For small and medium B2B businesses in any industry, content marketing is one of the most important tools for creating awareness, nurturing prospects, and converting leads into sales. Unfortunately, many companies do not use content marketing to its full potential and often make one or more of these following common mistakes:
- They extend their B2B content marketing efforts no further than creating more content. Even when the focus is on content promotion, they do little more than work on search engine optimization (SEO) and link building.
- They tend to focus on content objects, such as blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, and infographics, rather than the content outcome and audience experiences.
- They neglect to consider how the content will contribute to the consumer experience with the brand. Even selling to a business involves marketing to real people who will connect with your content emotionally.
The process of content creation can be broken down into three stages. Although small and medium businesses are usually unable to hire many new employees, you can delegate a number of the following tasks and responsibilities to your current workforce or hire an agency to help you with your content strategy.
For the content creation stage of B2B content marketing, one person in your company should be placed in charge of content leadership. This position should be undertaken by someone who has a background in publishing and experience managing or working in a team of writers and creatives. In small and medium businesses, this position is usually assigned to the Content Marketing Manager.
You will also need content creators including a brand journalist, copywriters, and web designers or developers. Although you may need to hire or outsource some experienced professionals, you can also use internal talent to fill some of these roles. If social media is to play a large role in your B2B content marketing strategy, you will need external resources for content creation including paid contributors who can create high quality content to distribute within their own networks.
As noted above, content creation is only the first stage in content marketing; your target audience must also be able to find, share, and act upon the content. This means you will require a team of content promoters who go beyond the creators who are sharing content.
You should use a combination of organic and paid promotion to amplify your content. The former includes SEO, blogger outreach, social networking, and media relations, while the latter encompasses Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, sponsored content, social network ads, and other forms of paid placement.
Content Monitoring and Analytics
The final stage in B2B content marketing is the monitoring and analysis of content to gauge the success your creation and promotion efforts. For this task, it is recommendable to either outsource a professional or train current employees to become certified at Google Analytics. In addition, you will want to have social media, SEO, PPC, and other inbound marketing specialists on your team to provide reports and recommendations for their areas of expertise.
By following this three-step approach to B2B content marketing, your content will make a greater impact and help you reach a larger audience. People need to feel that they need your product or service, and content is the ideal way to convince them.