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Building a B2B Content Strategy
Posted on February 8th 2014
If you own a Business-to-Business company, which means that you either sell products and/or services to other companies, your online content strategy will be different than if you own a different sort of business. Undoubtedly, all businesses need to generate content.
The types of content that you will be generating
A great percentage of the content that you will be generating for your B2B online is general and covers a wide variety of topics. However, you will also have occasion to delve into areas of discussion that are more specific and focus on more details in a particular niche. One thing that is for certain is that the content that you share with other professional people online will enable your target audience to improve their business’s content strategy, which will positively affect their online presence. Whatever your content says, it must be valuable, compelling, educational, and it must, in some way, solve the problems of the person who is taking the time to read it. As you are considering exactly how to structure your online content strategy for your business, you should consider the following questions:
What makes a particular content strategy work? The first thing that you have to do before you can answer this question is to define exactly what a content strategy is. Content marking is the connection between brand awareness and lead generation. Many people use the term but a large number of people don’t actually understand what it means. They just understand that it is a good term to use. A content strategy is an approach (using content) that outlines the type of content that you should create in order to reach (and effect) the specific target audience that you wish to reach. When you are establishing your content strategy, a part of what you will be deciding is exactly which form your content will take (blog articles, newsletters, white papers, etc). Another important part of the strategy is your choice of topics. There will definitely be a large number of topics from which to choose and you may need to get creative about how you present those topics for the most bang. The last thing that you will need to decide is exactly how and to whom you will distribute your content. Of course, you will want to write and share your content in a manner that ranks it the highest on the search engines so that your readers can find you easily.
Which are the important questions to pose about your B2B strategy? As you are formulating your strategy, you will need to ask yourself several relevant questions, which will help you to come up with the most effective content strategy possible for your particular business. The first issue is to identify who your customers are and what they will need from you and your business. If you are able to identify your actual customers, you will be able to also figure out exactly which social media channels will work best in order to reach those particular people. Then, you will be able to customize your content to suit your target audience’ needs. As you are writing the content, you will need to identify the needs of your target audience so that you can offer solutions to their problems through your content. If you are able to do that, you will most likely create loyal, enduring customers. Another issue that you will need to determine is the most effective manner by which to highlight your offerings through your content. Is it most effective to use the printed word, videos, a combination of the two? Only you can decide. Another issue is how you are planning to promote your content. It is a good idea to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you find that you are engaged by your content, your target audience will also be engaged by your content. The final question is a very important one. What do you have to communicate in your content to cause your business’s revenue to increase. Again, only you can answer that one.
What are the kinds of content that you should consider for your particular business? As you are well aware, there are many different types of content that you may consider writing and sharing. The decision that you make about the type of content will affect everything else that occurs after that. Whichever type of content you decide to write, it is very important to bear in mind that you should never include a “hard sell” and your content must benefit the person who is seeking answers from you. The possible types of content are:
Content that generates leads: With this type of content, you main objective is to bring more business to you through leads. Your content should entice your prospective clients and current clients. It should generate a great deal of buzz.
Blog content: A blog is an extremely effective type of content in many cases. A blog allows your audience to get to know you as a person. It is important to make sure that your blog content is informative and touches the readers on a personal level. You must tell a story through your blog.
Guest blogs: It is an excellent idea to use guest bloggers. You certainly should not use them more often than you write and post content; however, it is important to keep your content interesting and varied and that is a great way to do it. The topics of your collective blogs (yours and those of guest bloggers) will undoubtedly be interesting and compelling.
Newsletters: Newsletter content is very different than other types of content. Often, a newsletter is worth leveraging. People often enjoy reading your newsletter and you aren’t overdoing it because it will be sent to them with far less frequency than other types of content. You can increase your distribution list for the newsletter over time. On the downside; however, be prepared that some people may choose to opt out at some point.
Your online content strategy is bound to help your business in most ways. It will help you to develop and maintain relationships and it will help you to build increased exposure and it will boost your professional reputation. All of those are extremely important for the success of your business. Your content marketing strategy is critical to the effectiveness of your business.