If you're running a business-to-business (B2B) company, you know that having a solid content marketing strategy is fundamental to your success. It’s what will enable you to generate leads, convert those leads into paying customers, and grow your business.
There’s no one-size-fits-all B2B content marketing strategy template. Your own strategy will depend on your company’s growth phase, resources, and goals. However, there are definitely a few core ingredients that any results-driven strategy should have in place.
One of the first steps to take when creating a B2B content marketing strategy is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing efforts? This is an important question to answer, as it will determine the rest of your strategy.
When describing your audience, try to be as specific as possible. Don’t just think about the types of companies you’re targeting; focus on the people within those companies whose interest you want to attract.
For example, if you’re selling accounting software, your target audience might be small business owners or financial managers. On the other hand, if you’re selling enterprise software, you might aim to target CIOs or IT directors directly. Finally, if you’re selling marketing services, your target audience might be marketing directors or VPs of marketing.
What’s your ideal customer’s role, and where are they in their company’s decision-making process? What about your product or service will be interesting to them, and why?
Once you know who your target audience is, you can start planning content that is tailored to them.
Your content marketing strategy should focus on the customer journey. In other words, think about the different stages that a potential customer will go through, from awareness to purchase. For each stage of the customer journey, you'll need to create different marketing content and messages.
Be sure to keep all four stages of the customer journey in mind as you plan content.
To reach your target audience, your B2B content marketing strategy will need to involve a mix of marketing channels. There's no cut-and-dry approach to this; the channels you use will depend on your audience and your budget.
Your strategy could include everything from social media, email marketing and website content, to more traditional methods like print ads and direct mail. Be sure to research your customers in as much depth as possible in order to find out where they are active.
By using a mix of channels, you’ll be able to reach your target audience in the way that they prefer to consume information. This will make your content more effective and ensure that your message gets through loud and clear.
When you're running a B2B company, it's important to focus on ROI (return on investment) when it comes to your marketing strategy. After all, you could create beautiful content all day–but at some point, you’'ll need to justify your marketing spend to your boss or board of directors.
To calculate ROI, you'll need to track your marketing metrics and compare them to your marketing goals. For example, if your goal is to generate 100 new leads, and you spend $1,000 on marketing, then your ROI is 100/1,000, or 10%.
It's important to note that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to ROI. It all depends on your company's objectives and budget. However, if you're not seeing a positive ROI, then it's time to reevaluate your content marketing strategy.
Finally, your B2B content marketing strategy should look well ahead into the future. Yes, you'll need to track your short-term results, but your core goal should be to create a sustainable marketing strategy that will help you grow your business over the long term.
This means you'll need to think about things like building and positioning your brand. These goals should be reflected in your content strategy, as you'll want to create content that is consistently aligned with your brand identity.
Keeping your content on brand will gradually help you build a recognizable profile, and foster trust with your audience.
You should also think about how you can create a relationship with your audience and turn them into loyal customers. The best way to start is to create content that is interesting, informative, and helpful. Over time, you’ll learn which types of content are the most effective at growing these relationships.
Finally, be sure to invest time in creating evergreen content. This is the kind of content that will be relevant and useful for a long time, regardless of the current trends.
An example of evergreen content for a B2B company might be an article about the top ten questions to ask when choosing a vendor. This information will be relevant to people who are just starting out, as well as those who have been in business for years.
Evergreen content is an important part of your strategy because it will help you attract interest, even amongst people who are not looking for your products or services at the moment. If they find your content helpful, they are more likely to remember your brand when they do need what you offer.
Finally, you'll need to be patient. Growing a business takes time, and you will almost certainly make mistakes. But a B2B content marketing strategy should be a living document. As you continue sharpening your approach and creating effective content, you'll eventually see the results you're looking for.
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