Build a Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps
A B2B content marketing strategy is absolutely necessary in order to connect with potential customers, prove your expertise, demonstrate value, and grow your brand. However, B2B companies often have a tendency to skip this component of marketing.
And this is a huge mistake.
According to a new LinkedIn study, 83% of a typical B2B purchasing decision happens before a buyer engages with a provider. And where does this happen? Online.
Reading reviews, researching topics, skimming online articles, and browsing social media content.
Fortunately, there are proven ways to help you properly engage in business-to-business content marketing. Here are five steps to help you create great content and build an effective business-to-business content marketing strategy template.
1. A B2B content marketing strategy needs buyer personas
A buyer persona is your target audience. It is your potential customer. To appeal to this individual properly, you will need a solid idea of who is buying your product or service. You will also have to understand what information they may need when making a purchase and how you can pull them into your website to check out the different content, products, and services you have to offer.
Getting a better idea of your buyer persona ensures you know your audience. Failure to do that means you are essentially shooting in the dark and trying to market without a solid idea of who you are marketing to.
Creating an appropriate buyer persona means that you need to be able to answer critical questions:
- Who is the average buyer for your products or services, and where do they spend their time? For example, are they primarily internet-based when they do research about sales? If so, where do they search, and what specific keywords are they searching for? What social media platforms are they most likely to spend their time on?
- What demographics does the individual in question occupy? In other words, what is their education level? Age? What do they sound like, and how can you appeal to them by speaking in a language they understand?
- What marketing techniques and tactics can you use? For example, do they like quick tweets or more in-depth white papers?
- How can you use your existing client base to explore who else might be interested in your products or services? For example, are there surveys you can send out to your existing customers to learn how to serve them better, and can you then use that information to better determine how to pull in new customers?
2. B2B content marketing requires keyword research
The core of any appropriate business-to-business content marketing strategy is appropriate keyword research. Simply put, you cannot have a successful content marketing strategy if you don’t know what people are searching for when looking for content.
What does this really mean, though? You have to be strategic about approaching content management and content creation. Often, individuals or companies will write content based on content topics or keywords that no one is looking for. As a result, this content is wasted, pulls in no leads, and represents time and effort that ultimately is done for nothing.
Consider the following step-by-step approach to keyword research:
- Step 1: What are your competitors doing? What keywords are they using, where are they spending time online, and what content creation methods are they utilizing to improve their business? What tactics can you use that they are using, and where can you make meaningful improvements?
- Step 2: Create excellent keyword lists. You’ll need to use keyword research tools and analytics to determine how people find your website and what keywords they are looking for. This will give you a better idea of how people find your website and what content you can create around those keywords.
- Step 3: Find high search volume and low keyword difficulty topics relevant to your business. Once you have this, you can engage in specific content creation that is geared around these topics.
- Step 4: Create a blog strategy geared around the appropriate keywords. You should use keywords from this list as the primary keyword for content creation, but you can also use additional keywords as secondary keywords for these blog entries. This can ensure that you are killing two birds with one stone.
- Step 5: Make content faster and better than your competitors. At this point, it’s all about getting rankings, improving your domain authority, and increasing your brand awareness. To do this, you need to outwrite your competitors at every level.
3. A B2B content strategy should exist at multiple levels
Solid content creation requires multiple levels to be successful, and what levels you focus on will depend on your business and its available resources. After all, you may not have the time, money, or expertise to handle social media, whitepapers, blogging, podcasts, YouTube, and all the other available platforms.
This being said, you need to conduct appropriate keyword research to prioritize where your business-to-business buyers will be spending their time and what content is the most effective.
When creating your content strategy, consider the following possible content platforms:
- Creating good blog posts. Blog posts can be ideal for SEO purposes and can be fantastic for pulling people into your website. You can use a blog entry for case studies, providing tips, or providing your expertise. Of course, this is only truly effective if you also fold in your keyword research.
- Creating a high-quality website that serves as the central hub for all of your content creation. You should also make sure that your website is optimized for the keyword research that you have conducted.
- Creating white papers and eBooks on subjects that you are an expert on. Longform content can be helpful for brand recognition, organic SEO, and thought leadership.
- Appropriate Email marketing and use of social media platforms. This can create excellent opportunities for customer interaction. It can also enhance brand awareness and help to improve your domain authority by driving high-value traffic to your site.
4. Don’t just set it and forget it
Content creation and an appropriate business-to-business marketing strategy do NOT mean that you create content and walk away. The opposite is true: You must use keyword tracking tools and web analytics to track blog content and keyword rankings.
You can better understand appropriate keywords by using services like Semrush or Moz. Tracking content in this manner will help you determine if your content was written in a way that will allow it to compete with others who are using keywords in the same space. It can also be helpful to determine when or if you lose ranking on previously high-performing content. If that’s the case, you will need to refresh the content, so you can avoid giving up this keyword space to competitors.
Remember, a content marketing strategy aims to make sure that you are producing content that is seen and seen by the right people. To better track this content, consider the following:
- Use spreadsheets that mark content and constantly adjust how it performs in overall clicks, impressions, downloads, or other key metrics. Make sure that others have access to these spreadsheets and are updated regularly. You should also make sure that key decision-makers in your business see these metrics regularly, enabling you to keep the people above you constantly informed about your progress.
- Use content marketing tools that can automate these updates and use algorithms and other forms of AI to keep you better informed about the success of your content. Examples include Yoast, Buzzsumo, Google Analytics, and many more.
- Set regular reminders in your project management tools to check your content for updates and pull the appropriate reports to let you know how content is performing.
- Ensure that you have clear lines of authority regarding who is responsible for checking in on your content marketing strategy and ensuring that the content is being reviewed regularly. The person who does this should also be authorized to make updates to your content and create new content that better matches your needs of the moment.
5. Optimize, optimize, optimize
Again, you can’t simply post content and move on. Instead, you have to constantly make sure that you are optimizing your new content to adjust for changing search trends or new products and services that you are offering.
So, what does this mean? A few things:
- Make sure you’re constantly checking and refreshing content that starts to lose ranking. If you have content that was performing well but isn’t now, give it a tune-up or an update, and fold in new content.
- Make sure you optimize content that doesn’t get any ranking. If you have content that has missed Google completely, consider how it can be retooled to perform better.
- Have content that is performing very highly? Fantastic. How can you expand upon that content to improve other content you have? Are there more links you can add to it? Can you push this content heavier in your social media or email marketing? Or can you improve the call to action to ensure that you are better monetizing this content?
Remember, when it comes to creating excellent content, your job is never done. Just because you wrote one blog or uploaded one ebook to your site does not mean you have won at b2b content marketing. You need to constantly tweak and update your content to maximize it and adjust it for the changing social trends in your particular slice of the business-to-business industry.
Getting started with B2B content marketing
Creating a B2B content marketing strategy requires real leg-work, research, time, and coordination. But it pays off.
If you’re ready to keep learning about B2B content marketing, check out these additional resources:
- How To Do B2B Social Media Marketing the Right Way
- Your Go-To Guide to Creating a B2B Marketing Strategy Framework
- The Basics of B2B Digital Marketing
Looking for more information on content ideas or creating a long-term content marketing strategy? We can help. At The Marketing Blender, we have years of experience helping business to business companies find their marketing pain points and develop content that can successfully sell products or services.
Looking for more information? Contact us today, and learn more about how we can help your company grow.