Too often, marketers mistake content strategy for content marketing. As Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web defines it, content strategy is “planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.”
Moreover, while a content strategy may be executed by the marketing team, a good content strategy works across the business to ensure each department’s business needs and goals are met to create a consistent and great experience through great content. Content marketing is a tactic in itself and part of that wider content strategy.
Here are our tips on building content into your B2B marketing strategy
1. Framing content within your Marketing Strategy
With the current talk around content marketing, native advertising and why every marketer should be using content, it’s easy to rush past your goals straight into content creation. The key is to remember that you need to determine your strategy first so you work through your goals, KPIs and process to ensure you don't waste time on producing ineffective or poorly-fitting content.
For example, your strategy could be to position yourself as an industry thought leader. So what are the elements of your strategy that will allow you to achieve this? What are the tactics to this strategy?
2. Defining the Tactics of your Content Strategy
To achieve the goal of being an industry thought leader, your content strategy could include the following tactical elements. Note that B2B content marketing is just one of these tactics.
a. B2B Content Marketing
Creating blogs, white papers and social media content to help build your profile is a great way to do this. Write regular posts sharing your opinion or voice on your area of expertise; comment on industry trends or other thought leadership pieces. Create a white paper that drills down into further detail, research or data. Use your social media channels to build out the presence across your social media networks. These are all ways to use content marketing to help achieve your strategy.
b. Industry Presence
Similarly, taking it offline and building your presence at B2B industry events or key note speaker opportunities is also a great way to round out your content strategy as a thought leader. The content you share in these presentations is your way to define yourself, make clear your voice among the noise and give real value and learnings to those in your industry.
c. Customer Education
Another element to your content marketing strategy is to look at you use content to educate and help your customers. Build out your content through resource centers, webinars, workshops - anything that gives your customers the education and support they need around your product. Moreover, if we revisit our content strategy goal example, by coaching them and guiding them through, this helps to cement your thought leadership position.
3. Make sure your efforts aren’t wasted when you create your contentWhen executing your content, it’s important to ensure that you know your audience and match your content with intent. How does your content fit the platform you are using? Whether it’s for a keynote presentation, social media or a blog post, consider its main function for your audience and how that content can function for them.
Most importantly, when it comes to your marketing strategy, content distribution isn’t just half the battle, it is the battle. With at least 2 million blog posts published and nearly 1 million hours of video uploaded to YouTube every day, less is more for audiences who just want the good stuff at their fingertips.
Even harder is the fact that attention spans aren’t so much short as they are split, with audiences scattering their activity across smartphones, tablets, connected TVs, and soon-to-be “wearables”. So how do you break through to them in a way that isn’t disruptive or interruptive?
Content distribution isn’t so much divorced from content creation as it is integral to its planning and execution. They are means to the same end of strategically engaging audiences. Using content distribution and discovery platforms like Outbrain allows you to ensure that creating your content doesn’t go to waste.
Ultimately, you need to ensure your B2B content marketing strategy is well thought out to achieve your business goals. Using content is a strong way to engage the B2B audience and to build your case and value proposition.