A key challenge B2B marketers face when it comes to content marketing is coming up with the content itself - that is, what exactly to talk about. But that's only one part of the story. Ultimately, content marketing is about generating leads, and the way you distribute your content is actually what makes or breaks the success of your efforts.
Ensuring your content gets found is hard work! We've broken it down into 5 steps:
#1 Come up with good content
You need to have something valuable to say, that people will want to read because it increases their understanding of a particular topic. Remember not to try and cut corners by disguising your sales pitch as a well-meaning blog post. Instead, target your topic for a specific audience. As B2B buys usually involve more than one stakeholder, B2B marketers have to work twice as hard. To help focus your content, ask yourself:
- Who am I writing for and what is their position in the company?
- What stage are they at in the buyer's journey?
- What kind of issues are of interest to them at this stage in their journey?
#2 Optimise your content for search
Do you have an SEO plan? Do you know what keywords you're trying to rank for? Building your SEO strategy is integral to your content marketing plan. If you don't do it, not only will you lose out on site traffic, but your target audience won't be able to find your great content. Make sure each web page is optimised around a keyword especially the page title. Use long tail keyword derivatives of the main keyword in the body text. Beware of over stuffing your content with keywords to maximise your bets, write for the reader not the search engine, mention keywords as many times as they would naturally occur.
#3 Remember the 3-second rule
You have about three seconds to entice the typical web surfer to click on your link. Maybe they've entered a search term and are quickly scanning the page to weed out irrelevant search results. Or maybe they've subscribed to your blog and they're glancing through each subject to weed out junk mail. They may even be on your site, skimming your blog post to see if it's worth the read. Why should they choose to stick around and see what you have to offer?
Somehow, in that sea of data, you need to catch their eye. Your headlines, meta-descriptions, call-outs and CTAs must compel them to act. A common tactic is to start with an actionable verb, eg. "learn to.." or "download..". Tell them exactly what to expect when they click, and don't disappoint them.
In terms of call-outs, here's an example of one done right, taken from marketing superstar Jay Baer's Convince&Convert company blog:
See how they use it for emphasis? Not only does the call-out box make it stand out, but what's in it intrigues the reader to find out more about context: Who knows what they're talking about, and who's glad they're in their corner?
#4 Map a content distribution strategy
Ideally, you should mix both outbound and inbound marketing methods. Integrate outbound email campaigns with social media and blogging strategies, adding links to related landing pages. In terms of social media, think hard about where your audience is active and where it makes sense to promote your content. We found LinkedIn effective for B2B lead generation, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ too.
#5 Maintain momentum
As with new years resolutions, sticking to the agreed strategy is probably the hardest part of it all. An abandoned blog or social media page will lessen your credibility, making you seem fickle, inconsistent, even lazy. Maintaining momentum is key, so that at any time, people can see that, yes, you're alive and you're active. Don't leave them wondering what happened to you!
We hope you found these steps useful. If you would like to learn more about content marketing, please download our complimentary eBook on the subject:
What steps do you take to get your content found? Are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments section below.