How to Kick-Start Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Developing a B2B content marketing strategy that aligns content messaging with your target audience is no small task. In fact, 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a content marketing strategy.
The development of a fundamentally customer-focused marketing strategy will blaze a trail for a B2B content marketing strategy to reach new customer engagement and acquisition goals. By ensuring value is delivered to your customers, the B2B content marketing strategy will fall into place.
Here are a few key tenets of B2B content marketing strategy to kick start the process for you and your team:
1. Determining your content point of view. Here's a hint: Make it customer-focused.
2. Ensure once you start executing on content creation, you can measure your efforts. Another hint: Make sure it's driving a tangible business exit as well.
3. Align your team's talents with the type of content being created. Last hint: Not all marketers think the same way.
Customer-Focused Point of View for Content Pays Off
Content marketing strategies developed to engage customers with your brand start by aligning content with the point of view of your reader. Delivering information both that the customer sees as valuable and that aligns with your brand should be the underpinnings of every B2B content marketing strategy.
In a recent study from Forrester Research, they provided the example of Kraft Foods launching a site (kraftrecipes.com) to share recipes and food ideas using their products. By painting purchase decisions, encouraging buyers through the journey through value-driven content, Kraft Foods had buyers that were all-the-more inclined to purchase cream cheese for "that casserole recipe I saw online". They delivered value to customers by encouraging a purchase decision as opposed to pushing a coupon.
With a customer-focused point of view regardless of the buyer type (B2C and B2B buyers), position your content to deliver value to your customers. Similarly, through customer-centered content, you can effectively shape purchase decisions through a B2B content marketing strategy that drives leads which, in turn, fuels revenue.
Prioritize and Set Content Goals
In a recent survey of content marketing maturity, Forrester found that 52% of B2B marketers were in the early stages of assembling a content strategy and executing it. While B2B marketers seem to be embarking on a more customer-focused approach to content development, a key tenet to a closed loop model for your B2B content marketing strategy is tracking buyer interactions with content at each stage in the purchase life cycle.
Providing Buyers with content that is useful and valuable to read, watch, or interact that encourages forward movement in the buying cycle is a B2B marketer's dream. And yet if those interactions are not measurable, how do you know your content strategy and supporting tactics are effective?
To kick start your B2B content marketing strategy that produces customer-focused content, ensure your team is taking a practical approach to content creation aligned with short-term goals. Meeting and rewarding these short term goals will push your team to drive increasingly buyer-aligned content. This will inevitably result in customer interactions that contribute to increased revenue. These longer-term objectives ensure content drives tangible business outcomes.
Align Talent with Content Creation
Balance your team to align strengths with content creation requirements. Buyer-aligned content that captivates, inspires and challenges is a different focus for most B2B marketers. Marketers who background include a mix of product marketing, sales positions and even direct marketing may be challenged to make this shift.
Climbing to new heights requires planning and preparation but it also mandates physical and mental stamina. Applying that principle to strategy development versus plan rollout and execution, B2B marketers need to consider skill assessment and training as a critical tenet of B2B content marketing strategy. When the team is ready to hit the trail, talent needs to be aligned with a type of content creation that sees through the buyer's point of view, interweaves a compelling story and is appropriate to the content application.
So, begin with your team to consider what content will deliver value to your customers. With this customer-focused lens, a B2B content marketing strategy will achieve the following:
- Address buyer concerns to engage
- Motivate them through the buyer journey
- Build support from bottom-line-thinking executives.