78% of B2B buyers look for their suppliers on the web. What reality is behind this figure? Quite simply, the companies ‘ buying patterns have changed and it is now a question of differentiating themselves by marketing relevant content in order to reach their prospects.
At the heart of the inbound marketing strategy, content marketing is a real opportunity for companies to create value, gain recognition and obtain qualified traffic. Whether it is to inform the visitor, convert him into a lead or convince him to become your new customer, content marketing intervenes at all levels of the inbound strategy as a key to success.
Here are our 7 golden rules for your content strategy to be more effective and offer you better prospects for results.
Rule # 1: Your Business Must Generate Interest
All companies have things to say, answers to be provided through different contents. As is often the case, customers come to us and ask themselves: “yes, but we are a B2B company, content creation is rather adapted to B2C. And our company wouldn’t have much to tell…”. That’s not true. The issue is not so much whether content creation is more like BtoC or BtoB, but rather how to address its prospects. Finally, it is a message, not from company to customer, but from human to human! All the stakeholders in a company have the know-how to put forward, subjects to defend concerning their activity, answers to be provided to questions posed by their customers, or simply a need for information to be filled. And your prospects, they claim you. As proof, the questions they ask you in advance are as many topics that can be addressed on your company’s blog. Basic assumption: if 1 person asks the question, 100 people can ask the same question. So offer the answer on your site or through a blog.
When it comes to implementing a content marketing plan, start by bringing together all the topics on which it is relevant for your company to speak. Brainstorm these ideas and structure them around the focus of your audience: your potential customers.
The main problem for companies that do not convert with their content strategy is to do it a little haphazardly, without objectives or not to share them sufficiently with those in charge of content creation.
No random place for a good content strategy: in inbound marketing, you have to define objectives; and not just any objectives: be S. M. A. R. T.
To do this, state your objectives in the following form: “my objective is to get [Number] new visitors/prospects or clients
in [time period : days, weeks, months].”
This is the best way to focus on measurable targets.
Rule # 2: Putting the Customer Journey at the Heart of Content Creation
Certainly one of the most important rules: think about creating your personas. This is the typical profile of your ideal customers around their needs, challenges, constraints, and motivations.
There are 3 main phases in the customer journey B2B (called the Buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and decision.
Following the steps of the buyer’s Journey allows a step-by-step conversion, to actually accompany your prospects with the awareness of their problem, then to the search for solutions and finally to the purchase decision. That’s why your personas must be at the center of your content marketing.
Rule # 3: Plan and Organize your Brand Content Strategy
Inbound marketing and content marketing are levers whose positive effects are the result of real investment and time. The immediate effects are usually “weak signals” – such as a mention on twitter, a new link to your site, the growing traffic-that bring together as a whole offers a visible and measurable ROI over the long term.
But to achieve your goals, it is necessary to plan this strategy, to be regular and to rely on a schedule established in advance.
Designing a publication schedule gives you the possibility to create content according to the needs of your personas and the company, but also to ensure that your content is coherent and follows a plan that allows supporting your personas in their customer journey.
The overview you can have over the coming month, quarter or semester will allow you to adapt your objectives, correct trends, alternate content to attract more new visitors and better transform into leads and then customers.
Regularity and consistency are ensured in the publication of content.
Rule No 4: Expanding the Themes Beyond Your Activity
Content marketing is not primarily about selling. This is not a commercial speech. It must be a reliable source to help your community. In the phase of awareness and consideration detailed above to rule # 2, users are seeking information that will help them make the best decision but they are not ready to move to purchase. It is therefore essential for a company to bring more than a product or service speech, it is necessary to help the user in his projects, to advise him and to prepare him for the purchase by reassuring him on his decision.
By not talking about yourself, you become more objective, more valuable to the user. You create an image of yourself as a legitimate expert and, therefore, you will be a logical choice when the time is right.
Rule No 5: Quality Takes Precedence Over Quantity
We used to talk about regularity, and indeed it is an important part of the success of your content strategy. Rather than publishing every day absolutely, create your editorial schedule according to your needs and capabilities.
Write premium quality articles. It is better one article per month that is excellent rather than one article per day that will provide your blog but will not help your natural SEO or your visitors in their search.
Look out! A good article is not necessarily long. No filling, but only useful information.
Rule # 6: Talk to Readers According to Their Codes
You will need to adapt the tone of your publications to the way your customers express themselves: their level of competence in the field, the specific vocabulary they use…
It is up to you to define an editorial line that is consistent with your brand identity and with your target readers.
Rule # 7: Diverse Content for Better Engagement
When we talk about content, we’re not just talking about blog posts. Your publications can take various forms and it is important to vary to create commitment and especially to choose the most relevant format for each topic.
The text format is essential as it improves your natural SEO and allows you to work on specific keywords but the image is also a way to convey a very strong message. The video is growing in size, being the favorite content for 76% of internet users, it boosts commitment and adds value to your offer.
There are dozens of forms of content to use and reuse in your content marketing strategy: infographic, ebook, article, image, video, quote… Don’t forget, the old content that you can reuse by updating it and republishing it in different formats. A simple way to keep your content relevant over time.
Post Credit: Word Maze