B2B Content Marketing Strategy Guide for Small Content Teams
If you’re a B2B marketer, you can barely make it through the day without encountering at least one message online about content marketing and the need to document your B2B content marketing strategy.
For the past 12 years, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have been sharing research about what best-in-class and laggard organizations are doing when it comes to content marketing. For 2021, the story hasn’t changed: 62 percent of the most successful B2B marketers in the study have a documented B2B strategy.
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of the most successful B2B content marketing performers have a documented strategy
With that data reported year-over-year, you would think all the companies out there that still don’t have a written B2B content strategy would hop on the bandwagon. Nope. In fact, only 40 percent of those surveyed for the B2B Content Marketing: 2022 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report said they have a written strategy in place.
In past reports, the top reasons reported by participants for not documenting a content strategy in their organizations were:
Small Team Size
Not Enough Time
Benefits of a Documented Content Marketing Strategy
Marketers who find themselves dealing with a lack of time or not enough resources may find their content marketing efforts to be more fruitful if they buckle down and document a strategy. I know — easier said than done, and we’ll talk about potential approaches to help you out later in this guide. But first, let’s look at the benefits.
You’ll waste less time trying to figure out what topics to address.
Your freelance creator and team members who contribute will have a guide to focus their contributions.
You can focus more on managing the execution, measuring outcomes, and refining strategy to ensure you’re meeting business goals.
You can reduce “shiny object” syndrome where you chase the latest trend out of desperation of uncertainty.
When a pandemic (or other emergency) strikes, you can review your documented plan and make changes in a calm and collected manner rather than spinning your wheels in a panic trying to figure out what needs to change.
So are you convinced to give this thing a shot? Since you’re still reading, I’m going to take that as a “yes.” Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Begin with Business Goals
For your content marketing strategy to be considered a success and gain the support of the executive team, it must support corporate goals. Writing blog posts for the sake of writing blog content isn’t a good B2B content marketing strategy; it’s a sign of confusion or desperation. B2B companies need to get the answers to these questions to ensure the foundation of their strategy is strong.
- $What does the organization want to accomplish within the next 12 months? (Increase sales by X percent, reduce costs by Y percent, etc.)
- $What does marketing need to do to contribute to the achievement of corporate goals and objectives? (Generate X MQLs and Y SQLs; increase ROI for online spend by Z percent, etc.)
- $Whom are we trying to reach?
- $What is our unique selling proposition or a competitive differentiator?
- $What will we measure and how often?
- $Do I have a budget to cover the required resources and tools?
- $What is my content approval process? (especially important in regulated industries)
- $What is the ultimate picture of success and do all stakeholders agree?
25 Questions You Need to Ask When Creating a Content Strategy
Careful thought must go into your content strategy for it to be effective. To help you develop yours, we’ve put together a list of 25 questions you and your team should consider as you build your plan, target your audence, and make your content vision and marketing come to life.
You’ve got to know where you’re going before you chart the journey. These questions will help you ensure whatever you do with content will help move the company forward and appeal to B2B buyers.
Develop Personas to Prioritize Buyer and Customer-focused Content
We mentioned the question, “who are we trying to reach?” in the section above. However, just knowing the “who” isn’t enough for a strong buyer and customer-focused content marketing strategy. You have to dig into the “how” and “why” behind each persona so that you can create relevant content. What motivates someone to buy from your business?
So what is a buyer persona? HubSpot defines “buyer persona” as follows: “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Defining the Who
When you create your buyer persona(s), your goal is to develop a concept — a character of sorts — whom you can understand and even empathize with. Your persona should help you:
- $Understand the buyer’s job title, job description, and how his or her employer evaluates the individual’s job performance
- $Define the typical challenges and pain points this buyer type faces
- $Buying behaviors
- $How the buyer will likely look for a product or service like yours —
- Lsearch keywords
- Lsocial media
- Lreview sites
- Lindustry media and influencers
- $What formats of content the person typically like to use
- $Other demographics that may influence a buyer when it comes to your product or service