70% of B2B marketers plan on creating more content in 2015 than they did the previous year, according to the 2015 Content Marketing Report. It's a great goal but it does suggest a new problem - how to create all that new content?
As content manager for a B2B business blog it is something that I can certainly resonate with. Here I'll address some of the ways to solve that challenge.
Discover The Questions Customers Are Asking
One of the key tenets of successful content marketing it to determine, and then answer, the most frequent questions that prospective customers ask. But if you aren't interacting with customers on a regular basis how do you know what those questions are?
You need to talk to your company's front-line employees - customer services reps, salespeople and retail floor staff - and ask them what questions they get time and time again.
Once you have a list of questions, find the people in your company with the relevant knowledge to provide the best answers. One of the added benefits of this approach is that you are creating a store of knowledge that not only prospective customers can reference, but also other employees in the company.
Present Case Studies
Case studies are some of the best content that you can create. A case study shows actual proof that you can deliver results. When prospective customers look at your case studies, they will find examples of other businesses which faced similar challenges to their own. They can then see how you solved these problems for them. You can't beat this kind of verifiable social proof.
Case studies have another advantage in that they are innately local. Most B2B marketers know that they need to target local geo-search terms but creating content which includes local keywords can be a challenge. If you are writing a cases study about a local business then adding in those local keywords is much easier.
Compare Products And Services
Prospects in the "research" phase of the buyer's journey will be aware that they have a problem but are still unsure what's the best solution to solve it. You can help with this process by creating comparison content. That could be presented in a vs. blog post, a comparison chart or short video.
A good comparison piece of content will explain the benefits and disadvantage of specific solutions. Using your expertise and experience you can explain in which situation one product is better than other. You can give guidance as to which product will work best to achieve a specific goal.
By helping your prospect understand their options you are guiding them in a consultative way to make a purchasing decision. Added bonus - this is an excellent way to rank for long tail search phrases for specific product names.
Create A Tutorial
Want to help your customers get more from your company's - or a related - product. Then start creating tutorials. Tutorials can be created to teach the fundamentals of using your product, or to show off special tricks and techniques which can help them get to the next level.
Having tutorials on your blog can help prospective customers become comfortable with your product and reassure that they will be able to use it if they decide to purchase. Tutorials also make it easier for customers to get the most out of your product and fast track them towards their goals. That means happier customers that are more likely to make a referral.
State Of The Industry
State of the industry blog posts take a broad look at your market. You can highlight key statistics and important trends and developments. The great thing about state of the industry posts is that other people will often refer to them as well, earning you valuable backlinks for your blog. Infographics can make for great accompaniment for these types of posts.