It’s no secret that content marketing is a powerful tool. It can help you establish thought leadership, create awareness for your brand, and authentically connect with new audiences. But how do you know if your content marketing strategy is actually working?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most important metrics to track so that you have concrete evidence of success.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
To be effective at content marketing, it is essential to have a documented content marketing strategy. A content marketing strategy is a plan for how you will create content that is engaging and resonates with your target audience.
A well-documented content marketing strategy provides direction to employees, clients, and stakeholders on what pieces of qualified content they should produce as well as when it needs to be created and published. It also helps to establish that your content is clear and consistent and that it resonates with your target audiences.
What are the Types of Content Marketing Strategies?
Here are four main categories that you can choose from when creating a content marketing strategy. These four main categories that you should consider include:
- Creating content for the customer: this category focuses on engaging with your customers and providing them with what they need to know.
- Generating leads from content marketing: in this category, you’ll be focusing on gathering contact information of potential clients by posting blog posts that can help answer their questions or give them a solution to their problems.
- Increasing traffic through SEO rankings: using appropriate keywords will make it easier for people searching online to find your company’s website pages and increase exposure
- Inbound marketing strategy: this strategy focuses on creating content that will keep people coming back to your website for more information. The goal of this type of strategy is to attract visitors through relevant, valuable content on a company website. This can lead them to your landing pages or contact forms that will allow them to connect with your business because you are considered to have authority in the topic you are writing about.
We will get further into each one of these content marketing strategies later in the blog post.
Define Your Target Audience
Before you even begin to consider creating a content marketing strategy, it is imperative that you first define your target audience. In other words; who are they, what do they want and need, and why should you care about them?
Your content marketing strategy is built around the needs of these individuals, so get to know them better by answering those questions first!
The benefits of defining a target audience will help you create more relevant content that speaks directly to their interests and goals while also establishing credibility and authority in the process. This allows for higher levels of engagement which can result in increased leads or sales opportunities down the line.
It’s important to always have this information on hand when creating new pieces of content as well because it’ll be easier to write with this knowledge at your disposal.
Not only is defining your target audience important for the creation process, but it also allows you to better plan your content strategy around this target.
Developing a successful B2B marketing strategy and content strategy is all about knowing what will resonate with the target audience and how you can speak to their needs in a way that makes them feel engaged, informed, or entertained.
There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to content creation because everyone has different interests and goals so we’ll cover some basics below but also encourage you to use these tips as guidelines for developing your own individualized b2b content marketing strategy.
Here are four questions that are important considerations:
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- How do I reach them?
- What message should my content convey?
Who Are They
Knowing who your target audience is will go a long way in creating a winning content marketing strategy that will get results. This is because you’ll know the best way to speak their language and will be able to address their needs in a way that makes them feel engaged, informed, and entertained.
There are many ways you can identify your target audience online but some of these include: conducting customer interviews, reviewing surveys completed by customers on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, and by utilizing content analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides demographic information based on keywords searched for by potential customers who visit your website from different sources (such as searching for related topics).
You can also reach out to them directly, which we will get into in a little while. Reaching out to people through email marketing is an effective b2b marketing strategy because it’s one of the most personalized methods you can incorporate.
What Do They Want
When defining your target audience, knowing what they want is an important question to answer. Content that they care about will be more effective at engaging them. It is also key to understand what problems your target audience faces. Knowing the problems they face in their buyer’s journey can help your business provide solutions to those problems and additionally help you create content that is relevant to them.
Your target audience wants content that solves their problems and addresses their needs, or informs them of new developments in the industry. Any information your business provides should be valuable enough for them to want it, which will lead to customer engagement with what you create.
How Do I Reach Them?
Now you know who they are and what they want. The next step in creating a winning content marketing strategy that gets results is discovering how to reach them. There are a variety of ways in reaching your audiences. Content marketing tactics such as social media outreach, email marketing campaigns, and blogging are different ways to reach your audience.
Social media outreach involves creating content that is engaging and interesting enough for people to share with others. This can include images, infographics or videos.
Email marketing campaigns are an effective way in reaching your target audience on a personal level by sending messages containing information they find beneficial.
Blogging allows you to provide insightful commentary about relevant topics that will be of interest to them.
What Message Should My Content Convey?
We now have our audience figured out and we know exactly what they want. The next step is to figure out what message we want to convey.
To be successful with content marketing in a b2b landscape and taking your audience through the buyer’s journey, you need a strong and compelling message. It needs to be simple yet powerful enough that it will resonate with your potential audience.
Develop quality content messaging that addresses both the emotional and rational sides of purchase decisions.
A great content marketing strategy will have three key components: a compelling message, relevant and engaging content to promote it, and the right target audience.
Creating a compelling message allows you to move the needle and help your audience through a buyer’s journey that makes the most sense.
A good example of this is GoDaddy’s “GoDaddy Girl” advertising campaign. They had an original message that resonated with their target audience (small businesses) on both an emotional and rational state. The “GoDaddy Girl” campaign also had engaging content that was relevant to the target audience.
Here is an example of the “GoDaddy Girl” campaign:
“The new GoDaddy Girl is a confident, smart and sassy entrepreneur who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to show it. She’s the perfect complement to our brand.”
-Message: Emotionally resonant with the target audience; relevant content for the target audience; engaging content that has relevance in both emotional and rational aspects
First, understand the needs and goals of the target audience.
Second, establish a b2b content marketing plan that meets those needs (and is aligned with your business objectives).
Third, develop quality content that addresses both the emotional and rational sides of purchase decisions. Market this as “thought leadership” to differentiate it from
What does the competition look like for content on their topics of interest? What other content might you provide in addition to what’s already out there (that is, if it doesn’t exist)?
Some additional questions you can answer from this question include “what information or value don’t I have yet?” and “how could I make my content different than everything else on the market?” These two thoughts alone may lead to a new angle altogether! Remember, differentiation is key when looking into defining your bb content marketing strategy.
Choose the Right Content Marketing Channels for your Business
When choosing the proper content marketing channels for your business, it’s important to remember that you should be looking for the channels that will produce content best suited to your target audience.
Determining what their interests are and where your audience spends most of their time online will definitely assist you in developing a winning content marketing strategy. But probably the most important point to determine is which social media marketing platforms does your audience use most often.
After identifying who you want to reach with a content strategy and where they can be found on social media sites and other internet forums such as Reddit or Quora. You’ll need to choose which type of content is going to resonate best with them.
For example, if you’ve determined that this group enjoys video stories about entrepreneurship then start sharing those types of videos across all relevant platforms so it shows up when they search for it.
Social media marketing channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are the most popular with a large number of potential customers just due to the number of users currently residing on those platforms. And these channels are considered as B2B marketing best practices.
Facebook is an ideal platform for targeting audiences by location or demographic information such as age, gender, likes and interests. This enables marketers to advertise their business on a highly targeted level which in turn leads to better conversion rates when compared to traditional advertising methods such as television ads where the audience cannot be so easily pinpointed.
LinkedIn is a great social media marketing channel because it is a professional network where the primary target audience are professionals and job seekers. This means for marketers that they can find highly targeted leads when using LinkedIn, such as those interested in their product or service but don’t know about it yet.
Twitter has its own unique benefits because of how quickly content appears on the platform compared to other social media networks which often have delays of several hours at least before new posts appear in a feed. This immediacy creates an opportunity for businesses with Twitter accounts to pin up links to blog posts so it shows up when they search for it
Instagram’s image-centric format makes it ideal for marketing products visually rather than textually like through blogs or websites. Businesses can use visuals in the marketing message that helps it to stand out to prospects.
There is another social media marketing channel that businesses are considering for content marketing, and it’s called Pinterest. Although this platform doesn’t offer any direct targeting capabilities as LinkedIn does, its visual format makes it an ideal venue for B2B companies looking to show off their products to get great results with their content marketing.
YouTube offers the benefit of video – which has been proven as one of the most compelling mediums in advertising time and again. But there are so many channels on YouTube with billions of monthly views each, how will you stand out?
Since there’s no cost associated with posting updates or photos on this social network, it’s possible to try different types of posts at various frequencies until finding one that gets traction,” says Christin Hensley from MarketingProfs.
Create a content strategy that aligns with your company’s values and goals
Every company should have a set of values and goals. Creating a content strategy that aligns with these goals is critically important because it will give you a blueprint for what content to create and when to create it.
For example, if your values and goals are related to customer service, then a content strategy should be created to engage with customers on social media platforms.
The first step in creating effective b2b content is determining your company’s needs and deciding what the goals are for each department involved in this process. For example:
Sales – Establishing credibility as an expert source of information for buyers through blog posts, videos, webinars or infographics; finding new prospects by promoting events that align with industry trends
Marketing – Creating educational materials and using social media channels like LinkedIn to find out more about their target audience
Customer Service – Building relationships through engaging blogs and customer testimonials; building trust by providing timely responses via Facebook messaging
What are the core beliefs, principles or guiding philosophies that guide your company? It’s important to be specific about these so they can be reflected in each piece of content you publish. For example, if one of your values is innovation, make sure every blog post includes an innovative idea or tip.
Let’s assume you’re trying to increase revenue by 20% next year (which would mean increasing sales from $20 million this year to $24 million). Your content strategy should include posts like ‘top ten ways small businesses increase their revenue’ or “how marketing automation can help grow my business”.
Outline goals for each piece of content you create
With company values and goals in mind when creating content, it is important to understand the types of content you should create. These include blog posts, listicles (maybe with video), and infographics for your company’s blog or website. Search engine optimization is important in creating these pieces as well because this will help them rank higher on search engines like Google.
In order to see what type of content gets shared from a particular site, Buzzsumo helps by showing which articles were most popular when they go viral based on social shares such as Facebook likes, Tweets, comments on Medium etc., This tool can be helpful in deciding which article might work best as an example that creates interest and engages readers at the same time.
Nowadays, just creating any piece of content will not return the greatest impact on your business. You need to be creating goals for each piece of content you create. These goals can be to get people to share the content with their personal social networks, commenting on your blog post, subscribing to your newsletter or whatever goal you have set for that particular piece of content.
One of the most popular formats of content right now is video content because it can be easily shared and watched at any time which makes it perfect for viewing during breaks from work or other downtimes throughout the day. YouTubers such as Casey Neistat are some examples of this type of influencer/creator who produces videos related to his interests in technology which leads viewers into wanting more information about products and services he’s promoting and talking about.
This strategy will help bring traffic back to your website but also lead them through an educational process before they purchase anything so that by the end they know what specific product or service would work best for their particular situation.
Develop an editorial calendar
Develop an editorial calendar to keep on top of all of your blog posts, social media updates, and other online activities.
A content marketing strategy will not be as effective if you do not develop and maintain an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar will keep you on top of all your blog posts, social media updates, and other online activities so that you do not miss important deadlines.
It is also a great way to organize the content that will be produced in any given time period or season.
This can make it easier for people who are working with different aspects of your company’s marketing strategy because they know what type of content should be scheduled when.
For example, if someone needs an article about benefits for employees written but does not have anything else due at the moment then they could use this as their next task instead of waiting until something else comes up. This may help keep down some workloads and minimize stress levels too!
Determine how you will measure success
With every content strategy, measuring its success will help you determine what is working and how you should improve it.
The first thing to do before setting out on a content marketing strategy is carefully defining your business goals; this will set the guidelines for which type of content to produce. For example, if social media has always been an integral part of your company’s communication plan then include it in your content marketing mix as well–but don’t just assume that because something has worked for you in the past, it will work again now!
Analyze all current campaigns (old and new) to see where they are succeeding or failing by looking at click-through rates, number of mentions from within and outside the organization, response time/likes/comments per post etc. These different metrics will allow you to get an idea of where your content marketing strategy should be going.
– Identify the channels that will work best for you and measure results against goals: Do you have time to post on social media? What about a blog or video content?
– Evaluate if there are any audience gaps in your current campaign; this could really help with
Track metrics to identify trends in customer behavior over time
Behavior changes with every experience a customer goes through. Being able to track metrics and identify trends in customer behavior over time is essential to a successful content marketing strategy. There are three metrics that will help you identify trends in customer behavior; social media interaction, buyer’s journey duration, and conversion rate from free trial to paid account
Each of these pieces of data can be tracked according to the metric’s definition and its relevance for your business, but it’s important not only to track them all at regular intervals but also to compare them with one another so that changes in specific patterns or behaviors become more obvious.
Social media interaction provides insight into how well your content is performing. The number of likes, shares and comments can be tracked as a measure of social media engagement for each blog post or article published and compared to the total social media reach (number of impressions).
The buyer’s journey duration provides evidence that your customers are experiencing different levels of urgency in their decision-making. If their duration tends to be long and drawn out, then they may need more content in the form of blog posts and articles to provide them with the information they are seeking.
How do you create a content marketing strategy?
The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is to outline the buyer’s journey. The content marketing strategy should guide visitors through this process from beginning to end, providing them with valuable information along the way and answering any questions they might have about your products or services that you deem appropriate.
The buyer’s journey is a great way to set out content marketing goals.
A buyer’s journey is a person’s path from being totally unaware of what you do, to the moment when they become one of your customers. It consists of four steps: awareness, consideration, decision and action.
The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is deciding which stage or stages visitors are currently at on the buyer’s journey and then determining how best to direct them through that process towards conversion.
It can be helpful for marketers to think about their potential clients as going on a “journey.” This helps marketers develop an understanding of where people start (i.e., who they initially see themselves as) so that they know where it might make sense to later introduce more sophisticated information about products
What is in a content strategy?
A content strategy can involve many components. These components are typically the following.
Audience: Who are you writing for? What do they want from your content, and what does it have to offer them? Understanding this helps with crafting a persuasive message that resonates with their pain points or desires.
Outcomes: How will success be measured for each piece of content in regards to the desired outcomes outlined above (for example, increased sales)?
This can help determine if certain types of content should be used more often than others at different stages of marketing. It also highlights which metrics matter most so that we can plan accordingly when building out our strategy; how much time is allocated for particular pieces of content vs another type–time invested now could yield results later on down the line.
Taking into consideration your audience and the outcomes that resulted in your content strategy will lead to the best content that will drive greater results.
How do you write content in B2B?
The toughest challenge many businesses face when creating a content strategy and following through with that strategy is writing the actual content. Writing content can be difficult if you don’t have the right resources.
Be sure that your B2B content is valuable. One way to do that is to provide content that solves the problems of your customer’s buyer’s journey. Don’t just write about what you’re selling, be sure to provide education and inspiration for readers in your niche so they can make an informed decision when considering whether or not to do business with you.
Your content writing also needs to be easy to read. The easier your content is to digest the easier it will be for your readers to understand. Beware of keyword stuffing in content, as that can make it difficult for people without lots of time on their hands to read through and absorb the information you’re trying to pass along because they’ll get bored or distracted by all the keywords.
Your B2B content must also tie into your business’s overall marketing strategy. This can be done by including your company’s marketing message in the content you create. The content should have a specific purpose and be in line with the company’s brand. Creating content just because everybody else is doing it won’t produce an ROI and creating content without a strategy will not make your business successful.
What are some great B2B content marketing practices?
Creating content is a massive undertaking and can be overwhelming. However, content is the backbone of a successful content marketing strategy.
Below are some great B2B content marketing practices that can help you get your content out there and make it easier for prospects to find.
Make sure the written word (or graphic) is clear, concise and benefit-driven.
Be creative; come up with new ideas or take on an old idea in a unique way.
Keep readers engaged by encouraging them to respond via social media feeds or comments boxes built into articles.
Add visuals where appropriate such as infographics, charts and graphs using tools like Canva so readers don’t have to leave your site to be engaged from other sources.
And finally, ensure that your content is easily digestible on mobile devices.
In conclusion, a content marketing strategy is a plan for how you will create and deliver relevant, valuable information to your customers. In order to create an effective content marketing strategy, start by understanding who your target audience is.
If the answer isn’t clear-cut, make sure that you know what type of customer you want to reach – B2B or B2C? Once this has been determined, it’s time to figure out which channels are best suited for delivering the message and engaging with potential clients on topics they care about most. It’s also important not only to identify where your prospects hang out online but when they do as well!
This way if there are specific times during weekdays or weekends that would be better than others for sending messages
Our experts can help you create an effective strategy that aligns with your company’s values and goals so you win new customers without spending too much of your budget on ads alone. Contact us today to see how we can help you develop winning content strategies!