Many fantastic marketers are stumped when it comes to building out a content calendar that will help them achieve their short and long-term objectives. Recently, we explored what sets the foundation for a successful B2B marketing strategy. Here, we are going to take a look at the types of content to include in your content calendar.
Short-Form – Short-form content is anything that is 100-300 words. These can be short updates about your company, product launches, press releases, etc. These can also be called “snackable” because they don’t require a time investment from the audience.
Long-Form – This type of content tends to be anywhere from 500 to 1,500 words. When it comes to content created for digital consumption, like on a B2B website, this range is considered “long-form” because it takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to read. This applies to most industries but does not include things like product manuals or thesis papers for the more scientific or regulated industries.
Blog Posts – If the goal of your website is to generate leads and retain clients, a blog is an essential component of your B2B website design. Regardless of the creation frequency, blog posts are often one of the foundational elements of a robust content calendar.
Learn more: How to streamline content creation.
Guides and Ebooks – Depending on the resources you have available, your content calendar may include a downloadable guide or ebook once a year, once a quarter, or once a month. These are great resources for attracting prospects who are early on in the decision process.
White Papers – White papers often take a deeper dive than guides or ebooks. They may be more clinical or rely on research. These content pieces often take more resources and expertise to craft. Typically, but not always, white papers provide more in-depth information for prospects that are closer to making a decision.
Press Releases / New Articles – It’s tough to find a client or partner who is willing to promote your business or products. As such, it’s imperative that you plan to “toot your own horn,” so to speak. Press release and news articles on your B2B website or PR wire are a great way to craft content that highlights your successes, achievements, or breakthroughs. However, just like no one likes a person who only talks about themselves, it’s only one piece of your content strategy.
Infographics – The one thing we see missing from content calendars are graphic elements mainly because infographics typically spawn from content in guides, ebooks, or white papers. Often, great infographics are stand-alone pieces.
Read more: What is content marketing and what will it cost me?
Videos – Video content should not be an afterthought or live outside of the content calendar. Just as you want all your written and visual content to be cohesive, you want any video content to be consistent with your overall message. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t have the skills to create great videos, find a video partner or start small with live interviews or by recording webinars or training sessions.
Educational – Think about what your clients and prospects need to know. Does your end-user need to know the difference between two types of products? Are your services not easily understood by your end-users? Include strictly educational content into your content calendar. These pieces will NOT be promotional or sales-focused. Think of them as training.
Sales-Focused – Your sales team comes up against the same questions and concerns throughout the sales process. While creating sales-focused materials should not be the central focus of your B2B content strategy, it can be useful to create content for the sales team to use in the selling process. This includes things like client testimonials, customer case studies, statistics from your clients, etc. The crucial thing with sales-focused content is to approach it from the prospect’s point of view, not yours.
Promotional – While we recommend minimizing the amount of promotional content you include in your calendar, it can serve a purpose. Promotional material highlights what makes your products or services different. True masters of content marketing create promotional content that doesn’t appear to be promotional and truly resonates with prospects or clients.
Timely + Trending – You are an expert in your industry. In many cases, you have a more comprehensive understanding of your industry. Think about it, you likely work with dozens, hundreds or thousands of companies in your industry. Your clients may only have their own institutional knowledge. Be sure to include spots or openings in your content calendar to craft timely content pieces that explore what is happening in your industry or trends that you see emerging.
Evergreen – Recently, a client told us that while a particular piece of content was “basic” or “entry-level” knowledge, it was perfect. Why? Because the purchasers they dealt with were often recent college grads new to purchasing their products or experienced purchasers new to their industry. In both cases, basic or foundational content was critical to building up trust with those prospects.
Strategic Thought Leadership – Again, you are an expert in your industry. You understand the challenges your clients and prospects face on a daily or weekly basis. Well written, insightful thought leadership content is crucial to building up your firm’s credibility. This type of content does not have any promotional angles – if it does, it’s not thought leadership.
Glossaries – Yes, a list of definitions or terms can be considered part of your content marketing strategy. At some point in your career, you likely came across a piece of content that was continually useful and you kept handy for quick reference. A glossary or reference piece, while straightforward, is a great way to give your prospects the information they need.
SEO – Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any B2B content marketing calendar. Your content calendar should focus on the end-user first, but the end-user won’t even get to your website without SEO. Successful content strategies include a mix of content that is primarily crafted for SEO while also having the benefit of being useful to prospects or clients. Learn more about the art of choosing the right SEO keywords for your strategy.