Create a plan – a strategy – for B2B content marketing

by Wiz

Would you construct an office building without a plan? Of course not.

And you wouldn’t work without a plan because it means there are too many opportunities for mistakes; oversights; and it leaves you with a building riddled with problems. It won’t be a successful project.

For similar reasons this is why we also need a plan – a strategy – for B2B content marketing. And that’s precisely what guest blogger Gerardo Dada has written about in B2B Marketing Insider, “Building Content Marketing Strategy – 10 Steps.”

He opens by emphasizing the new buying process of customers and clients. Thanks to changes in technology, all of us are able to do massive research before we buy anything.

Dada points out that by “… the time a customer reaches out to a sales person their purchase decision is almost 60% complete.” That is significant. And you need to understand that when you interact with them.

What’s more, according to Forrester … B2B customers use an average of 7.6 sources through the purchase funnel!

Your content is competing with a ton of information on the web. This is yet another reason why you need a solid strategy.

Here are the 10 steps Dada outlined:

1 – Become an expert: Prospects and customers must believe that your company actually knows what it is doing, and that choosing you is their best choice. So you need to make your expertise clear. You need to stand out as a thought leader.

2 – Be Helpful: Essentially give away plenty of educational, helpful content.

3 – Step in your customer’s shoes: I refer to this as writing your content so it is reader-centric. It is written from your prospect’s/customer’s perspective. It’s not about you or your company. It’s all about them.

4 – Express your values: To me this comes down to our natural desire to be comfortable with the “person” we’re buying from. People want to interact with people. Don’t be afraid to express an opinion and state your values. You cannot appeal to everyone. If you try you’ll lose money.

5 – Make it interesting: Again, there’s a ton of information and videos and ads and so forth competing for your customer’s time and attention. Dare to be different. Be creative. Dada suggests you be controversial; find ways to fascinate people; entertain them; etc. And infographics have their place, but “customers will read long articles and white papers as long as they are helpful and interesting.”

6 – Be personal: As I touched on in #4, people connect with people. Finds ways (e.g., social media) to make 1-on-1 connections with prospects and customers.

7 – Think like a publisher: Have an editorial calendar for what you publish. Think educate and not simply blasting out noisy messaging.

8 – Go multi-format: Here he refers to re-purposing your content across multiple channels. A white paper can be broken down into numerous blog posts. Use part of it in a slideshare presentation. Create a YouTube video. Etc.

9 – Optimize for SEO juice: Use the right keywords (i.e., the ones your customers and prospects are using) in your content.

10 – Make it a priority: Dada reminds that we’ll never “find” the time for content marketing. A block of free time won’t magically appear. You must make the time. It must be in someone’s job description or even their full time job.

Just as you need a set of plans to construct a reliable office building … you need a plan – a strategy – for executing your content marketing. It will fail, or at best it will perform poorly, if you don’t create the strategy.

Use the 10 steps outlined above to make 2013 a good year for your B2B company. And if you need help writing the content for your strategy, we’d be honored to make your job easier – contact us.

————

Link to B2B Marketing Insider blog post, “Building Content Marketing Strategy – 10 Steps

Photo credit: Via PhotoPin.com – Flickr “Mukumbura”

Previous post:

Next post: