Content that focuses on audiences’ needs and not on search engines is the Holy Grail to higher search rankings and traffic.
According to the latest Content Marketing Research published by Content Marketing Institute, almost 90% of the high-performing B2B content marketers focus their content around audiences’ informational needs and not on their sales and promotional strategies.
Put another way, they need to produce high quality, actionable content that keeps the audience engaged. Plus, it needs to be personalized enough to resonate with the needs of different personas. What a Finance Analyst needs to know is different from what code developers need to know.
Here, I walk you through five tips for successful B2B content marketing strategy for this year.
#1. Put your Audiences’ Need Front and Center
As mentioned above, audiences’ needs should be put front and center while creating content. By creating content that’s based on their needs, it becomes easier, for your content, to get easily found, consumed and, in all probability, gets shared by your audience.
Content Marketing Institute’s study further states that if you create content that connects with the audience, you are creating a bond with your readers. A fact that resonates with successful content marketers – 96% of the successful content marketers said that audiences view them as a credible and trusted resource because of their informational content.
Again, creating a bond is not just the province of successful content marketers alone: 68% of all the B2B content marketers say that they have been using content marketing to build credibility with their audience.
#2. Talk to Customers Directly
As it turns out, 65% of the B2B content marketers are relying on sales feedback and website analytics to nail down their audience, while 65% are using keyword research.
But then, sales feedback and website analytics is not the best way to reach and connect with customers. The worst part, only 42% of the content marketers seem to include conversations with customers as part of their audience research.
The research also mentioned that 73% of the content marketers use or plan to use personas for content marketing before the end of 2018.
The fact is effective personas are created by talking to the real people. Getting information directly from the customer’s mouth is the best way to build a customer persona. Because it will give you direct insights into their needs and preferences. The info gathered will be more accurate and authentic than what’s inferred from analytics and third-party conversations.
If your business isn’t talking to customers directly, then you need to set up with ways to make that possible. For one, content marketing people could join sales representatives in their calls. They could even talk to customers directly. Take advantage of these one-on-one talks to gather unique insights and create content.
#3. Make Influencer Marketing an Integral Part
It has been observed that marketers give utmost importance to building relationships with influencers. But then, only a meager 24% said to have partnered with influencers on content marketing initiatives.
The fact is it’s good to develop a relationship with influencers because they help you share and promote your content. However, if you happen to co-create content with the help of influencers, then there are chances that your influencers would be more involved in promoting your content.
#4. Add Paid Promotion
As it turned out, only 66% of the respondents informed that they used paid methods to distribute content. Meaning a third of the marketers is relying on organic reach and the existing subscriber base to increase their content reach.
Why depend on people to find your content. Why not go out and attract people to see your content and how they are going to benefit from it via paid promotions. Don’t forget: Paid social media and paid search advertisements are crucial parts of a comprehensive content promotion strategy.
#5. Leverage Tools to Understand the Changing Demands of Customers
Before you target your audience with your products or services, you need to know what their real needs and wants are. This is why understanding your audience is so, so important.
Sure enough, owning the right tools isn’t enough to understand the audience, but then it does help. And it helps a lot.
You will find B2B marketers using other techniques as well to find what the audience is actually looking for. So, in a way, you will have a competitive edge if you can discover new ways to learn more about your audience. For example, you can try using interactive PDFs, quizzes and more to find exactly what the prospect is really interested in and then tailoring content for them accordingly.
#6. Data Analytics about Content Engagement
Knowing about your audience needs and their expectations and then creating content that circles around the same lead to a sale.
For instance, if you have created a fabulous ebook, which everyone happily downloads, but does not read, is of no use because it does not lead to sales. Or if they have already read the ebook but then the content doesn’t seem inspiring enough to engage with you, much less buy the product, in such cases you could say that your piece of content is not doing its job.
This is where the data analytics about your customer helps. It will give you an idea about the type of audience that’s engaging with your content and the way they are engaging with it; and, if the engagement is gearing toward a sale.
So, if you are not able to get this kind of analysis, be assured, the content program you are currently working with is a leaky bucket. You need to seal these leaky areas before things go out of the hand.
Content Marketing has proven its potential as a marketing tactic. Use these 5 tips to take your content marketing strategy up by several notches, this year.
Have you come across any more B2B content marketing strategies that could take businesses to the next level? Share them in the comment section.
This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with GoodFirms, a review and research platform for eCommerce development companies, digital marketing companies among many others. I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sunshine sons.