10 steps to creating a B2B content strategy that drives traffic and leads
Content marketing is taking off for B2B companies. 47% of businesses are spending more than $10,000 dollars on their annual content marketing, whilst 46% of B2B marketers expect their budgets to increase further in 2022.
However, many B2B companies are finding themselves burning budgets without seeing results. Why? Because a lot of content out there is not achieving the goals it is intended to, and the reason is simple: it’s not being produced in line with a cohesive B2B content strategy.
Getting your B2B content marketing strategy right is the key to cutting through content clutter. A smart content strategy can make less content work harder, increase customer engagement and achieve overall business objectives: whether this is sales enablement, brand awareness, or lead generation.
And despite popular misconceptions, developing a content strategy is neither difficult nor expensive. It just needs you to spend think systematically about your goals, KPIs, audiences and capabilities.
So whether you’re a B2B marketer doing this for the first time, or a seasoned content marketing professional planning next year’s campaign, here is a 10-step framework for creating a content strategy that will help you achieve more with less.
Table of contents
What is a B2B content strategy and why do you need one?
Let’s start by defining a content strategy
A content strategy acts as a blueprint for all your activities. It details how your content will be created, what goal it will help achieve, and how it will be distributed, managed, repurposed, updated, and archived.
Your strategy can help you to consistently produce content that is engaging, informative and valuable so that it attracts the right audience, converts them to prospective leads and then helps to close the sale.
Why having a content strategy is important
A content strategy provides focus to your content marketing efforts. It allows you to ensure that the time and effort spent on writing and designing content is worth it, and delivers value to the organisation. It also helps you to develop the most effective content that will drive your audiences to respond in the way you want them to.
By breaking down your content strategy into answering certain key questions you’ll be better positioned to target the people you need to, and achieve the objectives that your business has in mind. Questions include:
- Who is your target audience?
- What questions will your content answer?
- What goals will your content help achieve?
- What makes your content unique?
- Which formats will you use?
- How will it be created and managed?
- Which channels will you promote it on?
- How will you measure success?
And the data backs it up too. We’ve written previously about the statistics that show how critical content marketing’s role is in B2B marketing.
B2B buyers are 57% of the way through the buying journey before engaging with sales (CEB)
The B2B buyer is spending much more of their time in the independent research phase of the buying process. That provides an opportunity for content marketers to interact with customers at the early stages of the buying process, educating and engaging with potential buyers at every step of the journey.
47% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson (Curata)
71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search (Google). They are looking for solutions to their needs, not products, services or brands at the initial stages which means you need to communicate the value you provide much sooner and in a clear and simple way to reach them in this phase of the journey.
70–80% of search engine users pass over paid ads and focus on organic results (Martech)
Your audience is skipping the ads that pop up first on Google and are instead jumping directly to organic results. High-ranking content, therefore, has a great chance of being seen by those who matter. By systematically producing SEO-optimised and helpful content that stays away from the ‘hard sell’, you can drive your content closer to top search rankings results and drive traffic back to your website.
Why content strategies especially matter for B2B companies
One significant difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the accuracy with which marketing is targeted toward audiences.
Marketing to a B2C audience is relatively straightforward from a targeting perspective. Content aimed at your customer speaks directly to them. As they are usually the decision-makers, your strategy is singular: it revolves around attracting and holding their attention through the conversion process.
B2B marketing is more complex, however. Companies make considered purchase decisions that often involve multiple parties. And the conventional view of a linear purchase journey up the value chain no longer holds true: the urchase journey is much more complex and nuanced, and may even involve multiple teams working in tandem.
There is often an information-gatherer championing a particular deployment. These individuals are busy, because they’re collecting a lot of data from numerous sources, including media, analysts, industry experts and other vendors. So in the first instance, your content needs to be instantly searchable and engaging enough to hold the attention of the information-gatherer.
However, because that person will be feeding information back to other internal influencers and decision-makers, your content needs to be concise, precise, and add unique value. It needs to be simple and value-adding enough for the information gatherer to absorb and relay accurately to other internal teams.
A content strategy enables you to achieve content that addresses all of these imperatives.
10 steps to create a B2B content strategy
Ready to get started on producing a content strategy that drives business goals and appeals to the right decision makers? Here is a 10-step framework.
STEP 1: Agree on your goals
Setting goals is a vital component of any successful content strategy, yet this is an area that many marketers struggle with.
A simple way to start is to ensure that your goals are SMART:
Specific: Include measurable KPIs, outcomes, numbers and deadlines
Measurable: Can be tracked and recorded easily to identify success or failure
Attainable: Challenging, yet possible
Relevant: Align with your company’s overall goals
Time-bound: Annual, with six-monthly or quarterly milestones
Try to think beyond simple goals like ‘positioning’ or ‘awareness’, which are often hard to measure.
For example, your goals could include:
– Increase website traffic by 50%
– Generate 500 marketing-qualified leads with a cost per lead of £25
– Time spent on page of 3 minute with scroll depth of 75%
When establishing your goals for successful content, ensure you consult with key stakeholders in your organisation that use the content, such as your sales team, and ensure it is also aligned with their targets and those of the business.
Insight from sales teams on the front line can be crucial in moulding not only the topics / challenges you address in your content, but also the mediums and form factors you use, the channels you should utilise, and more.
STEP 2: Who are you targetting?
As with any type of marketing activity, all content marketing must keep the target audience front and centre at all times. Who are you talking to? What are their goals/aspirations/concerns? Saying ‘we’re targeting the CXO’ is a formula for marketing efforts that fail.
Just as your B2B sales process addresses different types of stakeholders, your content strategy must do the same. Different audience types will prefer different types of content, respond well to specific messages, and play different roles in the sales cycle.
Audience setting for B2B content marketing is more nuanced and multi-segmented than with other marketing disciplines like PR or advertising, since it is a much more personalised discipline.
One way to better understand your target audience is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are like small LinkedIn profiles of people within those organisations who make up your customer base.
They are based on in-depth research and real data that you collect. You want to discover who your customers are, what they want and what they are looking for from you. Make notes on their background, demographics, goals, challenges, fears, objections… you name it.
Buyer personas provide the insight you will find invaluable during content creation, from advertising to emails and blog posts. If your budget does not run to formal research to understand buyer personas, at least engage with frontline teams to understand your audiences and create a rough image of those your campaign seeks to address. Beware of analysis paralysis though!
When creating personas, include information such as:
- Their demographics, like age and location
- Their industry, including their job role, goals and challenges
- Their decision making factors and responsibilities, such as where they go for information on the internet
To create your buyer personas, start by talking to the sales, customer service reps and account managers in your organisation. Customer-facing staff will have a wealth of information regarding your buyers’ most pressing questions, biggest challenges and obstacles that prevent them from purchasing. Make sure you’re not just getting the sales view, or else you might end up with a very one-sided view of the customer’s needs!
Once you’ve interviewed internally, turn your attention externally. Interview customers or prospects, but ensure that your questions are geared towards the motivations and thoughts that led them to choosing your company.
When collating your internal and external data alongside more generalised information, try to build at least three to five buyer personas. You can always build more, but three to five is a good place to start as these should give enough insight into different buyers you encounter in different areas of your business.
Ask questions like:
- What do our prospects or customers ask most often?
- What makes our customers and prospects happy? Why?
- What frustrates our customers and prospects? Why?
- Within our customer and prospect organisations, who has influence over buying decisions? Do we speak to those people?
- If not, when do we speak to decision makers and what questions do they ask most often?
STEP 3: Tailor your content to the buyer journey
Tailoring B2B content marketing to the buyer journey can improve audience engagement and accelerate sales.
Doing this ensures that your content is aligned with the questions a customer or prospect has through each stage of their decision making process.
As they move through the funnel, the buyer journey has three stages and we’ve detailed them below.
1. Top of funnel: Awareness
At the very beginning, your goal should be to build awareness about your brand. At this point in the customer journey, you don’t have any solid leads yet. Your customers don’t know who you are or what value you can provide.
The best approach in this stage is to be a helpful and informative source of information.
Your customers are experiencing a problem or looking to fill a need, so show them that you understand their challenges and provide them with solutions. This is crucial to demonstrating your credibility and making your customers feel understood. If you do this successfully, they will think of you first when they are ready to make a purchase.
Apart from business insights, in depth keyword research will be vital at this stage but there are tools out there to help like the Free Keyword Research Tool from Ubersuggest. Another handy tool is Answer The Public which will help you find common questions related to your industry which you can use to create blog content that will drive those upper funnel visits.
You can use content pyramid approach, or build authority around specific topics. The content you create at this stage of the funnel, will drive some traffic organically overtime but can also be promoted via social media or emailed to your current database who have signed up to receive newsletters.
The goal is to establish yourself as an authority and a thought leader so that you’ll be the first on customer’s minds when they are ready to purchase in the future.
Here are some of the best kinds of content to create during the awareness-building stage:
- Social media
- Blog posts
- How-to videos
- Research and data
- Landing pages
As you may have noticed, there’s a pattern. Stage 1 content presents useful information
that’s relevant to your brand in short, easily-digestible bites for your customer.
2. Middle of funnel: Consideration
Once your prospects fulfil their information gathering needs, they start to consider their options with respect to making a purchase. They have already begun to associate you with the solution. Now, the question is: who is the right partner?
Your customers are considering quite a number of factors as they weigh their options at this point in the journey. So now, you’ll have to move away from general education and towards establishing the value of your specific offering. Use a mix of multimedia, long-form and short-form content to discuss various factors of deployment. You’ll want to answer the biggest question they have on their minds, “Why should I buy from you?”
Case studies can be an invaluable asset here. A case study in a content marketing context is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that identifies a challenge, describes the solution that was used to solve it, and details the results. Case studies are among the most preferred type of content by tech B2B buyers.
Creating case studies for customers you have helped in the past helps show potential customers how you can create results for them. You can publish these studies as stand-alone pieces, create a page to house them on your website or use them in sales presentations. In some sectors, case studies are very hard to come by. In such cases, anonymised case studies or use cases demonstrating applications of the solution can also work well.
To nurture those leads and funnel them into the next stage of the process, here are the kinds of content you should focus on:
- White papers
- Case studies or use cases
- Product information
- Product videos
Ensuring you can answer the question “Why should I buy from you?” in as many ways possible will give you the best chance of successfully moving these potential customers further down the funnel.
3. Bottom of funnel: Conversion
The narrowest part of the funnel is the point of transaction (or conversion). At this point, we know that those remaining in the funnel are interested in what your company has to offer; and have probably narrowed down their options to one or two possibilities. It is now time to convince them you are the solution. Many consider this to be the most important stage of the funnel – after all, the ultimate goal is to turn those leads you gathered in stages 1 and 2 into sales.
Watching a demo that specifically details the deployment phase of your offering may be what they need at this stage. Technical specifications, costing options, comparison tables: all of these types of content help at this phase. Creating solution specific content that highlights your product or solution and delivering that solution is important to convert customers.
Combining the knowledge of your buyer personas alongside your knowledge of their purchase journey will ensure you’re always creating the right content that speaks to the right buyers in the right stages. This increases buyer confidence and trust in your company and boosts the chances of them buying from you.
Often, prospects just need that one final piece of information before they make a purchase. For the conversion stage, focus on offering the following kinds of content:
- Demos and consultations
- Free trials or samples
- Free cost estimates and quotes
Your potential customer has found your company through research, read a case study about your ability to create results and gone through the FAQ section of your website. At this point they are looking to make the next move.
STEP 4: Run a content audit and identify gaps
Creating an effective content plan is all about asking the right questions: establishing exactly where your business is with regard to the content it is producing will help determine where it needs to go moving forward.
In this regard, a content audit can help to not only identify your strongest performing content but also to reveal gaps that you can take advantage of to better flesh out your strategy and advance ahead of your competitors.
Start by asking yourself:
- What are the pieces of content that worked and those that didn’t?
- What form did they take – have text-based pieces of content been supplemented with videos, webinars or podcasts?
- Who is the target audience and have they indeed been targeted? If so, how?
Scrutinising the content you already have will put you on the right track to determining the type of content to develop moving forward and for what purpose. Don’t waste time with content for content’s sake. Every item on your plan needs to be there for a reason, with a pre-planned method of how and why exactly you will ensure it is seen by your target audience.
However, going back through and evaluating your content could take some time – especially if you already have a lot of it. A more efficient way of understanding the quality of all your website’s information could be to assess each page using metrics you’ve decided upon in your audit.
To deploy your content audit, use these four steps:
1. Take an inventory of your content
Use Excel or a tool like Screaming Frog to collate a spreadsheet of all the content URLs on your website, for example. Ensure yu also cover off content that’s not on your website – like sales presentations, RFP documents and more.
2. Organise your content
Use identifiers like:
- Topic: What is your content about? List broad categories that summarise the main topics in your content and sort the content into those categories to identify your most popular topics.
- Audience: Who is it targetted at? This analysis can sometimes be telling and reveal areas of your prospects’ organisation you haven’t addressed.
- Length: How long is the content? This can help to determine which types of content your buyer personas like best if one length proves to be more popular than the other.
- Buyer journey stage: Using the funnel above, which stage of the buyer journey does each piece of content best fall into?
- Relevance: Are your topics relevant to what your business does? Draw a scale and identify where each piece of content falls on the scale, from highest to lowest.
- Datedness: Some content is evergreen which means it stays relevant, whilst other content will remain tied to snapshots in time and will therefore lose its relevance and use. Create another scale to determine where each piece sits in terms of its tiredness.
- SEO: Is your content optimised for SEO? Check for focus keywords, accurate meta descriptions, relevant title tags, headings and image alt text.
- Visual: Does the text incorporate visuals like embedded videos, images or infographics?
3. Determine your success metrics
Your success metrics will vary based on the goals your organisation wants your content strategy to achieve. Popular metrics however include things like:
- Bounce rate
- Time on page
- Social shares
- Contact us form submissions
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Ultimately, traceable leads
4. Analyse your data
Now you have the data, it’s time to analyse and identify trends. You may find that your best performing content is short, filled with visuals and written in an informative tone, for example.
Make sure that as you identify trends, you identify gaps too. If the majority of your content aligns with the consideration stage of your buyer journey, but you have very little for the conversion stage, it may be time to produce content for that stage so that you can create a more flowing – and higher converting – funnel.
STEP 5: Decide what content to create
One of the benefits of developing buyer personas is that they provide insight into what content your audience wants and engages with.
Whilst it’s a good idea to spend most of your time creating this type of content to avoid wasting any effort in other areas, make sure you’re not neglecting experimentation with different approaches altogether.
Saving room in your content strategy to include and experiment with different types of content may produce surprising results with noteworthy benefits.
Popular content types for B2B businesses commonly include:
Blogs are the most popular content type because they’re able to provide value, answer questions and address pain points through short form content.
Currently, blog posts of 1,000 words or more perform better in Google rankings and receive more social shares, but it’s worthwhile to experiment with length and see what your audience best consumes.
White papers or ebooks
White papers and eBooks are lead generation tools that prospects can download by first filling in their contact information. These pieces of content are considerably lengthy and go into more depth than blogs, so work best as thought-leadership style content to engage decision-makers.
For that reason, make sure you’re putting effort, thought and time into these content pieces.
Case studies are your opportunity to display how your product or service has benefited your customers. The right case study showcases successes in such a way that prospective customers are all but persuaded to convert.
Templates and tools
Templates, tools and frameworks are often underused by B2B marketers but are a great form of content. They too can serve as lead generation tools (if a download link is included), as well as provide free value to your audience and cement your position as an authoritative figure in your industry.
STEP 6: Create a content marketing calendar
Creating a content calendar helps to ensure content is produced on a consistent schedule, and aligns with product or sales roadmaps, specific industry events and tradeshows, helps to keep everyone within the organisation aligned on what is being produced and why.
Content calendars are significant because they can ensure your content is:
- Being published consistently and to schedule
- Being strategically planned ahead of time
- Aligning with the objectives of your content marketing
- Streamlining the production process, saving time
- Allowing for collaboration across teams
- Identifying what topics are working and which aren’t
- Making future repurposing easier and more efficient
Content calendars can be produced on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, and though each company’s calendars will be different, they should all include important information like:
- The content medium, topic and title
- Target keyword(s) for the content
- Target buyer persona(s)
- The buyer’s journey stage
- A projected publish date
- An offer or defined CTA
- The writer
Remember that your content marketing strategy – and your calendar – should be as dynamic and alive as your own business. Nothing you do in your company will stay the same, so why would something like a content calendar? Whilst it’s important to stick with priorities most of the time, if one blog post or idea doesn’t work for certain demographics or goals are not achievable right now, don’t be afraid to change things.
STEP 7: Promote your content
Now you’ve outlined your content calendar and written your content, it’s time to give it the right exposure so that the world can make use of your epic content. Here are our 4 best promotion tactics:
1. Build your social media following
Firstly, create a network by seeking out the people who write about topics that align with your company and offering. This could include journalists, publishers, influencers or bloggers. Follow companies within your industry but in a different niche. Make sure you follow all your suppliers and the companies you supply to as well.
When you post on any platform, look to see who is interacting with your content already and get ideas from that, it will give you more of an indication of who else to add to your list of accounts to follow. Check out what your competitors are doing and what types of content is working well for them. These things all take time, but if you aim to add a few targeted followers each day, you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid base of people who are looking for the information you are proactively sharing.
Also, ensure you interact with the content your followers post. The best way to get people to follow and engage with your content is to do the same for them. Simply posting the content you have created is not enough anymore. Sharing meaningful information with your followers that you gather from other sources will establish the fact that you are knowledgeable within your industry and there to help, not just promote your own products or services.
3. Include expert and industry leader quotes and contributions
We all like to hear from people we already know and trust in our industry. Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts, leaders and influencers in your market for information.
These people are a great way of gaining exposure for your work and they often have thousands, if not millions of their own followers too. This can be as simple as using a quote that supports an idea you are exploring. Or you can take it as far as setting up an interview with the person of interest. The interview will not only bring views to your article but can be used by said person for their site and driving traffic back to you. It can also be used independently as a news piece, and chances are it will be linked to and cited by others looking for similar substantiation for their own work.
2. Slice and dice your longform content
As you are writing your blog or social post, keep in mind that you’ll be extracting different aspects of it to share on different platforms, and in a variety of ways. As a B2B marketer, your content will often go through several rounds of changes before being finalised, so make the most of your approved copy.
A title that offers a solution can go a long way to getting more views on social channels in the B2B sector – people are generally searching for an answer to a question or problem they have come up against, so using the answer you are providing in your title can engage your reader instantly. Subheadings can also be used on social media to draw viewers in. You’ll use larger chunks of your article for LinkedIn and as abstracts to place on your website or in news feeds.
Everyone loves visuals. Tweets that include an image are 150% more likely to be retweeted, according to a recent study by Buffer. So, ensure you include them in your content, you can then share those infographics or images you used independently with links back to your post.
4. Create video teasers to accompany your posts
Cisco has projected that more than 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2021.
Does this mean that you have to get a production crew together and start filming the next hit feature? Luckily, no.
But introducing a video strategy will be something many businesses are looking to implement this year. We are seeing a lot of B2B tech businesses create videos to drive traffic to their sites, make dry topics more interesting or highlight experts from their companies. Why not use this idea to promote content as well? Start small and create a simple video to drive traffic back to your site where you’ve posted your content. There are a ton of tools out there to help you create videos in just minutes, without the need for a videographer or expert, or heavily investing. Here is a list of some great software you can try out.
STEP 8: Track and report on content performance
To judge the value of things, you need context and when it comes to measuring the success of content marketing, it’s the same story.
Often campaigns will launch but, six months down the line, those involved will struggle to explain with conviction how well it performed. This is because they lack the context to measure the true impact of the results.
This lack of insight isn’t just inefficient, it can also hamper future campaigns. Without metrics it is difficult to self-improve and, as noted by our 2021 content marketing insights survey, gain buy-in from senior colleagues. To demonstrate the full value of content marketing efforts, and enjoy the benefits that come with it, it’s critical to have a concrete understanding of how things are performing. In other words, you need to keep close tabs on your metrics.
To help you narrow your focus and understand which metrics really matter, we’ve broken down the most important ones into five key areas. These groups make a strong starting point for any company to begin measuring the ROI from their content.
1. Measure the overall performance of the content
A successful content marketing campaign is made up of many different components.
Understanding how each asset performs or underperforms is key to optimising over time. For example, if a bottom-of-funnel blog intended to direct traffic to a lead magnet has a higher bounce rate than expected, this indicates that you may need to consider other options for that purpose or revisit the paragraphs where readers are dropping off.
To generate this insight, you can start by looking at the user journey. By following the path of users through the site and towards your campaign landing pages, you can see which pieces of content are functioning as expected (and pushing them towards conversion), as well as where site visitors are falling off. Using this, you can tweak your content to improve performance and determine how to further enhance its value.
2. Evaluate goal conversions
While making sense of the user journey, it is also useful to understand where this journey ends. As such, it’s important to fully utilise goal conversions. In doing so, you’ll be able to track the performance of every prospect touchpoint over time and what led them there – whether that’s a lead magnet, case study, ‘contact us’ form, etc.
The more granular you can make your goals, the better the results. For instance, if your goal is purely to drive leads, then you can use goal conversions as one of your sales pipeline metrics. While this process involves a few extra steps, understanding which assets are leading to your desired outcomes is invaluable for optimisation.
3. Measure web traffic
Goal conversion isn’t the only metric to monitor when optimising your content marketing efforts. An equally useful area to understand is your overall web traffic.
Specifically, where it is coming from and how it is changing over time. By monitoring the effectiveness of your promotional efforts in the long term, you can see which channels generate the best value for your campaign and which may no longer be a good investment.
Even the best pieces of content can lose their shine over time. And what was the lynchpin of your strategy last year may not have the same importance this year. For example, if your efforts to enhance organic search volume are paying off, and the data supports this, you may be able to pull back on paid promotion. Changes such as these will help you remain effective and cost-efficient.
4. Check your onsite engagement
Engagement is one of the most valuable things to understand for many companies, as it ultimately tells you which pieces of content audiences find interesting. This can be measured by scroll depth analysis to see how far through your content the audience is getting. For scroll depth it is important to note that 100% is rarely a realistic goal given the layout of most sites.
Equally valuable are pages per session and session duration to see if visitors are interested in exploring the site once they are on it. On the flip side, bounce rate is just as useful as it lets you know if people aren’t finding anything to draw them deeper into your content ecosystem once they do arrive.
5. Ensure for SEO success
To add some longevity to your content and drive more traffic through organic search, you need to understand how your SEO is working. At a glance, your domain authority can give you a snapshot. But for more granular feedback, track the volume of inbound links over time. Also, keep a record of how your long-tail search intent-focused pages are performing. Using these insights, you can see which keywords your site is successfully owning and which need to be updated.
Entering the world of metrics can be a lot to handle. But for those who are yet to take advantage of these insights, there is a massive opportunity to improve and refine your content marketing campaigns.
STEP 9: Optimise and re-promote for extra mileage
Effective content marketing, like business, is often about perception. Getting more eyeballs on your content – and having that content translate into leads and operate in support of sales enablement – is more than just showing up. You need several flags out there working together to tell your target audience that what you’ve got is worth listening to.
So, what does this look like in practice?
Here are 3 considerations for optimising and repromoting your B2B content in order to get it seen by more sets of eyes:
1. Get your promotion right
Content marketing isn’t doing its job unless people are reading it. And while the80/20 rule to promotion isn’t the be all and end all, it’s a good barometer for where to place your content marketing focus. Naturally, you’ll have email marketing and social promotion covered. For bigger content assets and campaigns, though, consider cross-promotion strategies. After all, you should be putting your efforts into being visible where your target audience is already showing up.
Let’s again consider an industry report. Assuming it’s sufficiently interesting and moves the conversation forward now’s the time to cross-promote and get PR involved. Run a closed-group media event (a virtual one in this climate) where attendees are offered an advanced look at your data and given exclusive insights that were held back from the main report for this purpose. Coverage is a valuable signal that what you’ve got to talk about is worth listening to.
Or, run a sponsored media campaign with key publications to go live the same day. Hit people from multiple angles to make your content harder to miss. Gate it as usual on your website and watch the downloads tick up. Then segment and process those prospects and guide them into your nurturing funnel.
2. Factor in SEO
Keyword stuffing is, thankfully, a relic of the past. What does work though is to deliver on what you promised.
Search intent is an important metric for Google. If your content does a better job of answering a searcher’s question than the competition, and visitors to your site take action after they’ve read that content, you’ll generally perform better and achieve more organic traffic when this approach is paired with other SEO tactics. Returning to promotion, get this bit right and you’ll also drive backlinks to your content that will help to further signal that you’re worth listening to.
3. Diversify your content
Original content creation takes time. However, a well-planned, chunky piece of content, once created, can deliver a ROI far beyond its original cost if repackaged correctly. Could the top data points you identified in your report become a short video or SlideShare presentation? A blog series? Or could they inform a webinar?
In general, the best approach is to use short-form content to promote long-form content as part of your outbound campaign. If what you’ve created is truly valuable to your prospects, it can be sliced and diced in different ways to get their attention.
Don’t forget to optimise any content you create for different channels too so that it can be consumed in a way that suits the audience using that channel.
STEP 10: Revisit and repurpose old content
In B2B content marketing there’s absolutely no rule that says that each piece of content gets used only once, which is where the time-saving content repurposing comes in. In fact, savvy content B2B marketers are noted for their acumen in getting every last ounce of value out of existing original material. Once you’ve delivered the content, and done all of the promotion to get it out into the world it’s time to slice and dice it up into new and exciting pieces to share.
The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, Google places extra emphasis (and therefore ranking) on fresh content, so it’s worthwhile ensuring that all your content is up to date and reflecting the best practices. And two, if your old content is still receiving hits it’s likely that your audience is still interested in the content, so refreshing it can provide new value to them whilst boosting the content’s searchability at the same time.
Here’s where to get started with repurposing your content:
1. Articles for your website
Once you are finished with content development, if the piece was designed for advertising or outbound marketing why not share it on your site as well. Your blog can be a perfect channel for this new information. You can also reappropriate the information for landing pages or info sections.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. This is the perfect opportunity to reach more people with the content you’ve already created.
Adapt your written word into a short form video that can easily be shared. Large scale video isn’t in every budget, but there are so many sites these days to create short catchy videos without fancy equipment and you don’t have to be a tech or video pro to do it.
Since we’ve covered changing the written word into video, why not also switch it up for audio as well. Many tech professionals are constantly on the go. Why not create a product that can be easily consumed during the commute?
Create an audio file of your content so someone can listen in the car, or on their phone while they are zipping around from meeting to meeting. You can take this one step farther and develop a podcast.
2. Social Media
It’s time to leverage the power of social media. No matter which platform you prefer, your content can easily be repurposed. Create a bank of copy and paste posts for all of the social media platforms you intend to use that can be easily shared by your team, and forwarded to their prospects. Every platform is different so be sure to tailor the media and message for each platform. Make it easy for your team to grab and share in a flash.
Take content that’s fact and stat heavy and turn it into a dynamic visual. By converting your data heavy content into a graphic display you instantly create something that is engaging and can be readily shared.
6. Blog cross posts
Finding synchronicity with other branches of your industry can be a great asset. If you have business partners why not do a bit of cross posting on their blog and vice versa. It’s likely that something you have posted to your site may also be interesting for their audiences.
In summary, your content strategy is a vital component of your content marketing and should drive every content decision that your organisation makes. It can:
- Determine the right types of content to create. By having a defined strategy, you’ll stay targeted toward your ideal buyers by creating content that they’ll read.
- Allow you to allocate resources and forward-plan. A content strategy is the backbone of any successful marketing campaign. It helps you to see how different pieces fit together, and allows for continual adjustments as needed when new resources are added or old ones aren’t performing anymore.
- Keep you on a consistent schedule. Content marketing is a long-term game, and consistency will win the day. Defining your strategy helps keep you accountable by seeing all the plans laid out for success before sitting down every month with detailed goals specific to each channel or social media account so there’s no surprise when looking back at results.
- Keep you goal-focused. Worries about creating ineffective content become a thing of the past when led by a content strategy. You’ll know that you’re only creating content that has significant impacts on business revenue and furthers your goals.
So, there you have it. A content strategy, as opposed to a content marketing strategy, that will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you always have a bank of fresh, fit-for-purpose content that’s ready to go and engage your audience!