Written by Vineet Sethi
It takes more than a killer product & good marketing to succeed in the Business-To-Business (B2B) arena.
In fact, with so many other businesses targeting the same customers as you, success is almost impossible unless you have a well-planned strategy in place from the get-go.
B2B marketing isn’t just about throwing up ads or sending newsletters—it’s about analyzing your target market and how they like to be marketed before executing that plan. That being said, creating an effective B2B content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective strategy that will help your business succeed.
1. Define Your Audience
Let’s start at the beginning. Before creating an effective strategy, you must know who your audience is.
If you’re a B2B business targeting enterprise-level customers, ask:
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they care about?
- What do they need?
- What’s their pain point?
Knowing your audience is essential to building a successful B2B content marketing strategy.
You need to understand what your audience cares about and what their concerns are if you’re going to be able to reach them effectively.
When it comes to defining your audience, there are two main things you need to keep in mind:
- First, you need to figure out who your target customer is.
- The second is that you need to understand who has the ability to purchase from you.
These two groups are not always the same, so you must clarify whom you’re targeting. This will help you focus your efforts on the people who need and want your product.
2. Know Your Competition
Next, you need to know your competition. Sure, you know the industry you’re in and the products and services you offer, but
- How do you stack up against other companies in the same space?
- Are they targeting the same customers as you?
- What methods are they using to reach those customers?
- What types of content are they producing?
- How do they measure success?
- What’s their content marketing strategy?
It could hold you back if you’re unfamiliar with your competitors’ strategies. If you don’t know what methods they’re using or how they’re measuring success, it could be challenging to know where your strategy needs to be improved.
You don’t want to make guesses about content marketing; you want to make informed decisions.
3. Decide On Your Content Marketing Goals
Knowing your audience and competition is great, but what’s the point if you don’t see what you’re trying to accomplish?
Your goals should be SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Before you start creating content, decide on your goals.
- What do you hope to achieve with your content marketing strategy?
- What are your marketing objectives?
- What do you want readers to do after they’ve consumed your content?
- It would help if you also decided how to measure success.
- How will you track how well your content marketing strategy is working?
- Are you looking to grow your mailing list?
- Are you trying to generate leads?
- Are you trying to increase sales?
Whatever your goals are, make sure you have a way to track them, so you know if your content marketing strategy is working.
4. Create Your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you’ve defined your audience, considered your competition, and decided on your goals, it’s time to create your content marketing strategy.
Your strategy will encompass everything from the topics you’re going to discuss to the types of content you will create.
You need a plan of action—you can’t just hope things will work out.
Let’s look at a few critical components of a successful content marketing strategy.
- What topics are you going to focus on?
- Are you going to discuss specific products or services?
- Will you tackle broader topics in the industry that customers care about?
- Are you going to create content that helps readers solve problems?
- What topics will help you reach your goals?
- Whom are you going to be publishing your content for?
- Are you focusing on a specific demographic?
- Are you going to try to reach B2B influencers?
- How can you best reach your audience?
- Publishing schedule
- How often are you going to publish content?
- How often do customers in your industry want to be receiving content?
- What’s the best publishing schedule for your industry?
- Are you going to publish daily, weekly, or monthly?
5. Develop a Content Calendar
While you’re creating your content marketing strategy, you should also be thinking about the content you’re going to produce.
The best way to do this is by creating a content calendar. A content calendar will help you stay organized, track your progress, and ensure you’re on track with your publishing schedule.
Beyond keeping you organized, a content calendar will also help you decide what content topics to cover. When you look at your calendar and see what topics you have available for publishing, it’s much easier to determine what you should write about.
6. Know What Works (and What Doesn’t)
While having a content marketing strategy in place, it’s also important to know what’s working (and what isn’t working) with that strategy.
This will help you make adjustments as needed so you can achieve the results you’re hoping for. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
- First, you can create surveys & polls to find out what your readers are interested in and what they want to see more of.
- Another way you can find out what is (and isn’t) working with your strategy is by tracking your analytics.
A tool like Google Analytics will let you know how your content is consumed and where readers drop off.
Also Read: Content Marketing Goes Beyond The Product
7. Establish Key Performance Metrics
Finally, once you’ve been publishing content for a while, it’s time to evaluate how well your strategy works. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what’s working and what isn’t, so it’s time to make some adjustments.
It’s time to establish Key Performance Metrics (KPM) to help you measure your progress and publish content aligned with your goals.
There are a few things you can track to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy:
- Website traffic – This can be tracked through your website’s analytics or Google Analytics. The more traffic you have on your site, the more potential customers you have for your business.
- Lead generation – Tracking lead generation can be beneficial if your company offers something like lead generation for insurance agents. You want to track the number of leads you’re receiving so you can make adjustments if necessary.
- Engagement – Engagement metrics will let you know if your content resonates with readers. Are they sharing your posts? Commenting on them? If so, engagement metrics will let you know.
- Sales – Of course, sales are the ultimate goal of a content marketing strategy, which is why they’re also one of the best metrics to track.
The bottom line is this: Creating a successful B2B content marketing strategy takes time, effort, and patience. You can’t expect to create a plan, publish a few articles, and see results.
It takes time to build a following and reach new audiences, so it’s essential to follow these steps to create an effective strategy from the beginning.
At Beyond The Panorama, we work with businesses to develop their digital brand presence; a big part is content writing for various channels. If you want help to organize this business function, we would love to have a conversation and set it up! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org on our social media channels.