Are you tired of investing time and money in marketing strategies that don’t show any measurable ROI? You’re not alone. Getting real leads from your marketing is the lifeblood of your business.
This may have you wondering why you should invest in content marketing. After all, isn’t that the ultimate “soft” marketing, impossible to track as you cross your fingers and hope someone likes your blog?
That may have been the case at one time, but today you can measure search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing results better than ever. Here’s what you need to know to craft the ultimate B2B content marketing strategy.
Focus on Your Audience’s Needs
Are you excited to tell the world how amazing your company is and how you can deliver far better than your competitors? I’ve got bad news for you.
They aren’t interested.
People aren’t looking for an online commercial. This is why successful content marketers focus on the audience’s informational needs. Remember, you want your content to be found, shared, and result in action from your audience. You accomplish this by getting your preferred audience to view your organization as a credible source that they can trust. The only way to get there is to build trust in your company; the way you do this is by delivering consistent content that’s easy to find and valuable to your audience.
Talk to Your Customers
How do you know what your audience finds valuable? You ask – but be sure to ask your most significant audience first. This group is your existing customers, and it’s an often-overlooked resource in B2B marketing.
Website analytics and keyword research play an important role in creating content, but don’t create a customer persona without talking to real people. Your customers can tell you directly about their needs and preferences, along with details about why they chose you.
You don’t have to guess when you’re talking to the people willing to pay you hard-earned money. They know exactly what your preferred audience wants — because they’re in it!
Don’t Forget to Nurture Potential Customers
Not everyone will be ready to buy when they consume your content. It’s possible that 25% or less of your current leads are disposed to buy right now.
Not to worry – that’s a lot of what content marketing is about! With your content, you can target different places in the sales funnel and keep potential customers moving towards a purchase.
Your content marketing is not limited to social media and website content. You can also use email and print mail to continue the conversation and build the relationship.
Educational content helps potential buyers understand your product and the reason that you’re the right provider. It takes time, but you can help readers trust you and realize that their need for your product or service cannot wait any longer.
Don’t feel like you have to nurture your audience the same way as everyone else. Consider social media groups, inviting conversation between members of your audience, and even Messenger marketing as potential options.
Understand the Power of SEO
Search engine marketing is no longer a secret strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to give up and move to another option. You can hone your SEO strategy to make it even more effective thanks to competition.
Instead of trying to rank for broad keywords in your industry, focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords have the distinct advantage that they tell you a lot more about user intent. Someone looking for “shipping packaging” can have a variety of goals, but someone looking for “packaging to ship electronics” has given you a lot more information.
Work on finding long-tail keywords that give clues about where someone is in the buying process, and target additional content accordingly. Introductory articles can target awareness-based keywords, intermediate pieces can target research-based keywords, and your sales content can focus on keywords that show buying intent.
SEO remains the best way to build an organic audience that you can nurture and depend on over time. If you want to get a jump-start while your organic strategy takes hold, consider online advertising. Ads can get you traffic more quickly.
Document Your Content Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest reasons that marketers don’t see results from a content marketing strategy is that the strategy isn’t well documented. A few years ago, only 37% of B2B marketers had a written content marketing plan.
Not surprisingly, those that did were much happier with their ROI and the effectiveness of their marketing.
You might think you have better things to do than write down your process, but it’s vital. It will help you understand what holes you have and where you might be losing leads. It will also ensure that the content marketing program continues to be successful if your key marketing person moves on in their career.
Even the ultimate B2B content marketing strategy doesn’t work if no one knows what it is! Take these steps to create your 2019 strategy and make sure it’s written down. You’ll love the results you get.