Content marketing in B2B: a step-by-step guide
60-70 percent of the articles that B2B marketers create for content marketing remain unused ( Siriusdecisions / Forrester ). Content marketing results in three times more leads than with paid search engine advertising ( Kapost Content ROI / Content Marketing Institute, 2017 ).
Content is written and published on a blog, for example, but is not marketed according to its importance. For B2B companies, this shortcoming is immediately noticeable and measurable : fewer leads are generated, even though the content is of high quality. Behind this is a strategy that has not been fully developed.
B2B companies invest in content marketing, but there is no efficient strategy to transport the created content to the customer. - Valentin Binnendijk, Aioma
There is nothing wrong with the production of content and its publication - but what about the steps before and after? Inexperienced companies generally do not succeed in developing a comprehensive strategy from A to Z. The customer does not feel 100% addressed, in the long term there is a risk of failure with one's own content marketing strategy, which then has to be worked up at high cost.
B2B content marketing strategy in 5 steps
If you stick to the following steps, on the one hand, you will be able to use your marketing budget much more effectively, so that you get more money back for each franc invested. On the other hand, you also get an improved reach and address more customers.
- Define Goals If you have no goal, you cannot know how to get there. You cannot act effectively. The first task must therefore be a definition of the objective: what do we want to achieve with our content? Remember that the targets should always be aligned with the overall goals of the company. Ideally, they should also be easy to translate into measurable key figures (KPIs) so that you can easily evaluate the success of your content marketing strategy.
- Map audience marketing rarely or never targets the general public, but always has a specific target group in mind. The more precisely you narrow down these groups, the better the customer can be addressed. The more vague the wording of the target group, the greater the (undesirable) scatter effects of your advertising.
- Plan keywords Here is the central topic research to find out what is currently moving and interested in your customers. For example, you can filter the data you gain by region and get an insight into thematically relevant topics that users are currently looking for (keyword research).
- Write content It is not the mass of content that reflects good content, but its quality. The more superficial and therefore worthless your content is, the faster customers will look around in other places on the Internet - because it is very unlikely that you will occupy a certain niche completely on your own. Only through quality does the customer know that he has found the best contact person for your current needs in you. So don't save on investing in the quality of the content.
Content Repository At the beginning it may seem easy to keep an overview of the content that has already been created. However, as the number of articles increases, this task becomes more and more complex. An extensive repository, a kind of library with all content and the status of the articles. Think about what content you should store within a certain structure. Manage marketing content (not only text, but can also be video or image files) in meaningful applications that provide you with a central view of all content to simplify administration.
Content Personalization Think about how you can organize your content further. Here, for example, tags and intelligent filters or context-related collections that you create yourself have proven their worth. If you need content on a certain topic in the future, you can simply enter the desired keyword and get an overview of every article that you already have in stock. Conceivable organization points would obviously be the overarching topic, but you should also consider sorting by people or industries, for example. Organization after the various phases of the customer journey is also very important: New customers are addressed with completely different content than existing customers. If you know exactly which area of the customer journey a customer is currently in,
- Tags that describe the reader and the target group
- Keywords for which the article is to be found with relevant monthly search volume (MSV)
- Parent topics (pillar page) and sub-topics that are linked
- Phases of the customer journey (funnel stage)
- the targets that are supported by the individual article
- Paid Media This refers to advertisements on other websites or in social media channels. You have to buy these "advertising slots" and pay for why the term paid media has become established. These PPC campaigns are becoming more expensive as more and more bidders use the same terms.
- Shared media As soon as people share your content - on a voluntary basis and therefore only because of the perceived quality of the content - shared media comes into play. This can also be word of mouth or ratings on sales platforms.
- Owned Media This type of media describes all websites, shops, blogs, newsletters and other digital channels that belong to you and that you can control. The content can be teasered via email marketing and should then lead back to your central channels such as website, blog or shop.
- Earned Media “Earn” as a translation of “earned” in this context means the distribution of your content, which you receive from professional institutions (such as online media or other companies). If companies and industries share their content with the public, we speak of earned media, link building or backlinks.
- Email ProTip - If you want to work even more purposefully, you can share new articles with prospects who read similar articles on your last visit.
- Social Your target audience needs to know that your content is meaningful. If you want to increase the reach, for example, you should be active yourself: Start discussions, which you can trigger with a link to the new article and then continue via various social media channels. Every industry and every niche has its own strong characters. These are influencers who can definitely get your content going virally. Find out who are the big opinion leaders for the topic you want.
- Paid advertising Pay-per-click campaigns such as Google Ads (paid advertising) are becoming more and more expensive as more and more bidders use the same terms. Nevertheless, this is an important tool to initially attract visitors to your own website.
- Capture Leads : Don't limit yourself to just writing blog posts. In fact, sending people to a landing page (conversion) for an e-book, white paper, or webinar is even more effective than sending them to a simple blog post, because it is usually perceived as more valuable content and you can capture a visitor’s email.
- Score Leads and Gather Insights Regardless of whether the goals have been achieved, all key figures should be carefully examined. Once the personalized content has been created and successfully distributed on the Internet, you should have generated more leads (through this inbound marketing methodology) and won over customers. But you don't know what worked and what didn't work for your strategy. You should take a close look at the entire pipeline from the first to the last step in this guide (tracking). If you are successful with this, you can use the knowledge gained to determine which channels should be optimized and how.
- Optimize With the knowledge gained, you will quickly see that content marketing offers excellent traceability compared to classic marketing. Measure your success in generating leads using data from your formats, topics, and the channels you use to disseminate. With the experience, you can make changes to the previous content marketing strategy in detail in order to initiate overdue improvements.
The content marketing strategy cannot show short-term success, the result is shown after 6-18 months. - Aioma
Also consider: In step 2, we briefly mentioned that content can be used several times. For example, use blocks that have proven to be particularly productive in other channels. Make a teaser for the newsletter from an article that was published as part of a blog. Extract the best passages and go back to the contact with this (possibly slightly modified and updated) content. On the one hand, this saves money and time, on the other hand you ensure that all customers get the most important aspects from your content.
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