Prospective customers were once a responsibility of sales representatives. Now, the majority of engagement work is done by your company’s content.
A strong B2B content strategy is crucial for business growth.
This article will cover how to build a B2B content strategy.
- Target the right audience
- Optimizes your internal processes
- Produces high-value content
- Increases lead generation and conversion rates
Let’s get started!
- B2B companies can target the right audience with ideal customer profiles and buyer personas.
- B2B content marketing strategies are more efficient when sales and marketing align.
- Companies should have multiple content types that can be delivered on multiple channels to achieve the best results.
- A detailed execution plan should be included in every B2B content marketing strategy.
- B2B content marketing best practices include value-first content and shareability. Strong CTAs are also recommended.
How to create a B2B content strategy that delivers
Create your ideal customer profile
B2B companies face the unique challenge of selling to individuals and companies. They need different frameworks to define each target audience. The ideal customer profile (ICP) is the first. It describes the characteristics of your ideal customer and the type of company that would be most benefit from your solutions.
The ideal customer profile takes into consideration factors such as company size, industry, location, budget, customer base, and current technology. These profiles help B2B companies to better understand their customers’ needs and pain points, and create targeted strategies to address these.
img alt=”Attributes covered by ICP framework.” height=”630″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://marketinginsidergroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ICP-10.jpg” width=”1200″/>
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ICPs can also assist companies in moving away from the “everyone’s a prospect” mindset. This means that they are able to pursue every lead and cast the broadest net possible. They can instead focus on finding qualified leads that match their profile. This leads to increased efficiency, better conversion rates and higher sales and revenue.
Define your buyer personas
After you’ve completed your ICP, it’s time for buyer personas. While every marketer knows the term “persona”, few marketers approach them in the right way. Personas should not be about arbitrary individual traits, but what the people are trying accomplish in their roles.
Buyer personas are therefore extremely important for B2B companies as they target decision-makers within organizations that fall within your ICP.
This is a visual that illustrates the relationship between ICP and buyer personas.
img alt=”Visual of the relationship between ICP-buyer personas.” height=”500″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://marketinginsidergroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ICP-vs.-BP-10.jpg” width=”800″/>
You’ll probably have multiple buyer personas under each ICP. Each persona needs tailored messaging to match the motivations of those in that role. B2B purchases are significant for the people making them. They require significant financial investments and have greater impacts on the entire organization.
You can make your buyer feel at ease by crafting content that is relevant to their unique needs and motivations. This will increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.
Know your buyer journey.
Next are the sales process and your buyer journey, which are two components of your B2B content strategy. The buyer journey is the journey that your buyer takes to become a customer. The sales process describes how they are guided through this journey.
Your sales process should be dictated by the buyer journey, not vice versa. Your prospective customers’ actions and behavior cannot be controlled. Instead, you must understand your prospects and tailor your sales process to match them.
Here’s an example of a sales process that aligns with a buyer journey.
img alt=”Sales process aligned to buyer journey” height=”575″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://marketinginsidergroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Buyer-Journey-vs.-Sales-Process.jpeg” width=”1024″/>
This might leave you wondering what this has to do with content. B2B buyers do between 57-70% research before ever getting in touch with brands. How can they learn about your brand and connect with you during the initial stages of their buyer journey?
You know what you are talking about — your content.
You can create content that is relevant to each stage of the buyer journey if you align your sales process and your buyer journey. This is more crucial than you may think. For example, if you’re just starting to recognize the need for a solution, educational content is more important than a pricing model or product demo. This information is what you need if you are in the decision phase.
A well-planned sales process and buyer’s journey will ensure that the right content reaches the right audience at right time. This will deliver the greatest value to customers and move them forward in their buyer journey.
Align your sales and marketing teams
Sales and marketing teams share the same high-level goals. Both want to increase their customer base and make more sales. Aligning sales and marketing teams is a common challenge for companies when they are developing their B2B content marketing strategy.
Recent research has shown that 58% B2B professionals believe that their sales and marketing alignment is not as strong as it should. This is despite the fact that companies who align their teams well have higher retention rates, higher sales and 67% more success in closing deals.
What’s the answer?
This is often due to confusion about the distinct (but complementary!) roles of these two functions. These two functions are crucial in acquiring new customers.
The marketing team is responsible for building awareness. They are the creative brain behind all company content. They help to establish the brand voice, tone, design, and style. They create content ideas and often have writers, editors, and designers on their staff.
Sales teams on the other side aren’t creating content, but they are using it. Sales reps act as the company’s direct liaison with their customers and prospects. They use content to communicate effectively, convert customers, and keep them happy after a sale is closed. This content is sometimes called sales enablement.
This is how traditional sales funnels work.
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Your marketing and sales teams should maintain a constant communication channel in order to optimize your B2B content marketing strategy. Marketing provides guidance to sales reps by guiding them through branding and messaging, while sales reps provide valuable feedback on how customers are interacting with your content.
Collaborating on goal-setting activities is a good place to begin. Teams that work together to set goals are more likely get buy-in. Encourage collaboration by holding frequent meetings to discuss progress, exchange feedback, and suggest changes to the strategy.
Select the content type and channel you prefer
Diversity of content and distribution is a hallmark of a strong B2B marketing strategy. Multichannel distribution is a key component of a strong B2B content marketing strategy.
Let’s first discuss the types of content that are most commonly used by B2B businesses:
Every content marketing strategy should include a blog. Your blog is the main driver of organic web traffic. Blogs should be updated at least once per week, and no less than 11-16 times per year.
By the end of 2011, 82% of web traffic will be accounted for by video. Video is also the most popular type of content. B2B companies can use it to offer topical content, webinars and product demos.
Infographics can be a great way to communicate a lot of information in a single, easy-to-understand format. Infographics are loved by users and shared more often than any other type of content.
Ebooks can be educational documents that are usually downloadable and provide extensive coverage on a topic that is of great interest to your audience. Ebooks are usually quite casual in style and feature a strong design element.
Whitepapers serve a similar purpose to ebooks but are more detailed and academic. These whitepapers are deep-dive into a topic and are often geared for people who are more experienced in the subject.
These case studies can be used to show the practicality of your solutions and showcase happy customers. These stories use storytelling to show how your products or services have had a positive effect on customer organizations. (You can find some MIG examples on the dedicated case studies page).
Podcasts are a hot topic right now and many B2B companies are taking notice. Podcasts are easy to create and can be a great way for your company to share its expertise on important topics in your industry or to your customers.
What about channels? Multichannel distribution is the best method to make sure your content reaches your target audience in the places they are most interested. While most companies have 4-6 channels for content distribution, it is a good idea if you are just starting to build your B2B content marketing strategy, it is advisable to use two of them and then increase the number.
Below are the different channels that B2B companies can choose from.
img alt=”List multichannel marketing channels” height=”376″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://marketinginsidergroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Multichannel-marketing-10.png” width=”560″/>
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There are certain channels that must be included, such as email and website. However, each company can decide which channels are most effective in reaching their target audience.
Create your content plan
To ensure that your B2B content marketing strategy is successful, you need an execution plan. This will help keep your teams accountable and on the right track. Your work plan and your content calendar are the two most important components of content planning. Sometimes, both plans can be contained in one document (at MIG ours does).
Your work plan lists the tasks required for content creation and publication, as well as who is responsible for each task and when it must be completed. Your content calendar will outline the publication and delivery dates.
You can download and view the MIG content marketing planning template to help you get started.
img alt=”List multichannel marketing channels” height=”593″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://marketinginsidergroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/MIG-Content-Marketing-Planning-Template.jpg” width=”1305″/>
Execute your plan
It’s now time to publish! These are some best-practice guidelines to help you plan and create content.
SEO is key
Search engine results pages are the most important place to find your content, regardless of how good it is. Your marketing team should conduct keyword research to identify the most relevant topics and search terms to your industry and target audience. Next, create content around these topics using SEO best practices. For more information, see our guide to building and refining an SEO strategy.
Make value-first content
Customers are first and foremost concerned about solving their problems. Your B2B content marketing strategy must always be value-first. This means that content should emphasize the benefits and value your solutions can deliver rather than features.
While features are important in the sales process they often come into play at the end when customers make their final decision. Even then, the customer will make the final purchase decision if the company is able to demonstrate how they can improve their lives or make their job easier.
Find out how to create value-driven content.
Lead magnets are a great option
Lead magnets, which are usually high-value assets that can be downloaded and offered as an exchange for contact information from prospective customers, are often high-value. Lead magnets are designed to assist prospects in solving a problem or accomplishing an important task. Lead magnets are a great way to increase your opt-in rate by as much as 85% if used correctly. You have ebooks, whitepapers and how-to guides that you are already creating as part your strategy? Make them lead magnets to get even more results.
Include strong calls for action
If you don’t tell your customers what to do next, they won’t be able to decide! Calls to action (CTAs), are a must-have feature in any piece of content that you publish. CTAs inform users about the next step they should take in order to continue their buyer journey. To create CTAs that work, check out our guide on optimizing calls-to-action.
Share your content
Content can make customers and prospects brand advocates. You see content being shared every day on social media. Your B2B content marketing strategy should cover topics that are interesting and relevant to your audience. They will likely share the content on their own channels.
If you make it shareable. It’s easy to create shareable content. To encourage sharing, you can add social sharing buttons to blog posts and share your blog posts on your social media pages.
Are you ready to create your B2B content marketing strategy
Great content is the key to a successful B2B content marketing plan. Marketing Insider Group’s SEO team can provide you with optimized content that is ready to publish every week for a year or more. To get started, check out our SEO Blog Writing Service.
Marketing Insider Group’s post How to Build a B2B Content Marketing Strategie appeared first.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: How To Build a B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/how-to-build-a-b2b-content-marketing-strategy/
Published Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2022 11:30:48 +0000