Making the initial connection with prospective customers was previously the responsibility of sales reps. Today, in a digital panorama where most users performing their brand research online, your company’s content does much of the engagement work that once fell below your sales team.
That’s why a strong B2B content marketing strategy is essential just for B2B business growth.
In this article, we’ll protect the steps to building a B2B content marketing strategy that:
- targets the appropriate audience
- increases your internal processes
- produces high-value content
- improves lead generation and conversion rates
Let’s get started!
- Ideal customer profiles and buyer gentes help B2B companies target content to the right audiences.
- Advertising sales alignment makes B2B content marketing strategies more efficient.
- For best results, companies need to create multiple types of content delivered across multiple stations.
- Every B2B content marketing strategy should have a detailed execution plan behind it.
- Best practices pertaining to B2B content marketing consist of value-first content, shareability, solid CTAs, and the use of business lead magnets.
How to build a B2B content material marketing strategy that delivers
Develop your ideal customer profile
B2B companies have the exclusive challenge of selling to both companies and individuals. To do that, they need separate frameworks for defining each target audience. The first is the ideal client profile (ICP), which describes the organizational attributes that describe your own perfect customer — the type of company that would benefit most from your solutions.
Ideal customer profiles take into account characteristics like company dimension, industry, budget, location, customer base, and current technologies. They help B2B companies better understand customer discomfort points and needs plus build targeted strategies to address them.
ICPs also help businesses shift away from the “everyone is a prospect” mindset — AKA casting the largest net possible and going after every single lead. Instead, they could focus on pursuing qualified leads that fit the right profile, which leads to better efficiency, higher conversion rates, and increased sales and revenue.
Define your buyer gentes
Once you have your ICP completed, it’s time for you to move on to buyer personas . Each marketer is familiar with the term “persona” but few actually approach them the right way. Personas need to focus not on irrelavent individual traits but rather what individuals are trying to accomplish in their functions.
In this way, customer personas are extremely relevant just for B2B companies because they concentrate on the decision makers within companies that fall under your ICP.
Here’s a great visual that shows the relationship between your ICP and buyer personas:
As you can see, you’ll likely convey more than one buyer personality under each of your ICPs. Every persona requires customized messaging that aligns with the specific motivations of someone because role for seeking your own solution. B2B purchase choices are a big deal to the those who make them — not only do they require a significant financial investment, they have got larger impacts on that person’s entire organization.
When you craft content that resonates with your buyer’s distinctive needs and motivations, you put their minds at ease plus increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase.
Know your buyer journey and sales process
Up next are your buyer journey and product sales process, two related yet different components of your B2B content marketing strategy. Your buyer journey describes the trip your buyer goes through on their way to becoming a customer. Your own sales process describes the way you guide them through that journey.
The customer journey should dictate your sales process, and never another way around. You can’t manage the actions and behaviors of your prospective customers. Instead, you need to know what they are and align your product sales process to them.
Here’s a good example of a sales process aligned with a customer journey:
You might be wondering: how precisely does this relate to content material? Today, B2B buyers carry out between 57-70% of their analysis before they ever speak to a brand. So how are they studying and connecting with your brand during the early stages of the buyer journey?
You guessed it — your content.
When you line-up your sales process along with your buyer journey, you can then create content that’s specifically useful for each of these stages. This is more important than you might think. If you are just becoming aware of your need for a solution, for example , you will need educational content, not a item demo or pricing model. If you’re in the decision stage, however , that kind of info is exactly what you do need.
In summary, an aligned sales process and purchaser journey ensures that the right content gets to the right audience in the right time, delivering the highest possible value and moving individuals forward through their buyer journey.
Arrange your marketing and sales groups
Marketing and product sales teams have the same high-level goals, right? They both want to attract more clients and earn more product sales for their company. But for several reason, aligning marketing and product sales teams is one of the most common challenges companies face as they create their B2B content marketing strategy.
Recent analysis found that 58% of B2B professionals feel that their own marketing and sales alignment is not as strong as it ought to be. This, even though companies that align their teams well experience higher retention rates, higher sales, and are 67% better at closing offers.
So what gives?
Most of the time, this really is due to lack of clarity throughout the separate (but complementary! ) roles that these two functions play in acquiring new customers.
Marketing teams are responsible mainly for building understanding. They’re the creative human brain behind a company’s content material. They work to define the right brand voice, develop, and design. They come up with content ideas and typically have the writers, designers, and editors on staff to produce it.
Product sales teams, on the other hand, are not producing content — but they are utilizing it. Sales reps would be the direct liaisons between a company and their prospective plus current customers. They use content to communicate effectively, convert product sales, and keep customers happy after a purchase is complete. This can be called sales enablement content material.
You can see right here how marketing and sales tasks align with a traditional sales funnel:
To optimize your B2B content marketing strategy, there should be a continuous communication loop between your marketing and sales teams. Marketing guides your sales reps through the right messaging and branding, and sales reps supply crucial feedback about how clients are receiving your content.
A good place to start is certainly by collaborating on goal-setting activities. When teams develop buy-in together, they’re more prone to stay aligned along the way. Then, foster collaboration with regular meetings to assess progress, share feedback and concepts, and make adjustments for your strategy that benefit each teams.
Select your content types and stations
A characteristic of a strong B2B content material marketing strategy is diversity of content and distribution. Your B2B content marketing strategy ought to include different types of content distributed using a multichannel approach.
Let’s talk first in regards to the content types commonly used by B2B companies:
An energetic blog is a must for each content marketing strategy. It is the primary driver of natural web traffic and houses your articles library. Blogs should preferably be updated multiple times each week (between 11-16 times per month).
Video will be predicted to account for 82% of all web traffic by the end of this year. It’s also probably the most in-demand type of content by users B2B companies can use video to provide topical content, webinars, product demos, live event streams and more.
Infographics are an extremely effective way to share a lot of information in one centralized, easily digestible format. Users love infographics and share all of them more than most other types of content.
Ebooks are educational documents (usually downloadable) that offer extended coverage on a topic of high interest to your market. They’re usually somewhat casual and have a heavy design element to them.
Whitepapers reveal a similar purpose with ebooks, but are longer-form and a bit more academic. They strong dive into a topic and are usually positioned for audiences who are already somewhat experienced in the topic it covers.
Case research are the best way to demonstrate the particular real-world applicability of your options while showcasing current happy customers. They use storytelling to share how your products and services make a positive impact on current client organizations (you can see a few MIG examples on our dedicated case studies page).
Podcasts are all the rage right now, and B2B companies are taking note. They are simple enough to produce and can be a good way to showcase your company’s expertise on topics associated with your industry and vital that you your customers.
What about channels? Multichannel distribution is the best way to ensure your content will be reaching your target audiences in the places where they are looking for it. Most companies make use of 4-6 content distribution stations, but if you’re just constructing your B2B content online marketing strategy it’s a good idea to start with two and build it out gradually.
You will see below the many different types of stations B2B companies have to choose from:
Whilst there are some must-include channels like your website and email, it is up to each company to find out which other channels is going to be most effective at reaching your target audience.
Develop your content plan
Your B2B content marketing strategy needs an execution plan behind it to keep your teams on track and accountable. There are two main elements to content planning that you need to use: your work plan, as well as your content diary . Sometimes both of these programs can live right in the same document (at MIG, ours does).
Your work plan outlines tasks that need to be completed meant for content creation and publishing, which includes who is responsible and the deadline day for each task. Your content work schedule outlines the delivery plus publication dates for your content.
To help you get started, you can view and download the particular content marketing planning template we use at MIG.
Execute your plan
Now it’s time to start publishing! Below are a few best-practice tips to keep in mind while you create your content and carry out your plan:
No matter how great your content will be, it won’t drive results unless it appears on search results pages. Be sure your advertising team conducts keyword analysis to find the topics and search terms most relevant to your industry and audience. Then, develop content around those topics using SEO best practices. Read the guide on building plus refining your SEO strategy for more resources on this.
Create value-first content
Customers treatment first and foremost about solving their particular problems. That’s why your B2B content marketing strategy must always focus on creating value-first content material — in other words, content that emphasizes the value and advantages your solutions will provide, rather than product and service features.
Certainly features have their place in the sales process, but it’s usually in the later stages when customers are making one last decision. And even then, the final purchase choice will likely go to the company best demonstrating how they can make that customer’s living better or job easier.
Here’s more on how you can create content that is value-driven:
Make use of lead magnets
Lead magnets are high-value, generally downloadable assets offered in trade for a prospective customer’s contact information. They typically aim to help prospects solve a problem they’re facing or accomplish an important task. When used effectively, lead magnets can increase opt-in rates simply by up to 85%. So those ebooks, whitepapers, and how-to guides you’re already generating as part of your strategy? Turn all of them into lead magnets intended for even bigger results!
Include strong calls in order to action
Your prospective customers won’t know what to complete next unless you tell them! That is why calls to motion (CTAs) are so important to use in every single piece of content a person publish. CTAs tell users what the next logical step is that they should take to keep on their buyer journey. Have a look at our guide to optimizing calls to actions to develop CTAs that deliver.
Make your content shareable
Did you know that content can turn current and prospective customers into brand advocates ? Think about it: you see content shared on social media every single day. When your B2B content marketing strategy covers topics that are related and interesting to your audience, they are likely to share that content through their own channels.
That’s in case you make it shareable. Fortunately, developing shareable content is pretty simple. Two simple steps you can take in order to encourage sharing are incorporating social sharing buttons for your blog posts and sharing your site posts and other content on your own social pages.
Ready to build your B2B content material marketing strategy?
An effective B2B content marketing strategy starts with great content. Advertising Insider Group’s team associated with writers and SEO specialists can deliver you enhanced, ready-to-publish content every week for just one year or more. Check out our own SEO Weblog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to get started!