Why are B2B marketers on average spending almost 30% of their budgets on content marketing? Maybe it’s because businesses that blog at least 16 times a month get 3.5 times as much web traffic as those that publish 4 or fewer blogs, or that those with 11 monthly blogs get 4 times as many leads as those with 4 or 5 monthly blogs.
Why Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategy And How to Create One.
And, why do only 30% of those same marketers say they’re “effective” at content marketing? Why do more than half say they wouldn’t even know what content marketing success looked like if it came up and bit them in the…ROI. Why, indeed?
The “S” Word
The answer, in a word, is strategy. The companies that succeed with content marketing generally have one. The companies that fail generally don’t. Building a content marketing strategy means knowing who the audience for your content is, what problem your content will solve for them, how your content will be original and unique, and how you’ll deliver that content to them. Hubspot gives a good (and tight) definition of content strategy:
“In short, your content strategy is the piece of your marketing plan and development that refers to the management of pretty much any tangible media that you create and own — written, visual, downloadable — you get the picture.”
Why Do I Need Content Strategy?
You need a content marketing strategy because your business needs a steady and reliable stream of website traffic and new leads, and a way to nurture leads and convert site visitors into loyal customers. The question for your business isn’t whether you need a sound strategy to create, curate, manage and distribute content, but what’s the best way to do it.
The best way to do it is to have a smart plan, one that answers the following 5 questions:
1 – What are my goals?
Unless you’re planning a laid-back Sunday getting lost in the country, you wouldn’t start out on a road trip without a destination. You need to clearly define what your content strategy destination is. Are you trying to generate more (or more qualified) leads? Do you want to boost site traffic? Are you trying to push certain products over others, or get traction with a specific market segment? You can’t succeed without goals, and the content you create can’t succeed if it’s not aligned with those goals.
2 – Who is my content for?
What’s the point of sending content about widgets to people who’ve told you they have zero interest in widgets? Why would you push content about the benefits of CRM to the guy in the office who gets coffee for the decision makers? To be successful, you need to clearly define your target audience, and create buyer personas to help you understand who those people are, what they’re concerned about, and how your content will help them solve their problems.
3 – Who’s going to create and manage all that content?
According to Curata, creating a sufficient quantity of engaging content is the top content challenge for B2B companies. You need to decide how much content you’ll need, and who’s going to create it for you. You also need to decide how you’re going to publish that content, and what sort of analytics program you’ll use to measure its effectiveness. If you plan to create content in-house, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to come up with new ideas. Will you, for example, brainstorm, or use online tools like What To Write, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Feedly, or BuzzSumo, or both?
4 – What kinds of content will I create?
The kinds of content you create should be related to your goals. For example, blog posts will attract visitors to your site and generate new leads. EBooks will help you nurture those leads with more in-depth information. Templates provide value, helping your target audience solve problems and succeed, and videos will help you create an emotional connection with your audience, great for trust building.
6 – Do I have a schedule?
About half of consumers will read 3 to 5 pieces of content before they’re willing to talk sales. That means you need a plan to schedule the publication of your content, perhaps with the aid of an editorial calendar. You also need to decide how long your content will be relevant, what content can be updated with some minor tweaks, and what content you at some point need to nix and replace.
Start Your Strategy Today
A smart content marketing strategy can help you achieve your principal marketing goals, from polishing your brand to generating more leads, increasing site traffic, boosting conversions and driving sales. That said, the process of creating that strategy can be both complicated and challenging.
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Founder & CEO of ThinkFlame, Shelly Patrick, trains individuals and companies to understand how their marketing affects their sales conversation and how to integrate marketing into their yearly plans for consistent growth.