8 Tips for Ensuring your Content Marketing Strategy is up to Scratch
Is your content marketing strategy up to scratch? Read our handy tips here for help with crafting a great content marketing strategy for your business.
Published: 14 Aug 2015
5 minutes read
A decade ago, content marketing for many B2B companies was an alien concept – with only a few businesses having an established online presence. How times have changed! Content marketing has been touted as the “the world’s hottest marketing platform in 2015” and it’s only set to grow in the future. 86% of B2B companies are now using some form of content marketing, while digital-only content marketing has witnessed a 27.7% surge in growth. Despite this high adoption rate, the Content Marketing Institute highlights how some marketers think their content marketing efforts aren’t as effective as they could be.
With a high saturation of B2B companies implementing content marketing, prospects have come to expect a high standard of exceptional content. However, creating a B2B content marketing strategy for a B2B organisation can be tricky, with many more factors to consider than a B2C strategy.
Fear not – we’ve compiled a host of handy tips to keep in mind when crafting your content marketing strategy.
1. Keep your targeting niche
A one-size-fits-all approach to B2B marketing simply doesn’t work. For the majority of B2B companies, your product or service is likely to appeal to a specific organisation, or a certain job function. For example, at Axon Garside, our niche audience are B2B technology companies who sell complex products and software. Having this focused targeting in place helps us to focus on the common problems these types of companies may face, such as long buying cycles and the difficulties in presenting the value of their products.
2. Solve your prospect's problems
When a prospect arrives on your site, they are most likely looking for advice for a problem they have been experiencing. Therefore, your content marketing needs to do four things:
1. Help your prospects define their problem
2. Present your service or product as a solution
3. Highlight how your service can add significant value to your prospect’s business
4. Why your service is better than competitors
3. Create stage specific content
Remember, a typical B2B prospect has many factors to take into consideration when choosing a service provider, such as perceived risk, the opportunities your service or product offers and input from other team members. Therefore, they will be unlikely to buy straight away. Depending on the relationship a prospect has with your business and their stage in the buyer’s journey, content needs to be adapted accordingly. Typically, a buyer will go through three stages before they are ready to buy: awareness, consideration and decision. During these stages, content should help prospects define their problem and intended solution and present your service as the preferred solution provider. You can learn more about the buyer’s journey here.
4. Identify your brand voice
Just because your company is B2B, that doesn’t mean your content should be cold and corporate. Prospects want to feel that they are engaging with a real person, not a faceless entity. A brand voice, is simply your brand’s personality projected online. This can dictate your writing style (be it personal, chatty, serious, informative, authoritative, helpful etc), sentence structure, use of jargon and so on. A successful brand voice should feel authentic and represent your business’s culture and values. In an increasingly crowded space, having an instantly recognisable brand voice can help your business stand out.
5. Involve other team members
Think about all the skills and knowledge various members of your team have gathered over the years – use it in your content! Having the MD share their industry experience and predictions for the future, or a specialist discuss the technical aspects of your business can add greater depth to your content. While helping to further develop your brand voice, content written from these team member’s viewpoints adds more weight and authority to your content, making your company more reputable and trustworthy.
6. Don't use content as a sales pitch
The world has moved on from the days of aggressive sales pitches and so should you! Prospects don’t want to be pestered by poorly targeted and egocentric sales content – they just won’t respond to it. Content should always be educational and provide unique value to prospects, especially during the early stages of the buyer’s journey when prospects have had limited engagement with your company.
7. Create consistent content
It can be tempting to create content at an accelerated rate when in the early stages of your content marketing strategy. However, it is vital that your content production rate is sustainable in the long term. Inconsistent blog posts can have a detrimental impact on your SEO, while presenting your company as disorganised in the eyes of prospects. To ensure consistency, you need structure, which bring us to our next point…
8. Create a content plan
Having a content plan in place ensures that writer’s block never halts content production. A content plan may cover a month or even a year (the longer the better). Think about the search terms your prospects use as well as keywords that have proved successful for your company in the past (Google analytics and HubSpot’s keyword tool can help you identify these). With your chosen keywords, you can create a balanced content plan, using these keywords to craft blog topics and titles.