Content marketing is a top priority for 53% of B2B marketers. Content marketing has many functions including building awareness, generating leads, gaining trust and connecting with audiences. At the core of every marketing campaign or initiative that your organization facilitates is content. In our third post of “The Basics of B2B Marketing” blog series, we discuss the importance of content marketing and why it is the driving factor of many marketing activities. Our first post in the series covers creating buyer personas and you can check out our second post highlighting email marketing best practices.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, targeted and consistent content for your buyer personas and general audience. Not only does content marketing cost less than traditional marketing, but it also generates almost three times as many leads. Generating awareness and leads for your organization is a top priority and content marketing can help you do that.
While many components form a content marketing strategy and plan, we highlight three important elements.
Content marketing begins with knowing what content to create. This is the foundation for your marketing campaign or activities. So, how do you know what to create? Here are some questions that can help you find the answer to this.
- Who is my audience and who are my buyer personas?
- What type of content do they like to consume?
- What topics would they find most relevant and useful?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions to ask in the content ideation process, but these can help set you up for a focused brainstorming session. Think of as many ideas as possible. You can always go back through your list and remove topics or thoughts that don’t fit your plan, or save them for a later date. Remember, you want to create engaging and useful content for your audience. Keep that in mind when filtering through your ideas.
You have your list of ideas and what types of content you are thinking of turning those ideas into, so now it’s time to start creating your content. It is key to understand the next steps that need to happen to fully complete your content. Use these three parts as a guide for your content creation efforts:
1. Research. Sometimes your ideas need to be developed further. Conducting additional research to make sure you can back your claims by data and form a coherent narrative on your topic can be beneficial. Doing research can also help you form a better outline of the blog, article, eBook or another piece of content that you are creating. By understanding what information is out there, you can also ensure you include your unique perspective or tips while also providing necessary basics for your audience.
2. Format. Some information that you may want to convey is best presented in certain formats. For example, you have a topic around “Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance.” This might be best suited as a blog and maybe even an infographic rather than an eBook or longer article. Consider what topics fit what content format best. Your audience can also help you determine this. Understand what content formats resonate most with them.
3. Get Creative. Adding a unique spin on content and getting creative can help your content stand out. Think of out-of-the-box ideas that can set your content apart from the rest.
Now that you have your content created, it’s time to promote it. There are numerous channels that you can share your content on, such as your website, social media and email. Promoting your content on as many relevant channels and platforms as you can increases the reach. The more people you reach, the more awareness that your content, and brand, can gain.
Build a Content Strategy and Plan
A content strategy and plan are crucial elements to your content marketing efforts. Looking for a complete guide to creating a strategy and plan for your content marketing? Check out our Build a Breakthrough Content Strategy and Plan course for step-by-step guidance combined with expert-level marketing coaching.