NOTE: This is the second post of a two-part series describing the benefits and giving practical tips on how to achieve your B2B content marketing goals.
7 Best Tactics for B2B Content Marketing
If your business isn’t seeing the returns it wants from content marketing, then it’s time to make a change. As described in our previous post, the benefits of content marketing are clear, but how can you make sure your content gets noticed in such a busy space?
Here are seven tactics that can take your content marketing strategy to the next level.
1. Set Clear Goals and Establish KPI’s
One of the most important things with any marketing campaign is that it’s focused. You need to understand what you’re trying to achieve and have a clear understanding of how you measure success.
Content marketing takes time - it doesn’t have the immediate success of something like PPC. This means it’s easy to get discouraged because you’re not seeing the big results you expect.
However, content marketing is all about building an asset. If you have the right goals, and you understand how to track your progress, then you will start to see results.
Some KPI’s you can use:
- Search rankings
- Social engagement
- Time spent on page
- Average pages per session
- Average session duration
- Leads created
- Inbound links
2. Build Your Team to Offer Maximum Value
You can’t be successful with content marketing unless you’re offering high-value content. There’s just too much competition out there.
If you’re not producing great content then someone else will be, and they’re likely to outrank you and outsell you.
Once you understand your goals, then you’ve got to work out how you can put together a team to maximize the value of your content. Many businesses outsource aspects of this, but you’ve still got to have a clear plan for how you’re going to create valuable content and lead the process.
You’ve got all the expert knowledge you need within your business, so how can you turn this into content that’s going to be the best on the internet?
3. Understand Your Target Audience
It’s no good guessing what content your target audience wants to see. If you’re going to invest time and energy into creating great content, then you need it to be relevant.
This is why one of the most important steps in content marketing is researching your audience:
- What questions do they have?
- What pain points do they need solving?
- How do they search for information?
- What types of content do they consume?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then your approach is going to be too scattergun, wasting vital resources.
There are lots of different ways to better understand your target audience, but one of the best is simply to ask them. Speak to your customers, put questionnaires on your site, and open the conversation.
The more your content focuses on the issues that matter to your customers, the more likely it is to convert.
4. Reassess Existing Content
One of the great things about marketing is the work you do today can continue to bring in a return for years to come. Once you’ve achieved a good ranking for your keywords, it’s yours to lose, which means you can bring in a consistent stream of organic traffic.
While you might have some high-performing content, there will always be other pieces that don’t quite achieve the same success. Don’t write that content off though - go back and see what you can do to turn it into one of your best blogs.
Many of the most successful content marketers have a big focus on updating old content. They realize that they’ve invested in an asset, and rather than constantly writing new content, it’s beneficial to invest in improving content that might not be performing as well.
Once you’ve set up your team and come up with your strategy, then it’s a great idea to go back through your old content and give it a freshen up.
5. Embrace Different Channels
If you limit your content to one channel and one medium, then you’re not going to have the same reach and engagement. For example, video content is incredibly popular, but when it comes to content marketing, too often people neglect it.
Your blog is the perfect place to incorporate different formats: video, text, podcasts, infographics, etc. If you’re limiting yourself to one format, then you’re going to lose out on a big chunk of your audience who are looking for different ways to consume information.
With different content formats, you can then expand your reach on different channels. If you’re creating amazing content, then you want to get it in front of as many people as possible, and there are lots of platforms to help you do this:
- Slide Share
6. Consider the Customer Journey
When it comes to content marketing, it’s easy to focus on how you get people to your website and forget about what happens to them when they do arrive. If you’re going to achieve your goals through content marketing then what your visitors do once they arrive on your page is key.
A big part of this is understanding your customer journey and where your content fits into it. This will allow you to better understand the next steps you want people to take and guide them into taking that action.
For example, an article titled “What Is SEO?” would be at the awareness stage of the customer journey, so the people reading it are likely to take different actions to people reading an article that’s deeper into your customer journey. When you have a clear picture of your customer journey, then you can craft your content to naturally guide people to the next stage.
Each piece of content should have specific aims, guiding people into taking action.
7. Put Processes in Place to Ensure Consistency
Content marketing isn’t something you can pick up and put down, it works best when you’re consistent with what you’re doing. This means being consistent with your brand voice, the quality of your content, and the volume of your output.
It’s not easy to consistently put out the highest quality content, so you’ve got to put systems in place to help you do this.
Brand guidelines, content guidelines, and content calendars are excellent ways to do this.
Before you even start writing a blog or filming a video, you should have a clear idea of what you need to achieve. With the right guidelines, it allows you to scale your process without losing the focus on quality.
Content marketing is an excellent way to create leads and build relationships with your customers. Like anything in marketing though, it’s got to be done well if you’re going to see results.
If you’re going to invest in content marketing then you need to see a return, and with these seven tactics, that’s more likely to happen. With a focused approach content marketing can have a big impact on your B2B sales, so make sure you’re working on your strategy.
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