With almost 40% of internet users now utilizing an ad blocker, we have become increasingly numb to advertising. On top of that, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information from an article rather than an ad. Furthermore, purchase journeys are more and more complex, especially in the B2B space. Specifically, buyers and consumers alike want to connect and engage with a brand before reaching out or making a purchase. This is where content marketing comes into play.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
Content marketing helps brands attract and engage their audiences. At the same time, it allows them to position brands and executives as thought leaders in their field. As a result, 90% of organizations leverage content marketing.
9 Tips to Boost Your Content Marketing
Create a content marketing strategy
As obvious as it may sound, not every brand has a content marketing strategy and only 43% of organizations document those. But having a clearly defined strategy is crucial. It helps brands to establish business objectives and goals around content, to outline their target audiences and their requirements, as well as pain points. Lastly, it helps to define content types and topical areas brands should be pursuing.
Define your content marketing goals
To run successful content marketing operations, B2B organizations should first define the goals they want to achieve with their content and adjust content types and distribution channels accordingly.
Here’s an overview of possible content marketing goals:
- Branding – Marketing and communications experts leverage content marketing to build brands. In fact, via content marketing, they can shape and tell a brand’s story, make the brand stand out from its competition, and establish it as a topical and industry expert;
- Visibility – Content marketing will increase and drive traffic to your website, thus enhancing your brand’s visibility;
- Lead generation – Specific content marketing types will encourage potential customers to leave their contact information to establish relationships and may ultimately lead to sales;
- Customer loyalty – Successful content marketing focuses on the entire buyer journey. It is based on questions such as “Which needs, pain points, or questions do potential and existing customers need help with?” and “What type of content generates the most interactions and truly engages customers?”. This is why it will boost trust and loyalty to the brand.
Understand your audience
Analyzing and getting to know your target audiences will allow you to produce content that has a much greater chance of truly resonating with said audiences. No wonder more than 30% of marketers intend to invest in getting to know audiences better in 2022.
Creating in-depth marketing personas can be of great help here. B2B Marketing Strategist Ardath Albee defines a marketing persona as “a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience “. A marketing persona should embody the majority of people it is supposed to represent. It is also meant to represent only one specific segment of your target market at the same time. It is therefore common for brands to have multiple personas for the different types of market segments.
Something that is often neglected is to regularly analyze and evaluate your target audiences and marketing personas as your content marketing evolves. They may vary as campaigns, brand messaging, and product features vary.
Experiment with different content types
Not everyone will read your snappy social media posts, watch your YouTube videos, or read your long-winded blog article. That’s why it is important to experiment with different content types to ultimately define which types of content marketing promote your business effectively. There are a variety of content marketing types that marketers can choose from such as memes, videos, infographics, case studies, eBooks & whitepapers, testimonials & customer stories, blog articles, influencers, and more.
Leverage meaningful employee advocacy
Employees can help marketing and communications teams increase brand awareness, drive traffic to the website, and also build trust. At the same time, employee advocates grow their own professional networks and develop their personal brands. Sounds like the perfect win-win situation, but how can your organization achieve that? One way is by having employees share content marketing on social media. Another way is by insourcing content — outsourcing content production to employees within the organization. As an example, having sales reps or customer success staff write blog articles produces highly relevant, audience-specific content. After all, they are the ones who speak with prospects and customers daily. Last but not least, content featuring employees shifts the brand focus on people, humanizes it, and makes it more appealing to potential customers and employees.
Work with gated content assets
If your campaign’s goal is to generate leads, then create high-value content and gate it. Estimates say that as much as 80% of content marketing assets for B2B are gated. The purpose of gated content is to specifically generate leads by providing prospects with valuable content in exchange for their name, email address, industry, and other data. Several types of content marketing assets can be used for this purpose, including whitepapers, videos, ebooks, and case studies.
Integrate SEO into all aspects
Should SEO be part of your B2B content marketing strategy? Yes, it definitely should be and 69% of marketers actively invest time in SEO today. Having content rank well on search engines can direct targeted traffic to your website that could convert into prospects.
Every piece of content, therefore, must be designed to provide value to the audience, drive organic traffic, and rank well on SERPs. To identify keywords and variants to target when researching topics and content ideas, you can use the Plotlights platform.
Benefit from B2B content marketing partnerships
Content marketing partnerships can be very beneficial for executing a successful B2B content marketing strategy. You can team up with an influencer or other popular brands to co-create content such as whitepapers, webinars, events, videos, or blog posts. The biggest advantage of collaborating with influential voices in your industry is the additional exposure that your brand will get. By including your content in their social media or newsletters, or blogs, you can directly reach their audience.
Measure results and optimize
Once your content marketing strategy is in place and your content is up and running, it’s time to measure effectiveness and business impact. To do that, you need a new set of metrics in 2022. For gated content consider downloads, landing pages, and email conversions, and measuring various activities on social media. In addition, make sure you monitor your Domain Authority, content shares, social media engagement, backlinks & referral traffic, keywords rankings, website traffic, conversion data, and many more. You can find the full list in our essential metrics blog post.
Are you ready to integrate content marketing into your B2B marketing strategy? With the power of media intelligence, social listening, and more, Plotlights can assist you in the process and point you in the right direction. Reach out to us today and find out how our solutions can power your content marketing!