for paid advertisement. Paid ads ensure that you shoot up to the very top of the search page for your specified keyword. Other than Google ads you can run paid marketing campaigns on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. depending on your target audience. It is necessary to do your research before running campaigns to get the best ROI.
Measure Your Results
You have now set up and are marketing your content. How do you know that you are achieving the SMART goals you decided on earlier? By using tracking progress tools such as Google Analytics.
Track your progress based on several Tracking Metrics like Traffic, pages per visit, and time spent on site. Observe what content works and what doesn’t and then invest your time and energy to improve your content to grow your business further.
No need to worry if you initially fail. This is a trial and error-process. If a certain angle is not working, you can move on to try something new.
B2B Content Strategy: Conclusion
A solid B2B marketing strategy allows you to rise above your competitors and establish yourself as an industry leader. Focus on finding the audience that will benefit from your business and develop a sense of trust in them. Always remember the strategy is not set in stone but is your roadmap, do not be afraid to step back and reassess if it does not work out initially.