No matter what type of business you are – a startup, small business, mid-size or enterprise – one of the most common desires by all is to generate qualified leads and sales.
There are a multitude of strategies and tactics that can be tested and executed; however, in today’s blog post I’m going to focus on content marketing. More specifically, how you can drive results with your B2B content marketing efforts starting now.
Nail Down Your Audience
This may be an obvious one, but you’d be surprised by how many companies are still not mapping out their buyer personas, the buyer journey, and working cohesively with sales towards a collaborative objective. The key to knowing what you type of content will drive results for your business is to make sure you understand exactly what your target audience is looking for. To be more specific:
- What are their pain points?
- What do they want to learn more about to ensure success for their own company?
- Where do they go online to find and consume content?
- How will you create content to serve their needs at every phase of the funnel?
Rather than just holding a meeting to have everyone at your company brainstorm different content topics and types, consider leveraging the following tools to help:
- Dataminr – This tool analyzes all public tweets and any other publicly available data to provide insight on emerging trends.
- Reddit – Leverage sub-reddits and additional trending topics on the front page of Reddit to help you understand what’s popular and give you ideas on what you can develop content around.
- Google Trends – Search and discover the latest trends, data and visualizations of what’s trending near you or the regions you’re interested in targeting.
- SlideShare – This is a great place to explore popular presentations, infographics, documents, etc. around specific themes and topics. Leverage the popularity of certain content pieces on this site as a way to create your own evergreen content.
Develop Evergreen Content
Fresh and new content not only helps position your expertise with authority, but also helps build trust among influencers within your niche as well as your target market. Here are a few simple steps to ensure you get started and continue in the right direction:
- Set a budget. Here’s the thing – it takes money to make money. In order to set a proper budget to ensure you have the right resources in place to drive desired results, you should consider looking at what you’re willing to pay to get a high-quality lead. This is a great way for you to forecast your ROI and also the number of leads you’ll generate.
- Define the entire content production line. Know who’s in charge of overseeing your content development efforts, who edits the content, who write it, and so on. Doing so, will help you effectively and efficiently stay consistent and input a process that will be adopted to drive real business results.
- Option: Outsource your content creation. I get it, not every company has the ability to hire in-house content marketers. So, check out the following resources to help:
- Scripted – Subcontract writing projects to an online writing team through this online platform, which also offers copy-editing and the ability to request pitches from writers.
- Contently – Find and collaborate with high-quality freelance writers, manage payments and assignments, and more using this online platform for content marketing.
- Copify – Platform that helps users looking to outsource content creation. Marketers can find qualified copywriters by providing details such as topic and format.
Advertise Your Content Pieces
Make room in your budget to advertise your content pieces. Just because your write great content and throw it up on your site doesn’t mean people are going to find it. In order to drive leads and ultimately sales, you have to promote your content. Here are a few places to get going:
- Facebook Ads – With over 1B active users, this is definitely worth exploring and testing to see how the results work out for you. Make sure you create multiple ad variations (see best practices here) and are specific with your targeting.
- LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Text Ads – The prime place for B2B marketing and lead generation, as well as building relationships, take advantage of promoting your content pieces here. I will say the CPC is a bit higher, but again, if you know how much you’re willing to pay for a lead, you’ll look deeper than just the CPC (i.e. CPL and visit to lead %).
- LinkedIn inMail outreach to specific buyer personas – A great way for both sales and marketing to work together to spread your content love. Nothing works better than providing free educational content that’s valuable and actionable.
- Zemanta – Here’s a place where you can plan, buy and optimize all of your content and mobile campaigns in one place.
- Taboola – This platform will take your content and place it on relevant sites driving traffic back to your site.
Don’t be afraid to get creative too. Some examples are interactive infographics, online quizzes, and videos with clear CTAs. Make sure that you are tying in your content assets with targeted landing pages. This will help increase your opportunities of generating leads and engagement. Lastly, input analytics tools such as, Google Analytics and CrazyEgg to help you understand what’s working as well as what needs improvement.