Search engine optimization is one of the hottest topics in marketing today, and for good reason. However, it may surprise you to learn that 70% of businesses don’t use SEO in their strategies.
Well, that’s not an option when you’re competing to gain the attention of other businesses, which is why a proper B2B content marketing strategy is so important. Let’s talk about that!
Why Is a B2B Content Marketing Strategy So Important?
First, let’s talk about what a content marketing strategy is. Essentially, it’s a way for businesses to leverage their websites’ content to gain organic traffic, which is the traffic that you don’t have to prompt. That way, when people search for relevant topics, they may find your website organically.
When you are competing with other businesses for a niche audience such as business leaders and department managers, the competition is stiff. Here are some of the key benefits of a well-executed B2B content strategy.
Drawing Relevant Traffic
Organic traffic is far better than the traffic you bring in through advertisements, especially when you’re marketing to business owners. The average person sees over 5,000 ads a day, and if anybody is immune to them, it’s business owners.
Well, with the right content marketing strategy, you don’t have to find the business owners. They will find you.
By using specific phrases and offering the right content, you will have the opportunity to pitch your case to potential clients without cold-calling or advertisements.
Since we’re so used to seeing ads everywhere we go on the internet, people tend to trust organic search results far more than ads. Google and other search engines have excellent reputations when it comes to matching their users to the right content, so you will benefit from an initial note of trust with anybody who clicks on your content.
Expanding Your Reach
A content strategy is a marketing tool, first and foremost. No matter how great your social media and ad campaigns are, there will be plenty of people who will never find you without a content marketing strategy. Not everybody uses Facebook, but almost everybody uses Google.
The content you generate should be less intimidating or sales-like than an ad. People search the internet to find information, not businesses. When you offer that information, your company expands its reach to the people who are most likely to need your services.
Think about it. A B2B company website with 5 pages isn’t going to be found by anybody through organic search unless they search for your company name directly. However, a company website with 5 pages and hundreds of blog posts could be easy to find just by searching simple questions into Google.
Unlike PPC ads with low conversion rates, you don’t necessarily have to keep pouring money into a content marketing strategy. If you manage to rank well for a highly relevant search, then the rewards can last for years to come without the need for additional expenses.
In many cases, ranking at the top of a highly relevant Google search can be enough to single-handedly keep your business afloat by drawing in the right traffic.
How to Develop a B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Of course, content marketing should be included in any digital marketing efforts, but it needs its own strategy. Content marketing is different from PPC campaigns or other digital marketing tools, so it’s best to sit down with your marketing team and discuss a plan.
When you are trying to market to other business leaders, it’s especially important to have a clear plan in place. Here’s how to get started.
1. Have Clear Goals in Mind
Of course, you want to make more conversions. That’s a given.
However, there are more specific goals that you should write down and create a timeline for. Remember, written goals are 42% more likely to be achieved.
These goals include how much more traffic you want to bring into your site, how many sales you want to make, how much content you want to produce within the next X amount of months, and more.
Remember to keep these goals as realistic as possible. If your goals are to build 1,500 backlinks and rank at the top of 20 different Google searches in 3 months, then you’re going to be disappointed. Building a content marketing strategy takes time, so keep short-term and long-term goals in mind.
Short-term goals could be to create 2 months’ worth of content in the next two weeks to post at the right times and to get on all of your local online directories. If you plan to post twice a week, then you’ll need 16 posts.
Long-term goals could include getting a few affiliates to link to your site and increasing your traffic by X% in six to twelve months.
2. Audit Your Existing Content
It’s a good idea to go through your existing content on your website and do a little cleanup. Ridding your website of 404 errors and redirects will help your site’s SEO prospects, but that’s not all.
You may also find a lot of outdated information like product prices, best practices, or news. In the B2B world, that’s a red flag. You don’t want to be promoting outdated information, especially not to business owners who know better.
Another key point of this audit is to ensure that your existing content is geared toward other business leaders and not just general web users. That includes your tone of voice, any sales pitches, and the overall message of your content.
3. Choose the Right Keywords
First, you need to develop a keyword list to use in your strategy. Each post should pull from your list of keywords and use one or two primary keywords and several secondary keywords.
The primary keyword is the one you are trying to rank for in your post, and the secondary both help to reinforce your existing keywords within the post and across your website. You may also get to rank for some of the secondary keywords!
Most importantly, a proper keyword strategy will consist of a variety of relevant long-tail and short-tail keywords to maximize your reach. You can always use online keyword research tools to start brainstorming and generating your lists.
If you’re looking to start bringing in highly relevant traffic to your website, then using the right long-tail keywords is essential. Whatever you’re selling to other businesses, there will be a niche market for it, and ranking for their specific searches is the best way to establish the initial trust you need.
Long-tail keywords are the low-hanging fruits that can start generating the most well-targeted users to your website when used correctly.
For example, let’s say you’re running a SaaS company. In that case, you may try to rank for keywords like “best cybersecurity software for small businesses” or “is employee onboarding software worth it”.
These are highly relevant but low-volume search terms, which is the trade-off. Low volume also means less competition, which offers you a clear path to a higher ranking. Also, the people who will search for these topics are exactly the people you want to draw to your site.
Because of this, a wide variety of long-tail keywords should be used in your content marketing strategy, but that’s not all.
Think of long-tail keywords like Spring Training and in-season games and short-tail keywords like the World Series. It’s great to pick up some small victories as you go, but you should be working toward a goal.
Short-tail keywords tend to have very high competition with very high volume, which means high rewards. For example, if my long-tail keywords have been “used Subaru Outbacks in Manchester, New Hampshire”, then my short-tail end goals could be “Subaru Outbacks” or “used cars”.
Of course, a brand new site isn’t going to rank highly for either of those keywords, as the competition is simply too steep. Even with a well-executed strategy, there is no guarantee that the company would ever appear on the first page.
However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try. The potential reward is high enough that it’s worth the effort. You don’t have to create content based solely on the hope of ranking for these, as you can continue to use long-tail keywords in the same posts as primary and secondary keywords.
Essentially, long-tail keywords are your short-term goals and short-tail keywords are your long-term goals. Don’t let that confuse you!
4. Keep Track of Important Metrics
Using Google Analytics or other analytics tools, you should track key metrics throughout your campaign to see how you perform over time, including:
- Bounce rate
- Social shares
- Time on page
The list goes on. These metrics will offer valuable insights into your campaign and let you know what you need to adjust.
For example, a high bounce rate could mean that your pages aren’t loading quickly enough and page views could let you know which content is performing the best. In that case, you might need some SEO services to boost your rankings.
5. Conduct Competitor Research
Would you run a race through an obstacle course if you had to wear a blindfold and your competition didn’t? Well, that’s essentially what you’d be doing without competitor research.
Without knowledge of your competitor’s content marketing strategy, how will you be able to improve your campaign to excel ahead of there’s?
Thanks to plenty of online tools, you can punch your competitor’s URL in and get important detail’s on their website’s SEO scores, keywords, rankings, and other important insights.
Any metrics that you track for your own website can be tracked just as easily among your competition. This could pave the way for you to get ahead of them, so don’t skip this step!
6. Brainstorm Content Ideas
Original content is always better than repeating similar content over and over again on the internet for both Google and your users. Search for some of your keywords, see what the competition is doing, and brainstorm what is missing.
Are there any questions you have about your industry that you can’t find the answers to? Do your existing customers ask the same questions a lot? Find the answers to these and offer them in your content.
Remember, most people search for information more than they search for services, so offer them the information they need and a solution to their problems!
7. Get the Most Out of Each Post
Your content marketing strategy doesn’t just have to stay on your blog. You can use high-performing content as social media content or in your newsletters to expand its reach.
Always share your content on social media and encourage readers to do the same, as it’s such an easy way to maximize the reach of every post and gain more traffic.
8. Clean Up Your Website
Finally, a clean website is essential when it comes to getting the most out of your content strategy. Search engines use many factors beyond just the quality of your content to match you with users, and proper web design acts as the foundation for your rankings.
Especially when you are marketing to other businesses, a professional website that’s user-friendly is essential to maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
Climb the Ranks!
Now that you know how to start a B2B content marketing strategy, put this knowledge to use as soon as possible! The sooner you sit down with your team to develop a content strategy, the sooner you will see results. Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing news and feel free to contact us with any questions!