It’s the end of the week and I am looking at the marketing activities and content I published this week. As a freelance marketing consultant, my content subject matter and my audience changes, and therefore being able to maximize my content marketing in the B2B sector is a constant challenge.
Content marketing for B2B is tricky – in some ways much more challenging than B2C marketing – in that your audience is generally more knowledgeable on the subject matter than you. Your content not only needs to grab the audience’s attention (and hold it), it needs to be accurate, timely and differentiate itself from what’s already out there. In the B2B world, your audience most likely will call you out if your content is outdated, or even worse, inaccurate. In B2B, it’s quality over quantity.
It’s also important to recognize that everything you produce is content marketing in B2B – even the PowerPoint company presentation. Therefore, make sure your company message is coming across in all the content you produce.
Therefore, with all this work we are doing as marketers to get content out there, how can we be sure it’s effective?
- Know the audience you want to reach and how it changes: Even in the B2B environment, content marketing is not aiming to reach the same audience every time. Sometimes the audience may be the Executive Level, the CxOs, or sometimes it may be the operations people, or sometimes even fellow marketers. The point being: don’t produce mass content. Know what the market need is, tailor your content to fit that need, and then define what audience fits that need.
- Generate quality mailing lists: Relative to the first point, you need to make sure your content is reaching the right people. Again, don’t generate mass mailing lists that target a general population. If you have a good database of contacts, filter that database for every mailing to make sure you are reaching your target. SalesForce makes it easy to design the database you want and create customized reports. For example, I have set up my SalesForce so I can filter my mailing lists by industry, department and job role, geography and even more specific filters like areas of expertise. This ensures a quality mailing list and also reduces the likelihood of unsubscribes from your mailing list since you are most likely emailing people that want to receive your content. Invest the time in putting together a quality list.
- Analyze what your competitors are doing: Like they say, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”. Take a weekly look around your competitors websites and social media to see what they are posting. You may be able to play off their marketing content by producing something new or taking a different angle, and inevitably rendering their content “yesterday’s news”. Analyzing your competition gives you a good idea of how to set your content apart.
- Timing is Everything: Know when to launch your campaigns. Most people know not to launch email campaigns on Friday afternoons, etc. But have you analyzed your social media posts to see at what time your posts get the most interaction? Did you know there is more LinkedIn activity after office hours than during? Posting your latest article on LinkedIn before walking out the door at night may be more effective than posting during the day! Also, know when to launch important email campaigns if they tie into relevant news and events.
- Maximize the Hashtag: Believe it or not, the hashtag works. Not only does it work for getting people to find your content when they search, it allows for others to find and retweet your content, increasing your Klout score and your notoriety among Tweeters in your industry. Twitter can show you the most popular hashtags in your industry – use these to increase content followers. Also, creating a Twitter feed for yourself in addition to the company Twitter feed can increase popularity. You become the face of the company and the author of the content and can always link back to the company’s Twitter feed.
b2b marketing content / shutterstock