How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Results

Content marketing is often viewed as a consumer-focused marketing technique, but it can be just as effective for B2B businesses. After all, business buyers are people too, and they respond to information that is helpful, interesting, and well-crafted.

 

Although the goals may be different – generating leads rather than sales, for example – the principles are the same. By creating and distributing high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, you can build trust and credibility, establish yourself as a thought leader, and drive traffic to your website.

Developing a successful B2B content marketing strategy requires more than just producing great content; it also necessitates understanding what kind of content will best reach and resonate with your target audience. 

To help you get started, here are five key steps to guide your thinking. Together, they make up a results-oriented B2B content marketing strategy template.

1. Always Proceed From Your Core Goals

What are you trying to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Whether it's generating leads, increasing conversion rates, or boosting brand awareness, make sure your goals are front and center when you're planning your strategy.

 In order to really pinpoint your goals, consider what you want your content to do for each stage of the buyer's journey. For example, if you're trying to increase brand awareness, your content might be more top-of-the-funnel, whereas if you're aiming to generate leads, you'll want to focus on creating middle-of-the-funnel content. 

Finally, make your goals as explicit and measurable as possible. This will make it much easier to keep everyone focused on the same objectives, track progress, and determine whether or not your strategy is successful.

2. Understand Your Audience

Now that you’ve nailed down the goals fuelling your content marketing efforts, it’s time to focus on your audience. What are their needs and desires? What motivates them? Once you know this, you can begin to develop content that will resonate with them. 

To start building a profile of your audience, consider creating buyer personas. These are fictional characters that represent your ideal customer–not just the types of businesses you want to reach, but the specific people within those companies with whom you need to connect. 

By developing these personas, you can get a better understanding of who your target audience is and what they want to see from your brand. 

Make your personas as detailed as possible, adding any details that could be relevant to the way your customers might learn about and interact with your product. This will include their age, gender, occupation, interests, and pain points.

Ideally, your personas should be based on real data, such as your customer surveys and website analytics. If you don’t have this data, start with educated guesses, fleshing your personas out with new insights as your data collection capabilities evolve.

3. Brainstorm Content Types

Drawing on what you now know about your target audience, you can start identifying the type of content they would find valuable. This could be anything from blog posts, and social media content to infographics and eBooks. 

Focus on what would be most useful to your audience and start creating content accordingly. Of course, creating high-quality content that meets an existing need is essential to success, so make sure you're putting your best foot forward. 

There are a number of tools you may find helpful in the brainstorming process, such as Google Trends and Quora, which can give you an idea of what topics are popular within your industry. You can also look at your competitors' content to get an idea of what's already out there and how you can make your content stand out.

Your content should help build trust and credibility with your audience, so make sure it's well researched and accurate. If you're not sure where to start, consider creating a buyer's guide or an FAQ section on your website.

4. Promote Your Content

You've crafted content that should resonate with your audience, so now's the time to make sure they actually see it. There are a number of ways to do this, and the best approach will vary depending on your audience, your goals, and the type of content you've created. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Share your content on social media platforms popular with your target audience. If you're not sure which platforms those are, consider using a tool like BuzzSumo to find out.
  • Create a personalized email marketing campaign.
  • Form partnerships with relevant influencers and ask them to share your content with their followers. 
  • Submit your best articles to popular industry publications.
  • Add a link to your latest blog post in your email signature.
  • Include links to your content on any relevant company pages or profiles (for example, if you have a personal blog, make sure to link to it from your LinkedIn profile).

You'll most likely need a combination of different strategies to get your content in front of your target audience. The important thing is to be creative and experiment until you find an approach that works best for you and your business.

5. Track Your Progress and Learn

It's also important to track the performance of your content. This will help you to understand what's working and what isn't. There are a number of metrics you can track, including website traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. 

Your approach to tracking should align with your business goals. For example, if you're focused on generating leads, you'll want to track conversion rates. If you're looking to increase brand awareness, you'll want to track website traffic and engagement metrics. 

Commonly tracked metrics include:

  • Website traffic (e.g. unique visitors, pageviews)
  • Engagement (e.g. time on site, pages per session, bounce rate)
  • Conversion rates (e.g. leads, sales, sign-ups)
  • Social media engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments)
  • Email click-through rates

So, how do you define success? Start by setting some goals and KPIs (key performance indicators). These will vary depending on your business objectives, but should be based on SMART–specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound–criteria. 

For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, a KPI could be to increase website traffic by X% over the next three months. 

Based on how your performance fairs against your KPIs, you can then go back to your B2B content strategy marketing template and make adjustments to your strategy.

In Summary

With your metrics and growing body of data as your guide, keep testing and experimenting with your content marketing strategy. Try new things and see what works best for your business. 

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing. What works for one business might not work for another. The key is to follow a structured B2B content strategy marketing template, find what works for you, and build on it.

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