B2B content is the word du jour withmany companies having invested int their own B2B content marketing strategy. Today, it’s s no longer a matter of companies implementing content within their marketing plan. The issue now is using that content to its fullest potential.
Many companies have tackled the need for content with full gusto, pumping out top-notch content as if their lives depended on it. Yet, for many companies, the “publish” button is the end of the road.
Why is this a bad thing?
Content is not just a one-time banner or placard that can be thrown aside at the end of a campaign. Content continues to hold its value long after it gets published. Many companies lose out on this value by fogetting about past content.
The idea of re-using content shouldn’t be taboo — like second-hand clothes that don’t quite fit right. Your past content is in fact an asset — you have, after all, invested a lot of time and energy into its creation. Just like any asset, you need to manage it strategically to get the most out of it.
If you have trouble using your content to its fullest potential, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey from Content Marketing Institute, 92% of businesses realize the importance of content as an asset. Yet many are still at a loss as to how to use this content moving forward.
You need a strategy — a plan for how to use content after its initial publication. Once you do the initial work and have a well-thought-out strategy in place, your content creation and utilization can work like a well-oiled machine. In essence, you can then put it on repeat — with the occasional adjustments.
For many companies, the “publish” button is unfortunately the end of the road.
So what does it take to create such a strategy? Let’s look at 10 pro tips that will get your strategy off the ground, and keep your content working for you.
10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
1. Create a Content Management Strategy
If you want the most from your content, a management strategy will help direct your efforts. Answer these questions: Who will handle specific aspects of your content creation? How will you ensure that content doesn’t fall through the cracks and become forgotten?
You have spent a lot of time and money to produce your content. A dedicated strategy for its management will ensure that it’s used to its fullest potential.
2. Style and Brand Guides
Style and brand guidelines help your entire team consistently represent your brand well. These gentle reminders help deliver seamless messages, even when several different people are involved in your content creation.
A workflow ensures that each member of your team knows his or her responsibilities. This is good for accountability, but also cuts down on needless delays. A workflow should outline key steps in the content creation process, such as:
- Create images
An effective workflow will outline each team member’s role, as well as deadlines. You will also need a dedicated person to oversee the entire project.
4. Create a Content Team
With a dedicated workflow in place, you can now start to assemble your team. Define the key roles that you will need to fill. These might include:
- Chief content officer (CCO)
- Social media expert
- Influencer relations manager
You may need to add to or subtract from this list, depending on the size and scope of your business and the amount of content you create. Either way, you need an organized team if you want to use your content to its fullest.
5. Buyer Personas
Want every piece of content you create to appeal to your audience? Help your team to do this with buyer personas.
Sit down with your team, and nail down who your buyers are. This might include age, level of education, and title within their company. Next, identify problems that they face, and what they will look for in content — are they interested in advice? Education? Specific how-to instructions? All of this information will help you to produce the best content for their needs.
None of us can read minds — so how do we know if our content has hit the mark? Whether to continue with one form of content, or switch to another? Analytics take the guesswork out of content creation.
Before you start looking at metrics, discuss with your team what success looks like. This could mean a certain number of blog views, number of likes or shares on social media, or simply a pre-defined bounce rate on your website. Ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of goals.
7. A Unified Message
All of your content should deliver a unified message. This isn’t your headline — it’s more of a subliminal message. Through your content — blog posts, infographics, images, etc. — you want people toleave with one thought.
This could be a sense of confidence in your company’s ability to serve their needs. Or the idea that your company is focused on solving problems that others can’t. Whatever message you land on, search for ways to underline that message in all your content.
8. A Content Audit
What content do you currently have in your business arsenal? If you’re not sure how to answer, it’s time for a content audit. First, list all of the content your company has created. Then, evaluate each piece to see how it can be used.
For each piece of content, you should know:
- What part of the buyer’s journey it fits into
- What buyer personas it applies to
- Whether it needs to be revised, kept, or chucked
By the end of your content audit, you should know what content you have, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each piece. From there, it will be easier to use the content you have, and fill in any gaps you find.
Metadata is the tiny, often ignored administrative portion of your content. But forget about its lack of prominence — this tool holds the power to maximize your content’s visibility.
Within your metadata, you can sub-categorize your content and show your audience how it connects to their interests. You may already have a simple metadata setup for your blog — broad subjects that appear under a drop-down menu or on your sidebar.
You might set this up according to topic or content format (blog, video, etc.). For instance, a financial institution may have its content labeled, Small Business, Retirement, and Investment. It might also have its content labeled by Blog, How-to Videos, and Checklists. This metadata helps your visitors
10. Tools and Technology
True, technology isn’t a magic wand — it won’t solve all your content problems. But when used correctly and wisely, content marketing technology can streamline tasks and make your strategy more effective.
According to the research done by Content Marketing Institute, only 18% of marketers feel that their companies use the right technology to manage their content marketing. Another 45% say that their companies have technology, but do not use it to its full potential. How can you remedy this in your own business?
Focus your attention on technology that will boost the efficiency of your content, or that will reduce the time spent on menial tasks. This might include a keyword tool such as SEMRush that will help you reach your SEO goals. You may also opt for tools that will help you to distribute your content, such as Buffer.
A Few Points to Remember…
- Create a dedicated content team with a well-laid-out workflow to keep everyone on track
- Use analytics to track your progress and visualize success
- Perform a content audit to know exactly what assets you have and how you can use them in the future.
- Keep up to date on pertinent technology that can make your job easier and more effective.
Your B2B content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be a mysterious operation. Implement these 10 key tips and techniques to use your content to its full potential.