A content marketing strategy is the heartbeat of your content marketing activity. It starts everything and your campaigns can't run without it. Want to learn how to keep it ticking?
You need to make sure that your content investment is a healthy one. How? Here are some tips that can help you create a robust content marketing strategy perfectly tailored to your needs. All our content marketing consultants back this list and they've contributed to this article!.
Content is the most productive way to increase B2B lead generation and attract new customers.
Are You Prepared?
Before you start anything, you need to know what you want to achieve! So, do you? Firstly, you need to think about what the business's goals are and how content is a part of that. Then you have to consider that the marketing team's goals are and how the content falls into that.
Here are a few goals you could consider
- Increase sales leads
- Educating website visitors
- Appealing to a new buyer persona
- Increasing brand awareness
- Moving leads through the buyer's journey
- Selling new services
1. Document and review your content marketing strategy on a regular basis
If you don’t record your content ideas and plans, you don’t have a content strategy. What you have is a content brainstorm. While a content brainstorm is a vital part of the process, your content strategy has to get out of your head and take on a material form.
Also, you’ll need to review your content marketing strategy 1-2 times a year for it to be effective. Thinking how daily decisions impact your content marketing strategy has to become a part of your daily routine.
2. Learn the buyer's journey & how to use targeted content
You should learn how your customers buy from you. If you don't know, how are you going to sell to them by using content?
If you understand the awareness, consideration and decision part of the journey, you're in a better place to create content for each journey.
Once you know the steps your customers take, create the best piece of content for each stage. Offering a product demo isn't going to work if your prospect is unaware of how it solves the problem.
Consider the trigger point from actions your prospects take. For example, if they ask for a product demo, it's a trigger they're edging closer to buying. If they download an ebook explaining what the benefits of the system are, they're looking to see if it solves their problem.
3. Building a successful strategy isn’t a one-person job
This doesn’t mean you have to hire a handful of top content marketing consultants to bolster your ranks, although it would help! However, you should include your staff, business partners, and customers in your content making process. In this way, you can get some great ideas, evaluate their feedback and test their ideas. At the same time, this is an excellent opportunity to promote your content.
Hiring content marketing experts can be pricey, you're looking at £30-40k for an experienced Content Marketing Manager. Marketing agencies have trained staff that execute these campaigns, with back up from designers and other creatives.
4. Learn how to tell compelling stories
Successful content marketing is all about compelling stories and informative content. How to know you’re going to create great compelling stories? Well, you can either hire the best or learn from the best content marketing consultants.
Or, you can be honest and be refreshing with your authentic and compelling business story. Do it in your way, and your customers will certainly appreciate it. Make sure you write topical content around the industries your customers work in, try to understand the reason they would engage with your content and see you as an industry expert.
Here's how agency writers explore topics in technical industries.
5. Get ready to do a lot of planning
You need to build your strategy step-by-step. Creating regular weekly plans can help a lot. At the same time, because you have a detailed strategy, it doesn’t mean that everything is going to run smoothly.
You have to improvise and adjust. A successful marketer is always good at planning. A good plan will help you set the right priorities. Once you’ve published certain articles from your whole content strategy, don’t be afraid to go back and edit them to make sure the entire strategy stays on focus and gets better as you write your articles.
6. Use a content marketing professional
At some point, you'll have to either hire or consult professionals for your content strategy, but this doesn’t mean that you should leave it to others to run and develop your content strategy. Keeping track of all activities associated with your strategy is essential. You’ll always be the heart and mind of your strategy, but you need an extra pair of skilful hands to help you out.
One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to hire a content strategist; they'll be able to create detailed strategies that can span months or even years. Once they send back the first draft, read it then make amends. This cuts down the time you need to allocate to manage your content strategy.
7. Walk in your customer’s shoes
You’ve heard it so many times. You need to read a lot to write good content. When it comes to developing your content strategy, this means that you have to walk in your customer’s shoes. Read what your customers are reading. Be open to other forms of content, such as visual, video, audio, and similar.
With any solid content marketing strategy, you should always start by profiling your b2b buyer persona. This will always focus your mind and give you a point of reference as to who you're writing content for.
8. Evaluate other successful content marketing strategies
This is not an invitation to copy and paste some other marketer’s ideas and existing strategy. However, it is advisable to keep an eye on what your competition is doing in this field. You could take advantage of their proven B2B content marketing tactics, and do your best not to repeat their mistakes.
If you want to see some examples of B2B content marketing, read this article!
9. Rome wasn’t built in a day
Again, something you’ve heard too many times. It's surprising how many excellent content marketing strategies fail because the marketers in charge for their development were too impatient or with no strength to see them materialise in the real B2B world.
Remember, don’t expect to see an increase in customers engaging with your content until you deploy your full strategy. We see too often content marketers release blogs and articles that don’t complete the full blog strategy.
10. Relentlessly promote your story
Even the best content marketing strategies in the marketer’s world are doomed to fail unless you aren’t relentless when it comes to the promotion of your story. You need to be restless in creating connections, nurturing a creative dialogue with your audience, reviewing and revising your strategy.
Just like no product’s going to sell itself, no story’s going to attract attention all by itself. You need to work around the clock for your story to give you the marketing results you’re expecting to achieve.
11. There are no perfect content marketing strategies
When it comes to improvements and adjustments all content marketing consultants agree – you can never consider your content strategy complete. There is always room for improvement. This can be a challenging thought and a heavy burden for any marketer. However, this is a reality you need to accept.
In return, all your invested time and money will pay off once your content strategy starts working. Once everything is running smoothly, it's mainly a case of tweaking and altering. It's only when things are going drastically wrong you need to make big changes.
Go and Reap the Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing can do a lot for your business. There's only one way to make sure that your content investment is going to be the right one. You need to become a marketer who knows how to create and execute efficient B2B content marketing strategies. Remember, all successful marketers are above all great content marketing strategists.
Editor's note: This post has been revamped and updated for 2018. At Red-Fern, we love keeping our content fresh, it ensures our articles are up-to-date, relevant and accurate!