B2B businesses need content to drive traffic and convert leads into customers. It’s no surprise that B2B companies are increasing their content marketing budgets each year.
However, do they make use of content marketing to its fullest potential? How can you create content that achieves multiple goals such as traffic acquisition and ranking?
The challenge is B2B content
B2B content can be extremely beneficial to businesses, but it is extremely difficult for marketers to implement properly. Two things are at issue: Targeting.
B2B content is different from B2C content, which focuses on a single person. In B2B, you must consider the entire group of decision-makers. This group is often called a DMU (decision-making unit), and depending on the platform you use and the target organizations it could include the CEO, head of marketing, CTO, and IT representative.
B2B content is targeted at decision-makers, and takes longer (and more steps) than other content.
It is difficult to create convincing content that appeals every person in a DMU.
CEOs might want to know how your product can save them money
- The head of marketing must ensure that your product solves a problem without making their department redundant. span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>. The CEO’s best interests may conflict with those of the marketing department. However, they will likely be the final decision-maker.
Your IT team will need to make sure your platform is technically feasible (it can be integrated into their technical environment).
You need to get to know your decision makers before you can start to create your B2B content strategy to generate traffic.
Plan your content assets to convey value, then choose the keywords that you want to optimize for.
Know your decision-makers
What is the best way for you to target your customers? While you already have a good idea of your target companies (those for whom you created the B2B product), how can we better understand their decision-makers at work?
B2B audience research has a different approach than B2C audience research. You cannot use your web analytics demographics information because you need to keep in mind all the intra-organizational politics.
Try these options to better understand your DMU target:
- Talk with your sales and customer service teamsspan styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>. They are already in touch with potential and existing customers on a daily base. Let them tell you about their contacts and the people they report to. All the information they can share is important, including common challenges and frequently asked questions.
- Survey customers span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>. You can collect more information about the size and roles of your users and companies by using both on-site and off-registration surveys. You can integrate surveys into your content using a variety plugins.
Inbox Insight also offers a checklist to help you organize your data and understand your target DMUs.
Start by listing the problems that each member of a DMU might be facing and how your product can help them. The next step is to match these problems with searchable keywords.
Planning your keyword strategy
It can be difficult to determine what people are searching for answers and solutions to their problems. There is no one right word count that works in all niches. However, it is possible to create a resource that answers several related questions.
Google is mature enough to direct your search in a more popular direction. I recommend that you start your keyword research by searching Google. You can type the search terms exactly as you would, and pay close attention to:
- What Google Autocomplete suggestions in the search box
- People also ask boxes and featured snippets
Words Google displays in search snippets in bold on desktop
Google’s Related Searches and (on a smartphone) Google’s categories which usually appear below organic searches:
These terms will help you identify the key terms that your B2B customers use when searching for solutions.
Use Keyword Research Tools for further exploration of your core terms and to discover related terms.
Keyword clustering can help you organize keywords by intent and identify common search patterns. This guide will show you how to use the identified keyword clusters in order to create a content strategy that is applicable in both B2B (or B2C).
Promote and repurpose B2B content
To generate some organic search visibility, publishing your content is a great first step. You won’t be able to achieve much if you don’t promote your content. Search engines require more than just copy.
Promotion of your content is an entirely new topic, which has been extensively covered. Many content promotion ideas can be applied to both B2B content and B2C content. This includes email marketing and social media sharing.
Some of the most effective link acquisition and content strategies for the B2B niche include
- Organic promotion via email messages. Emailing is the primary source of communication for B2B companies. Including your most recent or important content assets in your signature will help you get clicks and potentially backlinks. Wisestamp can help you and your employees create an email signature that pulls in your most recent articles. You can find some great examples of email signatures from Wisestamp to inspire you.
- Content reusespan styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>. There are many DMUs to consider, so you’ll need to have different content formats in order to accommodate them all. To make your content available for download as a PDF file, and to make it shareable within a company, is the first step. Google Docs can help you make this happen. Movavi makes it easy to convert your content to a video format. This will allow you to reach video-only sites like Youtube. You can also reuse your visuals (graphs, screenshots) in a PowerPoint format. This will allow you to create content for Slideshare or Linkedin. Venngage makes this easy. Simply put, Venngage makes it easy to turn your content into lead magnets.
- Because webinars can be used at all stages of the sales process, they make great B2B content. These webinars can be live streamed, turned into multiple videos, transcribed to create text content and enabled lead generation forms to engage prospects. You have many options.
- Use email marketing. Email automation is an essential part of any B2B pipeline. These are just a few examples to help you get started with your email marketing campaigns.
It takes a lot of organizational effort to create optimized content that targets different roles in different formats.
It takes a lot of time to plan and create content. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a content strategy that has multiple goals like sales generation and organic traffic. These tools and steps should give you direction. You are welcome!
Ann Smarty, the founder of Viral Content Bee and brand manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, is Ann Smarty. You can find her on Twitter @seosmarty
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Search Engine Watch’s first article was How to Create B2B Content that ranks and drives Sales.
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