If 93% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing and you’re not in that 93%, what are you waiting for? If you’re waiting for a clear road map for how to develop a B2B content marketing strategy, then look no further! Here are the eight essential steps to developing a sound strategy.
First and foremost, your marketing efforts should tie directly to the goals of your organization. So consider how your B2B content marketing plan will support your overall organizational goals, otherwise, what’s the point of putting all this effort into your content marketing plan?
2. Target Audiences
Next, determine exactly who you’re marketing to. Find out as much as you can about their demographics, and then find out what topics they’re talking about and where they’re having these discussions on the web. Listen to what they want; because it might not be the same as the information you’re planning on sharing with them.
3. Develop Messaging and Content Marketing Strategies
Now that you know what your target audiences are talking about, craft your messaging and develop your content marketing strategies. Your messaging should be based on what your audience needs and wants to hear, as well as how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
With variations of your key messaging, your content strategy can be developed. It’s best to include a mix of long-form (blog posts, articles and whitepapers) and short-form (social media updates and graphics) content strategies. In addition, develop a strategy for engaging in existing conversations that your audience is participating in. This could include commenting on blog posts, LinkedIn group discussions and more.
4. Develop Editorial Calendar
Right up there with the content itself, your editorial calendar is one of the most important pieces of your content marketing plan. Although it’s incredibly important, your editorial calendar should also be flexible because things have a tendency to change. Ideally, it should include strategies, tactics, deadlines, and who is responsible for each deliverable.
5. Develop Content
Content marketing doesn’t exist without content, so it’s time to get writing! Your content should be unique and support the messaging you came up with. However, be careful not to over-promote your products or services. The content you create should educate and establish trust, not overtly sell your products.
6. Establish Relationships
Relationships are always a two-way street, so when you establish relationships for content marketing, they can’t be all about you. Give more than you receive, and you’ll find more success with content marketing. This means you should share valuable content curated from other sources more than you share your own content.
7. Broadcast Your Content
There are many things you can do to spread the word, but the first thing you need to do is develop your SEO strategy. Do some thorough research to find out what people are searching for and how it relates to your content. Also make sure you’re pushing the content out on your company’s social media profiles, but only to the profiles that make the most sense.
8. Measure Effectiveness
There are many ways you can measure the effectiveness of your content, some of which include social sharing metrics and web analytics. Revisit your goals and make sure the metrics you’re measuring match your goals.
The final bit of advice for your content marketing plan: If something isn’t working, change it! Your plan is meant to be a living and breathing document. If you find something isn’t working, figure out why and make the necessary changes.
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