How to Develop a B2B Content Strategy
By our guest blogger Sêan Reid
If a business has a service that it can provide to another business, it needs to have a marketing strategy that appeals to the needs of an organization. A B2B (business-to-business) content strategy has to deliver a brand’s voice that will attract and engage with others and ultimately leading to new business between both parties.
It has been proven by the Content Marketing Institute, that content marketing is three times more effective than paid search advertising. However, 35% of businesses don’t have a strategy in place for B2B content marketing and aren’t using content to their full potential.
Building a B2B Content Strategy:
To begin creating a B2B content strategy, you have to consider who you are creating content for. Who is your target business? What are their pain points and how can you offer a solution to their problem? Knowing who you want to speak and how to speak to them is vital is creating an effective B2B content strategy. Know your customer.
Developing a Buyer Persona
In any form of content marketing (both B2B and B2C), creating a buyer persona is a method of highlighting who your customer is. What is their role in the organization? What are their challenges, strong points, and goals? Who are their customers? You should focus on what your audience wants and needs!
Creating a Strategy
Once you have pinpointed a solution for that business, you can develop a strategy that aligns with their problem, creating effective content aimed at them. The content you create should expertly inspire, inform, and engage with prospective buyers. While knowing how, where, and when to deliver content is crucial to your strategy. Surveying existing and potential clients can help influence your strategy. By asking how and where they consume their content, and how aware they are of your business, can help you with the direction of your strategy. Speaking to customers can also identify how your business can be a solution to potential clients.
Through the process of developing a B2B content strategy, there are various elements to consider:
- What technology/platforms to use
- What kind of content and topics to create
- How the performance of content is tracked and measured
- What are the goals of your content
Knowing your goals is considerably significant to your strategy. The goals you have should be SMART:
How and Where to Find Ideas for Your B2B Content Strategy
Knowing who your audience is just the start of your B2B content strategy. Once you have determined who your target is, you have to think about the type of content that will be implemented within your strategy.
Just like B2C content marketing, there are an endless amount of options to the types of content that can be created. From print materials such as flyers, adverts, brochures and whitepapers to an array of digital solutions (video, blogs, social media, website, email, and more), all can be used yet it depends on who you are targetting. The content you create has to engage with your audience.
Although it’s ideal to be informed about your business to them, having a personal touch has proven to be more effective. People like to be treated as people and not seen as an organization. This is an idea that Hubspot Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shah believes in:
“Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans. Every process should be optimized for what is best for the customer–not your organization.”
Repurposing Existing Content
Looking at your existing marketing content can be a good starting point when creating a strategy. This can be done through a ‘content audit’. By analyzing your existing content, you can see how effective that content has been, and how and where can it be improved. Updating content and making it more relevant and inline with your strategy can be very beneficial.
Throughout your research and planning, seeing what your competitors are doing through their content marketing is important. As a business, you want your branding to stand out and be unique from others. You should consider where and how your branding can be different, highlighting the strong points of your service and how they are a solution to potential clients.
Maintaining a B2B Relationship through Content Marketing
For any B2B relationship to sustain itself, it needs to build trust with each other. When it comes to content marketing, you can call upon clients to use their experience of using your services in future marketing material.
This can be done in the form of testimonials, reviews, guest blogs from them. By doing this, you’re also promoting their business too. In return, you will see stronger relationships and higher lifetime value of the customer.