When there is a lull in activity or a slow time of year, it’s a great time to review your company’s B2B content marketing strategy or to build one if one does not exist.
Whether you are auditing an existing strategy or crafting a new content marketing strategy, you may be asking, “What does a successful strategy look like?” While every content strategy is unique, there are several attributes that all effective strategies share:
A Strategy Outlined
A vague idea of what you’d like to do with your content marketing or a strategy that only exists in your head is not a clear strategy. To be successfully executed, a B2B content marketing strategy must be clearly outlined in a document. Whether that document is on Evernote, or Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Asana, or Basecamp doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is written out and accessible to multiple members in your organization.
Having a clear strategy enables your marketing team to have a roadmap—ensuring you stay on course and don’t forget any of the content pieces you want to create.
Free download: Buyer’s Guide to Content Marketing.
Single Owner or Overseer
Effective strategies have multiple contributors and individuals managing different channels. However, all successful content marketing strategies have one single owner or overseer. This can be a project manager or a content director or a marketing director. Having one person take ownership of the strategy makes sure that all contributors are held accountable and all the tasks are carried out in a timely manner.
Keep in mind that individuals are more likely to complete their assigned tasks if they know they will be held accountable for outcomes/deliverables.
Identified Resources and Thought Leaders
One of the most common reasons content marketing fails is a lack of resources. It’s great to have a strategy and the excitement to execute a strategy, but it will fail if you don’t identify the necessary resources to execute on your strategy. All effective B2B content marketing strategies clearly identify what resources will be needed (designers, copywriters, developers, etc.) and what thought leaders or subject matter experts are available.
Before launching a content strategy, don’t just identify the resources you need, secure them. Ask management or the right department heads to commit the time of their individuals. Be clear about how much time you will need. Also, reach out to the thought leaders or subject matter experts you plan to call on to create the content. Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes, but again be honest about the time required from them. The best content marketing strategies call on a variety of subject matter experts to ensure they aren’t overwhelmed or feel bogged down.
Like securing resources, buy-in can make or break a content marketing strategy. We have seen even well-crafted content marketing strategies that are getting results be shut down because they lacked the internal support and buy-in to keep them going.
In many cases, when content marketing strategies fail, it goes back to a lack of internal understanding. Either the sales team doesn’t understand the value of inbound leads from content efforts, or the management team doesn’t understand how the content pieces are effectively nurturing leads through the buying process.
Before you launch your B2B content marketing strategy, be sure that you have internal buy-in at all levels necessary. Often, if you can get support from the sales team, you can get buy-in from management and the other departments needed. Don’t assume anyone else in your organization understands the value of content marketing, explain the value to them.
Content doesn’t create itself. Consistent execution of the strategy is critical to ensuring it is effective. Starting blogging for three months and then falling off will 100% ensure that your strategy fails. Successful content marketing relies on consistent execution.