Content is a crucial component of any business’s marketing efforts in today’s digital world. But creating a content strategy that effectively reaches and engages your target audience is not always easy. This topic is designed to help you understand the steps involved in creating a B2B content strategy that drives results. We’ll cover topics such as defining your target audience, conducting market research, setting goals and objectives, creating a content calendar, developing a content creation process, promoting and distributing your content, and analysing and optimising your strategy. By the end of this topic, you’ll have a solid understanding of creating a B2B content strategy that drives results for your business.
Define your target audience
Defining your target audience is the first step in creating a successful B2B content strategy. This involves identifying the specific businesses or decision-makers that you want to reach with your content.
To define your target audience, you should consider factors such as:
- Industry: What industry does your target audience operate in?
- Company size: How large are the companies you want to target?
- Job titles: What job titles do the decision-makers you want to reach hold?
- Pain points: What problems does your target audience face that your products or services can solve?
Once you clearly understand your target audience, you can create content that speaks directly to their needs and pain points. This will increase the chances of your content resonating with them and ultimately driving results for your business.
Additionally, It’s important to note that a B2B content strategy may have multiple target audiences, and you will have to determine what type of content will be created for each audience segment.
To help with the process, you can also create a customer persona; this is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It will help you to understand your target audience in-depth and create content that speaks directly to their pain points, interests and decision-making process.
Creating highly accurate customer personas for marketing involves several steps:
- Conduct market research: Collect data about your existing customers through surveys, interviews, and other methods. Look for patterns and commonalities in their demographics, behaviours, and pain points.
- Analyse data: Organise and analyse the data you have collected. Look for patterns and commonalities in your customer base and use this information to create a detailed profile of your ideal customer.
- Create personas: Use your collected information to create a fictional representation of your ideal customer. This should include details such as demographics, job titles, pain points, buying habits, and goals.
- Refine your personas: Review and refine your personas based on feedback from your sales and marketing teams and customer data.
- Use your personas: Use your customer personas to guide your content creation, product development, and marketing efforts. Tailor your messaging and offerings to meet the specific needs of each persona.
- Keep them updated: Personas are not fixed, they will change over time as your business evolves or as the customer’s needs changes. Keep your personas updated by regularly reviewing customer data and re-evaluating customer segments.
Creating accurate customer personas is a process that requires some time and effort. It is crucial in developing a B2B content strategy that effectively reaches and engages your target audience. Personas will help you to understand your customers in-depth, their pain points, interests and decision-making process, which will help you create content that resonates with them.
Conduct market research
Conducting market research is an important step in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves understanding the needs and pain points of your target audience and the competition.
To conduct market research, you can use various methods such as:
- Surveys: Send out surveys to your existing customers or potential customers to gather information about their needs, pain points, and preferences.
- Interviews: Conduct interviews with industry experts, customers, or competitors to gain a deeper understanding of the market and your target audience.
- Online research: Use online resources such as social media, industry reports, and news articles to gather information about your target audience and competition.
- Analyse competitors: Look at what your competitors are doing in terms of content and marketing, this will give you an idea of what’s working and what’s not in the market.
By understanding your target audience’s needs and pain points, you can create content that addresses their specific concerns and provides solutions to their problems. Additionally, by understanding your competition, you can identify gaps in the market and position your content and business to fill those gaps.
Set goals and objectives
Setting goals and objectives are essential in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves determining what you want to achieve with your content and how you will measure success.
When setting goals and objectives, it’s important to ensure that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART)
- Specific: Be clear about what you want to achieve, for example, increase website traffic, generate leads, improve brand awareness, etc.
- Measurable: Make sure your goals are measurable so that you can track progress and evaluate success. For example, you can track website traffic, lead generation, or social media engagement.
- Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and achievable, given your resources and budget.
- Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to your overall business objectives and aligned with your target audience.
- Time-bound: Set a specific timeframe for achieving your goals, this will help you prioritise and stay focused.
Once you have set your goals and objectives, you can use them to guide your content creation and distribution efforts. Additionally, you can track your progress and measure success using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, social media analytics, or marketing automation software.
It’s important to note that goals and objectives are not set in stone and may change over time as your business evolves or the market changes. Review and adjust your goals and objectives regularly to ensure that they remain aligned with your overall business strategy.
Create a content calendar
Creating a content calendar is important in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves planning out the types of content you will create when you will publish them, and on which channels.
A content calendar is a tool that helps you organise and schedule your content in advance. It allows you to plan out the types of content you will create, such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, e-books, etc. It also helps you decide when to publish your content and which channels, such as your website, social media, email, etc.
Here are the steps to create a content calendar:
- Identify your content themes: Determine the themes or topics that align with your business and audience interests.
- Plan your content types: Decide on the types of content you will create, such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, e-books, etc.
- Schedule your content: Plan out when you will publish your content, considering holidays, events, and other important dates.
- Assign channels: Decide which channels you will publish your content, such as your website, social media, email, etc.
- Review and adjust: Review your calendar regularly and make adjustments as needed.
A content calendar will help you stay organised and ensure that you publish a consistent stream of relevant and engaging content for your target audience. It will also help you ensure that your content is aligned with your business goals and objectives and that you publish on the right channels.
It’s important to note that a content calendar is a living document and should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it stays aligned with your overall business strategy.
Develop a content creation process
Developing a content creation process is important in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves determining who will create the content, what resources are needed, and how it will be reviewed and approved.
Here are the steps to develop a content creation process:
- Identify the content creators: Determine who will be responsible for creating your content, whether in-house staff or freelance writers.
- Define the roles and responsibilities: Assign specific roles and responsibilities to each team member involved in the content creation process.
- Determine the resources needed: Identify the resources needed to create your content, such as software, tools, and equipment.
- Establish a review and approval process: Set up a process for reviewing and approving content before publication.
- Identify metrics for evaluating the performance of the content: Establish metrics for evaluating the performance of the content to measure success and improve the process.
Having a clear content creation process helps ensure that the content is high-quality, relevant, and aligned with your business goals and objectives. It also helps to ensure that the content is created on time and within budget.
Promote and distribute your content
Promoting and distributing your content is important in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves using social media, email marketing, and other channels to reach your target audience and drive engagement.
Here are the steps to promote and distribute your content:
- Use social media: Share your content on social media platforms where your target audience is active.
- Utilise email marketing: Send out emails to your subscribers with links to your new content.
- Leverage other channels: Use other channels, such as industry publications, influencers, and partnerships, to promote your content.
- Use paid promotion: Consider investing in a paid promotion such as social media ads or Google Adwords to reach a wider audience.
- Track and measure the performance: Use analytics and metrics to track the performance of your content and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Promoting and distributing your content helps to ensure that it reaches your target audience and drives engagement. It also helps increase your brand’s visibility and awareness and generate leads.
Analyse and optimise
Analysing and optimising your content is important in creating a B2B content strategy. It involves measuring the performance of your content and using that data to improve your strategy.
Here are the steps to analyse and optimise your content:
- Measure performance: Use analytics and metrics to track the performance of your content. This can include metrics such as views, clicks, shares, and conversions.
- Identify areas for improvement: Look for patterns in the data to identify areas where your content is underperforming.
- Optimise your strategy: Use the insights gained from the data to improve your strategy. This could include creating more content in a particular format, targeting a different audience, or promoting your content in a new way.
- Test and experiment: Try new tactics, such as A/B testing, to see which strategies are most effective.
- Continuously monitor and analyse: Repeat the process of regularly measuring, identifying, optimising and experimenting.
Analysing and optimising your content helps to ensure that it is aligned with your business goals and objectives and that it resonates with your target audience. It also helps to improve the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
It’s important to note that analysing and optimising your content is an ongoing process and should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it stays aligned with your overall business strategy and the changing needs of your audience.
A/B testing compares two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing materials to see which one performs better. It is also known as split testing or bucket testing.
Here’s how A/B testing works:
- Identify the element you want to test: This could be the headline, call-to-action, or layout of a web page, for example.
- Create two versions: Create two versions of the element you want to test, with one variation (version A) being the control and the other variation (version B) being the test.
- Divide your audience: Divide your audience randomly into two groups, one group will see version A, and the other group will see version B.
- Measure the results: Track and measure the performance of both versions using metrics such as clicks, conversions, or engagement.
- Analyse the data: Compare the performance of the two versions to see which one performed better.
- Make a decision: Based on the results of the A/B test, decide whether to keep the original version or implement the change.
A/B testing is a useful tool for improving the performance of your content and marketing materials. It allows you to make data-driven decisions and optimise your content to better meet your audience’s needs.
It’s important to note that A/B testing is an ongoing process, and it’s beneficial to conduct multiple tests on different elements of your content, as well as test different audience segments. It’s also important to remember that A/B testing is best for small changes, for bigger changes, it’s better to use multivariate testing.
In this example, the test is being conducted on a web page’s headline, call-to-action and background colour. The original version is labelled as version A, and the test version is labelled as version B.
|Test||Version A||Version B|
|Headline||“Boost Your Business Growth”||“Maximise Your Business Potential”|
|Call-to-Action||“Learn More”||“Get Started”|
|Audience||Group A||Group B|
|Metrics||Clicks, Conversions||Clicks, Conversions|
|Results||150 clicks, 75 conversions||200 clicks, 100 conversions|
The two versions are randomly shown to different groups of people, group A and group B. The metrics of performance being tracked are clicks and conversions. The results show the number of clicks and conversions for each version.
Based on the results, version B performed better in terms of clicks and conversions, and the decision is to implement the changes made in version B.
It’s important to note that A/B testing can be done on any element of your content, and it’s beneficial to conduct multiple tests on different elements and different audience segments.