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 outcome 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 shaping 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 actively 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 whose 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.

5 Optimization Tips For Your Next Online Marketing Strategy

Expanding the image of your brand, increasing the interest people have in your company and boosting sales and profit is the main objectives of an online marketing strategy. These should be your number one concerns when analyzing the success of your marketing strategy.

But what about the marketing strategy itself. How do you optimize your marketing strategy in order to accomplish these common goals? I would like to share some optimization tips with you that you can use and implement in your next strategy. These tips will help you increase your chances of running a successful strategy, and will help you create a more streamlined strategy.

1. Effective and clear communication

The first thing you need to do to ensure your strategy is adequate is to ensure that your message is clear and effective. Make sure that your readers will easily understand what your message is about, and what you can offer them. The clearer your message, the more targeted your audience.

2. Target your audience

If you don’t know who you’re targeting, then you won’t be able to reach the right audience. Do proper research before launching your marketing campaign. Examine your competition and discover your target audience. By knowing who to target, you will be able to have a much more successful strategy. Your marketing costs will also decrease and you will be able to direct your campaign to the right people.

3. Use all your options

Online marketing can consist of a large variety of options, platforms, mediums and more. You should analyze your competition and determine all options available to you. Use all of the relevant options that can help you boost the success of your marketing campaign.

Your options might include SEO, blogging, social media marketing, link building, press release distribution, etc. Find out what works for your competition and you will know what options will work for you.

4. Research and improve

Once you have a strategy in place, you should do some research and improve your strategy in any way that you can.

Planning your initial approach to your strategy takes a lot of time, and can hold errors and issues. This is why you need to go through everything, research all aspects of your strategy and analyze your competition. By doing this, you’ll be able to easily identify problem areas in your online marketing strategy, and fix them before launching your strategy and wasting money.

5. Analyze the results

Once you’ve launched your online marketing strategy, you should closely analyze the results it’s bringing. Draw regular reports and analyze the results your online marketing campaign is bringing you. Once your campaign has been running for a couple of days, you should also look out for any part of your online marketing campaign that’s not performing as expected – try to adjust these parts of the campaign to improve your results.

Conclusion

Online marketing is a serious task. You need to work hard, do your research and take the time to set up a proper plan for your online marketing campaign. This will help you build a better brand for your business, drive more traffic and land more sales. By utilizing the five tips I mentioned here, you should be able to see an improvement in your online marketing strategy.

Understanding Marketing Strategy and Why You Should Have One

Many of you understand the basic concept of marketing. However, to ensure we are all on the same page, here’s a brief refresher.

Definition of marketing: Marketing is the essential process of effective communicating the value of your product and or service to your target customer base.

The goal is to peak their interest enough, allowing them to take action and buy your product or service. You are really doing an amazing job if your customer then refers another customer.

If you are a business and you don’t believe in the process of marketing, I highly recommend you re-think your overall business strategy. You absolutely need marketing to attract a relevant customer base to sell your product or service and have a real chance at making a profit.

Now that you’ve taken a brief refresher as to what is marketing and the importance, the next step is developing a marketing strategy.

What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy will help your organization to develop the most optimal process, focusing your scarce resources on convertible opportunities.

Your goal with a marketing strategy is to increase the total sales your organization achieves within the target customer base and establishing a competitive advantage that’s sustainable.

When you are developing a marketing strategy, you have to consider the comprehensive marketing goals of your organization. This includes long-term and short-term marketing goals.

You may have to take small bites before you are able to swallow the amount of success you are sure to achieve with an effective strategy. This information will allow you to develop a complete marketing plan. You can’t get anywhere without a solid plan.

Communication as part of a marketing strategy

In order to develop an excellent marketing strategy, you must conduct research within the target market to know exactly how your customer prefers communication.

Remember, marketing is effectively communicating the value of your product or service to the customer. If you don’t have a clear understanding as to how to best communicate with your target customer, your marketing strategy will be ineffective.

What does this mean? Conduct research to determine if your customers need a visual aide, auditory aide, and or things they can touch and feel in order to become connected to your product or service.

For example, I’m auditory. It’s helpful for products and services I’m interested in to have a jingle to their slogan to help me remember to purchase their item.

When I’m in the store, if I walk past an item I need and I can see the product and then recall the jingle, I find myself making a purchase more times than not if I need the product or service at the time.

In your strategy, you may have to develop a combination to meet the needs of your target market. Nonetheless, discover the way your customer needs you to communicate value.

Product mix as part of an effective marketing strategy

It’s critical to ensure your strategy has a keen focus on the product mix that will cause your customer to react. What does this mean?

A product mix will take into consideration the various lines of products offered to the target market. Let’s take it a step further to ensure an understanding is achieved. For example, if you operate an athletic shoe store serving the entire family, what type of products must you offer to ensure you have a profitable product mix?

Athletic shoes are a given. Then to compliment the shoes, you will offer shoe strings. Another relevant offering would be socks and shoe cleaner. It’s important to anticipate the needs of the target consumer. Athletic shoes require certain attire. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to add athletic apparel to your product mix.

Also, consider the type of athletics your target customers are interested in. Perhaps your customers are runners, basketball players, baseball players, and or football players. You must have a mix that is relevant to your target market.

Your product mix must be right. This will ensure you realize maximum profits from your target customer. You must be willing to put in the work as this knowledge will not come without conducting extensive research.

Why is a marketing strategy so important and why do you need one?

Regardless of the size of your organization, you need a marketing strategy. The benefits far outweigh the time and financial investments to be made to create the most effective strategy.

Change in the industry and target consumer needs

Aside from meeting the needs of your target customer with an effective marketing strategy, you will also learn your strengths and weaknesses as the market evolves.

The goal is to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, thus you need to know what you are good at. The marketing strategy should help you stay current with the changing trends of the industry and the necessary strategic adjustments to be made in order to remain connected with your customer.

For example, if you are a business and you have not already implemented social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are behind. Technology is ruling the world we live in. Your customers are online and in-touch via social media. You must get connected to stay connected.

Digital marketing is hot! Many businesses are taking advantage of the mobile lifestyle of their target consumer. Digital marketing allows for a business to advertise on mobile devices, tablets, smartphones, digital billboards (these are really cool), and other digital friendly devices.

This is a huge part of internet marketing and is only going to get bigger. This is a must have in your marketing strategy.

Email marketing is another strategy that is continuing to grow. This is a great way to stay connected with your customer on a permission basis. What does this mean? The customers you send your message to each month, specifically requested to stay in touch. These are high probability sales transactions!

Organizational growth

Your marketing strategy should also help to identify areas for business expansion. Every business has the dream of growing. It’s typically identified in their vision statement.

Your marketing strategy will then direct you in the right direction to help reach the potential new customers you will reach as a result of growth. Growth is great and sustainable if you are able to scale your business in a timely and relevant fashion.

As stated before, you may have general knowledge as to the idea and importance of marketing.

You may even have a basic understanding of a marketing strategy. Now, you understand why it’s critical to have one and you have been armed with ideas to get you started.