Before you start drafting your first blog, designing your first ebook, or recording your first video, you need to have a solid B2B content strategy.
A well-crafted content marketing strategy ensures the content you create is valuable, effective, and cohesive. Creating content without a strategy is just throwing darts around the room hoping to hit a target.
In this post, you’ll get an overview of what you need to do to create a stellar B2B content strategy.
First, ask these questions:
Start building your content marketing strategy by asking and answering a few essential questions:
- What content does your audience want or need?
- What resources/experts do you have to create the content?
- Do you like your existing content? Can it be updated or refreshed?
- Where will you be posting and sharing your content?
The answers to these questions can be a short list for each, a detailed response, or something in between. These simple questions provide key information to build your strategy. In some cases, it may also indicate that you don’t have the resources internally to build your strategy (aka, lack of writers, unavailable subject matter experts, inability to post/share content, etc.).
Next, do these things:
Once you have asked and answered the questions listed above, it’s time to get into the details you need for your strategy.
Determine your keyword focus
For many B2B firms, driving inbound leads is the main objective for building a content strategy. As such, you’ll need to build your content strategy on a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that ensures your B2B website shows up for the terms your prospects are using when searching online.
Start by determining your keyword focus. Which terms indicate buying intent (aka, a person is looking to purchase your products or services)? This list is often anywhere from 10-15 or so main terms – but can be longer if you have an extensive product offering. Keep a list of these terms nearby as you continue building your content strategy.
See what is trending in your industry
It’s a good idea to take a look around at what type of content and the topics are trending in your industry. Are there certain hot topics that you keep seeing pop up again and again? For example, in digital marketing, consumer privacy is a very hot topic as brands are looking to market products to their target market but also are required to ensure the privacy of those individuals.
A great way to do research is by reading industry publications or attending industry conferences. Both of these sources will have the latest news and topics for your industry.
Read more: B2B content marketing practices that work.
Check out your competitors, partners, and customers
See what your competitors, partners, and customers are creating content about. This is not only a great way to see how your firm stacks up against your competition, but it gives you an idea of what is important to your customers. Your sales team will often have a good idea of the needs of prospects, but what about existing customers? What type of content can you create to help them, retain them, or educate them?
Brainstorming sessions aren’t just for high school English classes. Once you’ve performed your industry and competitive research, determined your SEO strategy, and taken a good look at your existing clients, do an idea dump. This means writing or typing or dictating all the ideas that come into your head. Your team can do this on their own and then meet to discuss ideas, or can do this as a collective group.
We do recommend that team members prepare their own list of ideas before a collaborative meeting to ensure all ideas and topics are considered.
Let it rest and then schedule out your calendar
Take a break. Go to lunch. Set the list of ideas aside for a day or two or three.
By doing a brainstorm and then taking a breather, you can come back to your list of content ideas with a fresh perspective.
When you come back to your list of topics, start organizing your ideas into a content or editorial calendar. For many firms, a B2B content strategy is organized by month or quarter. Each month typically has a focus, whether that’s a particular cluster of SEO keywords, an industry niche focus, or even a set of related topics. It’s crucial to have the first month or two finalized for content ideas before you start creating that content.
Read more: How to write for B2B buyer personas.