Top Tips for Creating a Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategy
If conducted correctly, an effective B2B content marketing strategy is your secret weapon to connecting your brand with your target audience. Content marketing is about giving your audience rich, helpful, and valuable content that will truly benefit, teach them, and even solve their problems. Over time, you will build trust, loyalty, and recognition for your brand by being their go-to resource for content that truly matters to them.
We’ve all seen the salesy content promoting services, but does it really work? An effective B2B content marketing strategy will help you connect with your audience on a much deeper level - creating that meaningful connection that keeps them coming back and compels new clients to convert.
In this blog post, we’ll outline the steps to developing a successful content marketing strategy; the importance of considering your audience, brand, and competitors when producing your content plan; and the importance of optimising your content with SEO in mind.
Identify your Target Audience and Define Goals
The first step is to understand who exactly you want to target. Consider stepping into their shoes and address what they might be looking for whilst considering factors like age, demographic, role, the sectors’ most common challenges, and their preferred channel, etc.
Think about who needs your service. The more detail, the better. How can we connect with them through content based on these considerations? Create personas and give them a name to make that human connection and keep considering those elements when you’re writing the content, e.g., ‘how can I write this that would resonate with Jane, the 31-year-old mum of two who works full-time as the office manager at [X] company.’
Once you’ve established who your audience is, you need to think about your marketing goals and the type of content you need to produce based on them. Conducting keyword research will help with this by ensuring your addressing and aligning with your audiences’ intent; for example, if you want to gain leads through organic traffic, then producing relevant blog posts that address their challenges and offer solutions would be a good idea, then your goal metric may be the number of clicks and enquiries gained as a result of reading the blog post.
Ensure You have a Strong Brand Identity
Before you embark on a new content marketing strategy, it’s important to revisit your brand’s identity and unique value proposition to think about how you relay this within your content, for example, what’s your brand’s tone of voice, which social media channels fit your brand? Is there a foundation built already? Ensure you have a strong brand message that makes you stand out from the rest.
Revisit your website and on-site content to ensure you have brand-related keywords throughout.
Conduct a Content and Competitor Audit and Optimise On-page Content
Spend time assessing and evaluating your existing content performance by looking at CTR, impressions, bounce rate, average time spent on the page, etc. Are there any pieces that are currently doing well? Are you gaining traffic through relevant keywords via some of your content already? If so, think about how you can optimise these pages further by adding more relevant keywords where they naturally fit. Gain an understanding of why these particular blogs are doing well. Is there a common theme building? Use this insight to create similar content now you have a better understanding of the intent.
Investigate and look for gaps by seeing if there are any blogs that are underperforming, and think of ways to improve them by considering user intent and at what stage of the customer journey funnel they are in. What does the piece need in order to help guide readers further through the funnel?
Competitor research is also extremely important when considering upping your B2B content marketing strategy game. Analyse who is above you on the first page of Google and consider: what keywords they’re using, their approach to connecting with their target audience, their tone of voice, the content pillars, and themes they're using that connects to different services or products on their website. Use these insights for inspiration when considering how you can connect more to your own target audience through content.
Create a Content Plan and Editorial Calendar
Now that you have a good idea of who your target audience is and some ideas to better target them based on your audit and research, you need to identify what your content themes and topics are considering SEO. Think about what content types you need to produce and where you want to distribute them - blogs, videos, infographics, email marketing campaigns, social media channels, etc. This ties in with your defined goals, e.g., increase the number of subscribers through an email marketing campaign or boost the number of followers on Instagram, for example.
After that, you need to create an editorial calendar that outlines your content pillars, the form of content, and when you’re going to publish and distribute it. When creating the calendar, you should also research relevant trends, seasons, and events that relate to the topic, as these may also influence the content you want to produce.
Craft Engaging and Relevant Content
When you’re creating the content you’ve outlined, the key to a great b2b content marketing strategy is to always have the target audience at the front of your mind. The most engaging and high performing content is always the type of content that compels and speaks directly to them by understanding their needs and offering a solution - this also helps establish your brand’s awareness as you'll eventually become a reliable resource by enriching their lives with valuable insight they need.
For an effective b2b content marketing strategy, boosting SEO should also be a top priority. When crafting the content, include target keywords within the copy, URL and images; use compelling headlines and consider the readability and flow of the copy; optimise the meta data, alt tags to increase CTR. Lastly, ensure the content is mobile-friendly, and that your website loading speed is strong.
Build Quality Backlinks for Off-page SEO
Another reason why it’s important to create valuable and quality content is to attract backlinks. If your content is shareable (and rich in quality), this will boost your chances of engaging in guest blogging, influencer collaborations, and publications (depending on your sector).
Always monitor your backlinks consistently. Any spammy or low-quality backlinks need to be disavowed to ensure you maintain a high level of authority.
Measure and Analyse Results
Measure your goals and KPIs every day, or at least once a week, using analytics tools to track content performance and organic rankings. Conduct audits to identify any areas of improvement - remember, it can take up to six months for a blog to compete for the first position on Google (depending on the topic and industry).
Adapt and Evolve Your Strategy
What’s important to remember when planning your B2B content marketing strategy is that you need to remain adaptable. It’s not a case of putting a plan in place that you’ll stick with for the rest of the year.
In the world of SEO, and the regular world, there are constant changes with algorithms or trends, not to mention competitors learn more and get stronger at competing. Always keep monitoring your performance and optimise your content with SEO in mind to keep up to speed with these changes. Experiment with new SEO tactics and adopt them based on the data-driven insights you’ll gain from staying on top of your analysis.
1) Develop a strong brand identity to remain competitive and consistent.
2) Keep conducting audits, competitor research and optimising your content.
3) Craft engaging and rich content that speaks to your target audience by understanding their needs and addressing their options to solutions.
4) Build quality backlinks and always monitor and disavow low quality links.
5) Always analyse your content performance and adapt and evolve your strategy to keep up with ever-evolving world of SEO.
If you take the initial time to put these steps in place to understand what you need to improve on before jumping into creating content that isn’t really relevant to your services or industry, you’ll find that this will benefit your brand in the long run. You’ll have an adaptable strategy that is rich in quality that builds brand awareness and attracts new customers and keeps them (an element that is often overlooked).
We understand these steps can seem like a lot of work, but luckily at POLARIS have over 14 years’ experience offering a variety of SEO services, as well as content marketing specifically. We craft effective strategies tailored to your sector, such as B2B & Technology, Medical & Healthcare, Retail & eCommerce, and Travel & Hospitality.
If you need help with your SEO and content marketing strategy, get in touch today to find out how we can help you get on the first page of Google for your sector using effective marketing strategies.
Natalie has over seven years of experience across a variety of fields, including psychology, publishing, brand identity, and marketing. She specialises in collaborating with clients to ensure they’re connecting with their target audience through content, whether that’s optimising on-page and off-page content or understanding the audience’s needs, pain points, and behaviour to create personable and effective campaigns and strategies that aim to make client’s stand out from the crowd.