A successful B2B content marketing strategy isn’t just about generating great content – although that’s key. It’s also about deploying focused and targeted content in a comprehensive and deliberate manner where your audience can find it when they need it. Getting your strategy right requires a two-step approach: first, create some blockbuster content; and secondly, nail your content go-to-market strategy.
Creating great, relevant blockbuster content
Know your customer, segments, and personas
I’ve said it before but without a very detailed understanding of your audience your content will not resonate. So determine in which market segment(s) your value prop is strongest, then explicitly define your target customer. Build a buyer persona to get “inside” your prospect’s mindset – survey both current customers and your customer-facing team members to better discern persona issues, challenges, influences, motivations, and personality traits.
Insights of material value
Work to understand prospects’ immediate business issues and identify where your value prop can be best leveraged. Look to develop unique insights that will both serve as a differentiator for your offering, as well as provide material value to your prospects. Once you’ve identified those insights work to create a truly blockbuster piece of content. One that is not only very relevant but that also provides significant value by getting your prospects to view their challenges in the context of a larger picture. Cloud services, for example, are often the solution to a specific issue but also bring considerable additional benefits in terms of reduced total cost of ownership, reduce risk and greater agility.
Align with sales
Make sure that you are in lock-step with sales as you develop your persona, insights and content. Sales people usually have a far stronger perception of what will resonate and impress customers. Set joint goals and metrics so that you can be sure any leads that result from your content will be followed up and the proper attribution given. Only by measuring your effectiveness can you hope to improve results. Working from the same playbook ensures that your organization’s larger team of marketing and sales is primed to optimally leverage this persona-centric content.
Nailing your content go-to-market strategy
Maintain a narrow focus on subject matter
As the old adage says, you can’t be all things to all people. Rather than spread your material thin and risk confusing the issues, focus narrowly on building just one or two blockbuster assets (at any one time) around which you can base your strategy. Maintaining this tight focus keeps your messaging sharp and direct, and conveys your differentiating value to prospects more effectively.
Repackage & restate your content
To satisfy the myriad ways prospects prefer to consume content, build a comprehensive and cohesive communications plan which repurposes your blockbuster content across varied mediums. A recent Content Marketing Institute report reveals that B2B content marketers, on average, use 13 different tactics to deploy their content*. Based on one or two blockbuster assets, coordinate your plan to reach the largest audience. For example, information which has been used to craft your content can also be repurposed as:
- Video recommendations and case studies
- Emailed survey findings
- Published Interviews
- Blog posts
- LI group discussions
One of the advantages of repurposing and repackaging content is that, inevitably, you’ll also restate your message in varied forms, appealing to various perspectives and benefiting from the keyword spread. To rank well with search engines now, it’s important to have content optimized around the range of possible keywords and phrases that searchers use to investigate each topic. Mobile searchers using voice recognition software are more likely to use lengthier phrases than PC users, for example.
Developing an integrated, cohesive strategy around carefully crafted and targeted blockbuster messaging will help prospects connect with your offerings. Aligning with sales will bring your team greater agility and responsiveness, in regards to prospect interest as well as in rapidly adapting your content and strategy to new, industry-relevant information. Additionally, personalizing your messaging, providing content everywhere your prospects are, and ensuring ease of sharing, will see your team well-positioned to maximize today’s vital content marketing strategy.
A great way to develop commercial insights into your prospects current challenges and issues is to sponsor a prospect survey. Surveys can help identify prospects most burning issues as well as provide actionable lead intelligence that your sales team can use to engage with prospects. To find out more click the button below and download our Buyer’s Guide to Survey-based Lead Generation.
2014 B2B Content Marketing Research: Strategy is Key to Effectiveness, Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute, October 1, 2013
What additional steps have you taken to make your content strategy successful?