As 2014 begins, you’re probably mapping out your content marketing strategies for the rest of the year. As anyone who wants to succeed in his chosen endeavor would, you probably want to get off to a good start. For that purpose, you’ll need an effective guide that’s easy to understand and follow. Good news: That’s exactly what we have for you!
B2B Content Marketing Tips
Following are some tried-and-tested content marketing strategies that can help you grow your business in 2014.
1. Know Your Audience
No marketing campaign will ever work unless you know who you’re trying to reach with your content. Are you targeting the male population, the female population, or both men and women? What is your target market’s age bracket? What are their professional and personal motivations? What topics do they usually talk about? These are the basics you need to find out in an effort to get to know your market. Email surveys, online forums, and social media are among the best tools you can use for this purpose.
2. Audit Your Existing Content
Even if you haven’t really gone all-out with content marketing in the past, you don’t have to start from scratch this year. There’s a good chance you have some stuff tucked away somewhere that you can use to get your 2014 content marketing campaign off to a good start. Make a database of every piece of content you have—whitepapers, case studies, blog posts, newsletters, feature articles, infographics, videos, and any other piece of content you can find. The database will make it easier for you determine if you can tweak or repurpose some of the content you already have.
3. Plan Your Content
You can’t just distribute a smorgasbord of content based on what you feel like creating or the topic you want to discuss at any given point in time. For content to be effective, it should provide the kind of information your target market is trying to find online. Your content marketing campaign should have a theme or some sort of structure. Your audience should be able to make sense of everything you put out. Make a list of topics you plan to cover and then categorize these topics accordingly.
4. Create Customer-Focused Content
Bear in mind that content marketing isn’t all about promoting your products and/or services. Rather, it is about establishing yourself as an authority in your niche by offering value to your target customers. Remember that your audience is more interested in what your brand can do for them than in what your products/services are. Remember as well that few people appreciate technical jargon; it’s best to ensure that your content is easy for anyone to understand.
5. Map Out an Editorial Calendar
Your content marketing campaign should not only be well-planned, but also organized. An editorial calendar can help you achieve this purpose. The calendar should indicate when you will post new content (daily, weekly, etc.), where you will post each content (blog, website, etc.), what form it will take (article, video, etc.), and who’s responsible for producing each piece of content needed. This should make it easier to distribute your content in a more effective manner.
6. Promote Your Content
No matter how great your content is, it won’t do you any good unless the right people get to see it. This is why you need to actively promote each piece of content you post. Post teasers on your social media pages, on your website, and on industry forums. Send out email alerts. You may also want to consider commenting on industry-related blogs and then offering links to your own content from time to time. Do whatever you can to let your target audience now you’ve got something new for them. Of course, you’ll have to learn how to do all these in a tasteful manner so as not to turn off the very people you want to attract.
7. Track Performance
You can’t just keep putting out content without knowing how well they’re doing in terms of helping you achieve your business goals. If your content isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do, then there’s no point in continuing to do what you’re doing, right? Is your content being actively liked, shared, and commented on in social media platforms? Is it driving more traffic to your website? Are you getting a wider audience base as a result of your content marketing efforts? The results you get from your monitoring efforts will tell you of any adjustments you may need to make in your content marketing strategy.
Now, what if you’ve done everything we said in Tips #1-6, but your monitoring results show that your content marketing campaign hasn’t really delivered the results you expect? What else is there for you to do? Should you just scrap the campaign completely? Well, we wouldn’t advise you to throw your campaign out the window just yet. At least not without asking yourself this question: “Am I having fun with your content marketing strategy?”
Remember that if you find the process of planning, creating, distributing, and promoting your content boring, then you’re most probably churning out boring content as well. And if you’re not having fun while implementing your content marketing strategy, then your audience isn’t likely to have any fun consuming your content as well. If your audience deems your content boring, what makes you think they’ll ever come back for more?
So, when you start crafting your content for your B2B marketing in 2014, be sure to inject fun into it. We’re not saying each piece of content you put out should have the feel of a trip to Disneyland. You just need to make sure that as you provide relevant and valuable information to your audience, you should also strive to entertain them with your content. With informative content that’s fun to read, you’ll be more likely to earn the loyalty of your audience.