You have started producing content, but are you getting the desired results?
You can answer these assertively if you have a well-defined content strategy.
A well-crafted content strategy enables businesses to engage their target audience, establish thought leadership, and generate leads that ultimately convert into sales.
Creating a content strategy that resonates with your B2B audience requires a deep understanding of their needs, pain points, and preferences. It involves aligning your content efforts with your business goals to maximize the impact on your target market. A robust content strategy will guide the creation, distribution, and optimization of content assets, enabling you to build trust, educate your audience, and drive them toward conversion.
This helps you to tag back all your efforts to your business goals, be it driving brand awareness, increasing website traffic, increase sign-ups, etc.
Developing a content strategy that effectively drives business goals requires a strategic process. Here are 8 steps you need to take to create a solid content strategy that drives business goals:
Before diving into content creation, it's crucial to clearly define your business goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, nurture existing leads, or drive conversions? Understanding your objectives will help shape your content strategy and determine the metrics you'll use to measure success.
Once you are done identifying your business goal, you need to tag those business goals with your target audience.
For example: As a business, you have 3 different solutions: One is a Business Analytics solution, the second is a Paid E-mail Service, and the third is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution.
Naturally, based on the market demand, you will have priority on different solutions.
You might not focus too much on the paid e-mail service in the short term. Instead, your focus is on Business Analytics and the CRM solution. Once you have identified your solution priorities, the next step is to tag the stage of your buyers with all the solution priorities.
Continuing on with the example, you would have your prospects for the Business Analytics solution at different stages of the buying journey. Most have just entered the funnel, while others are evaluating different solutions. Once you identify this part for your solutions, you prioritize which prospects you want to target with your content.
For a start, you might just want to target the early-stage buyers and focus on moving them to the next stage of the buying process.
Hence, itis important to define your business goals and priorities concerning your content. This helps you to focus your efforts on the content pieces which would be published first.
The first step you undertake before building your strategy is identifying the niche(s)you are operating in. This helps you to stay laser focused on what you want to write about rather than chasing all the trends in the market.
Further, it helps you to relate all the trends in the market with the solution that you are providing.
For example: If your business provides data security solutions, then you shouldn’t be writing about “How moving to the cloud can help you to increase your business revenue.”
Even though it is vaguely related to what you are doing, this isn’t relevant to your business. Instead, you should connect it with your business and write “How you can ensure the security of your data on the cloud.” Hence, it becomes important to define the niche to bring focus to your content strategy.
Note: Your business might be providing a different set of solutions, in which case you would be having a separate niche for each one of them.
A B2Bcontent strategy should center around the specific needs and challenges of your target audience. Identify key buyer personas within your target market and develop a deep understanding of their pain points, motivations, and decision-making processes. This knowledge will enable you to create content that addresses their concerns and positions your business as a valuable resource.
For this purpose, you should try and gather as much information as possible about your audience by creating a buyer persona using the below information:
Here isa guide on buyer persona by HubSpot that can help you to detail your target audience.
Note: Your business would appeal to audiences with different needs and goals. Hence, you need to pick up each set of audience separately and detail them out individually.
To standout in the B2B landscape, it's crucial to understand what your competitors are doing and identify gaps in the industry. Research the content strategies of your competitors to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, stay up to date with industry trends, emerging technologies, and relevant news that impact your target audience. This knowledge will help you create content that provides a competitive advantage.
Once you have a clear understanding of your business goals, target audience, and competitive landscape, you can map out the content journey. Consider the different stages of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) and develop content ideas that cater to each stage.
For example, at the awareness stage, focus on creating educational blog posts, infographics, or videos that provide valuable insights. At the consideration stage, create whitepapers, case studies, or webinars that showcase your expertise and address specific pain points. Finally, at the decision stage, offer product demos, testimonials, or comparison guides that help your audience make informed decisions.
Once you prioritize and prune your list to suit your business goals, you just need to identify the type of content that you would be producing.
It could be any of the following:
Here, you have to focus on two things:
For example: If your prospects are at the initial stage, you might not focus on giving them detailed knowledge about your solution. In this case, you would just write some blogs. However, if they are at the final stages of the buying process, you might want to focus on providing a datasheet to give them detailed knowledge about your solution.
Here is a great article by Content Marketing Institute on Content Alignment with Buying Cycle.
By now, you have identified your audience, identified the topics that you are going to write upon, and determined the content type. The next step is to determine the frequency of the content.
There is no hard and fast rule about the frequency of blogging. It clearly depends on the goals of your company and the amount of time and resources you are willing to spend on blogging.
If you are just starting up, it is advisable that you blog at least a couple of times a week across a wide range of topics so that you are able to see and analyze the results of your efforts.
Over time as you understand your customers and the type of content they read and share, you can scale your efforts and write more frequently.
Note: It does not matter how frequently you blog. What matters is how consistent you are with both the frequency and quality of your blogs.
This is the final step that you need to take while creating a content strategy. You have decided the following up till now:
Now, you just have to pen down all of this into an editorial calendar. This helps you in multiple ways:
HubSpot has published some great editorial templates which you can use to plan your content strategy.
Based on your content mapping, start creating high-quality, valuable content that aligns with your audience's needs and interests. This can include blog posts, eBooks, videos, podcasts, webinars, social media posts, and more. Ensure that your content is optimized for search engines and easily shareable across different channels.
Regularly measure the performance of your content using relevant metrics such as website traffic, engagement, conversion rates, and lead generation. Analyze the data to identify what's working and what needs improvement. Use this insight to refine your content strategy, optimize underperforming content, and focus on tactics that generate the desired business outcomes.
It is important to not only produce content but to produce it with a purpose. This will help you to tag all your efforts to your business metrics.
Remember, building a successful B2B content strategy is an iterative process. Continuously monitor the market, listen to your audience, and adapt your content to meet their evolving needs. By doing so, you'll be able to drive your business goals and establish a strong position in the B2B landscape.
If you are following the above steps, you would be able to drive the right visitors to your content, build engagement with them and ultimately convert them into leads for your business.