The value of inbound marketing for B2B businesses is incontestable. Businesses are always looking for vendors, suppliers, channel partners, and collaborators that they can trust, and grow along.
Inbound marketing helps B2B businesses differentiate themselves, and extend the reach of their sales funnel to a larger audience base.
Content marketing is the most important and powerful method of inbound marketing for B2B businesses. No wonders, 88% B2B businesses use content marketing already.
If you have a B2B businesses but haven’t really poured some gasoline on your content marketing efforts, now’s the time. Here are 5 practical, doable, and dependable content marketing strategies you can begin with.
1- Become A Master of Focused Idea Generation for B2B Content
Almost 50% B2B content marketers suggest that producing the right kind of content is one the top 3 challenges they face.
Here are some practical methods of keeping the ideas coming in.
- 1. Use Evernote to organize and archive your ideas; trust me, you won’t recall your genius ideas a day later if you don’t write them down.
- 2. Use techniques like focus groups, brain storming, and mind maps to encourage ideation.
- 3. Plant some variations of keywords in Google Trends and see what the world is interested in.
- 4. Research on Quora; key in some keywords and understand the kind of questions people have around the topic
- 5. Use content curation platforms like AllTop to find out buzzing topics relevant to your niche; key in a generic phrase, and then select a category to get a wide range of topic suggestions.
2- Find What The Big Boys Are Doing, And Do It Better
Done rightly, the ‘me too and some more’ strategy of B2B content marketing can work wonders for your brand.
If you have clear leaders in your business niche, here’s how you can research and find out what they’re doing right about their content marketing.
- Find out what’s trending: Join their social media accounts as followers (from a separate, personal ID, to avoid being tracked, of course).
- Focus on their most shared posts on social networks.
- Use Moz’ Competition Research Tool to find out their most high potential keywords.
- For a very detailed competitor research campaign, use this flowchart.
3- Invest Effort in A/B Testing
You will never get better results from your B2B content marketing strategies if you keep on doing the same thing.
How do you make definitive improvements in your content marketing? The answer â€“ by doing A/B tests. These tests entail delivering different versions of majorly similar content pieces to different groups. Any differences in the responses/engagement the groups show to the content can then be attributed to the difference in the content.
Here are some reliable tools for hassle free A/B testing. Look to conduct A/B tests to determine improvements in content decisions such as:
- Subject line styles for your email marketing
- Blog post length and complexity
- Content format (video, podcast, text-heavy, infographics, etc.)
- Social share worthiness
4- Repurpose Your Content for Tremendous Leverage
B2B business managers are often hard pressed for their time.
Don’t let your content marketing suffer. Instead, look for smart methods of re-using your existing content to go on your content marketing channels and keep things busy. Here’s a good method:
- Prepare a video content production plan for the next couple of months.
- Write your video script in a manner that it can be used as a blog post with minor edits.
- If you don’t have the time for a script, plan the video’s content so that a transcript can be used as a blog post.
- Extract the audio from the video and market it as a podcast.
- Use frames from your video to add visual appeal to your blog posts, and create an MS Powerpoint deck using them (upload on Slideshare)
Smart content repurposing helps you significantly improve content marketing ROIs, reduce content production expenses, and appeal to audiences with a wide range of content format preferences.
5- Master the Art of Content Distribution
Often, the roadblock keeping you from going big with content is the lack of proper distribution. Here are some tips.
- Create curated lists of top resources that your audiences are compelled to bookmark; strategically identify some related and non competing brands in your list, and tell them you featured them in your content, and hope they’ll find that worth mentioning on their social profiles.
- Conduct an expert interview, package it into a content post, and give a shout out to the interviewed influencer; it’s likely he/she will share the content across his channels.
- Republish your content on s Medium, LinkedIn Pulse or Svbtle.
- Mobilize some of your marketing resources to keep the effort on in terms of blog commenting (meaningful and value adding comments, with link backs to your posts), Quora Answers, and forums.
‘Content’ helps B2B brands communicate their brand image, quality centricity, customer focus, and innovative approach, without really sounding promotional. Start using these strategies, and start growing your web presence and relevance, to eventually attract more customers.