Many B2B (business-to-business) companies today are using articles and/or blog content as a critical facet of their marketing strategy. But the reality is that many individuals cannot compose effective content in order to produce any significant results. Unfortunately, these individuals take a haphazard approach to creating and delivering content. The practice of throwing enough “stuff” against the wall until something sticks just doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to create quality content or risk getting lost in the information overload.
If you are going to develop a content marketing strategy, the following five factors are the most critical components to include:
- A deep understanding of your target’s situation. You’re going to have a difficult time composing content that is relevant to your target audience if you are not aware of their unique situation. You have to know what your clients’ challenges are with respect to how your solution can help solve them. A good marketer will also know what their buying triggers are. If you don’t know, test which content and subject matter incite a response.
- A set of clear conversion goals. Once you are aware of who your target audience is, what they care about and need, and what their buying triggers are, you have to figure out what you want them to do once they have read your content. Define metrics that are important to the B2B marketing process – things like number of clicks through to a landing page, and how many visitors convert on that page.
- A well-defined target audience. Staying sharply focused is one of the primary keys to a successful B2B marketing strategy. You cannot promote your company and your products or services to everyone, so you have to concentrate your marketing efforts where they will do the most good your target audience. Build a database of your prospect universe either organically or with a contact data vendor (ahem… like us perhaps).
- An ability to scale. When you are developing your B2B marketing strategy, producing ample content to satisfy your target audience is going to be your biggest obstacle. You can easily overcome this by repurposing your most valuable content. Most people have a treasure trove of documents on their hard drive already – maybe it’s an internal training document that can be a blog entry. Start by repackaging the smaller stuff (i.e., short-form content) into larger kits and eBooks. Additionally, you should consider repurposing the big stuff (i.e., eBooks, reports, and whitepapers) into shorter content forms (e.g. articles and blogs).
- An alignment process. Another key component of B2B marketing strategies is the actual alignment process – “pulling it all together” as we prefer to call it. This includes knowing your buyers, your conversion goals, your contact mediums, and your content’s message, and then aligning them to accomplish a goal.