When it comes to marketing for B2B companies there is no shortage of options, including trade shows, PPC, SEO, email marketing, print advertising. The list goes on and on.
If developing expertise in all of these areas sounds daunting, that’s because it is. For your money, though, the best place to invest marketing resources is in content. And that should be reassuring as all you have to know to get started in content marketing is how to talk about your products or services in meaningful ways. You don’t need to learn the in’s and out’s of the Reddit ad platform or develop relationships with media buying agencies to place ads on that hot new podcast. You just need to be excited to talk about how your business can impact the lives and work of others.
Inbound and content marketing stands apart from all these options because it seeks to build relationships with prospects and strengthen the connection with customers by communicating with them in their preferred channels.
Content marketing is such a powerful tool because it has the ability to support all those flashy outbound tactics (PPC, ad placements) and align your company’s marketing, sales, and support efforts around central value propositions.
The driving force behind content marketing is providing value first which means your focus should be on educating your audience and building relationships to establish authority and trust. If you do that, the sales will follow.
At Beacons Point, we’re all about empowering people and improving lives. That includes everyone: our clients, their internal stakeholders, and ultimately their customers. We work with a diverse set of B2B companies and see time and time again how content marketing can bring together marketing, sales, and support teams. Relevant, valuable content is the consistent tool across the organization that generates better-qualified leads, gives salespeople the content they need, and helps support teams keep customers happy and turn them into some of your biggest champions. So, the first big question you probably have is, “how do I implement inbound content marketing at my company?”
Before you jump right in and start creating content, you need to develop a strategy. We begin every new client engagement and marketing campaign by creating a foundation that informs whom we target, what we say, and how we say it.
Buyer personas are the foundation of your content strategy. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your target customer built upon a collection of data from numerous sources including interviews with current and prospective customers and independent industry research. Buyer persona construction should be the first step on your inbound marketing journey. When building buyer personas, give thought to considerations like:
Positioning your content is arguably as important as the content itself. Content positioning entails keyword and competitor research, to put it simply. In keyword research, you’re honing in on a crucial SEO tactic that will ensure you’re able to connect your content to what your prospects are searching for online. Use tools like SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, or MOZ to get deep insights into the highly searched terms related to your products and services.
Similarly, competitor research is key to learning what content is resonating within your industry and where you could improve upon the content available online. One easy way to get started in this without paid tools is to simply search what your target customer would search online. From there, click through the top 3-4 highest organically ranked listings and evaluate their content. Think about what you can do to expand on that content to provide even more value to the reader.
Before diving into positioning, you want to have a plan for:
Content planning is where you put all your research together to create powerful campaigns that resonate with your target audience. This is where you make your hay. However, it’s impossible to know you’ve developed the most comprehensive campaign possible without conducting your buyer persona and positioning research.
When planning a content strategy, consider things like:
SMART goals are the most effective way to evaluate your content and campaigns. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Developing goals with those 5 characteristics in mind will ensure you’re setting goals with no backup plan. If you don’t hit your goals, you aren’t able to go back and re-think what your goal should have been.
When developing goal targets, educate yourself and your team on:
At Beacons Point, we advise all clients and marketing professionals to think of content with a video-first mindset as previously discussed. 54% of customers want to see MORE VIDEO from a brand before making a purchase. Video allows for low-effort content consumption and for you to showcase your brand expertise and personality easily.
However, video production can seem daunting to a beginner.
To get started in video content marketing, it’s helpful to learn:
The content speaks to the core of who you are as a company and the services you provide.
Friction is greatly reduced to allow one content idea to live in many different forms. That means everything from blogs, guides, infographics, video snippets, social media posts, and email copy can be created from one video!
Another important point to understand is that we produce all of your video content in-house with our talented team of producers, editors, designers, and content managers. The same team is working on your content day-in and day-out.
When our clients come onboard they quickly realize the immense value in producing consistent content at scale. By committing to content, you effectively position yourselves as thought leaders in the industry and provide the fuel that ignites lead generation campaigns.