And the competition is fierce.
Savvy organizations have come to embrace B2B content marketing as a critical tool that, if leveraged properly, can successfully distinguish their brand.
But if you cannot clearly articulate your value proposition, and herald that through meaningful content, you’ll lose out to your competitor.
At MarketingWise, we’ve worked with dozens of brands and have found the companies that realize the best results with their B2B content marketing efforts all have certain attributes in common.
If you are embarking on a B2B content marketing initiative, or perhaps you just aren’t seeing the traction you need, embracing these characteristics will help change the course of your efforts.
1. A clear, focused and refined sense of value
A meaningful value proposition is the foundation of any solid marketing effort.
It explains, in an instant, why people should buy from you.
- It should be short
- It should be clear
- It should be focused
- It should address what makes you special
And then, your value proposition should be integrated into all aspects of your B2B content marketing campaign.
2. A deep understanding of your target customer
Certainly you want to understand, demographically and philosophically, what your target customer ‘looks’ like.
How big? What industry? Where are they located? How qualified?
But beyond that, you want to have a very deep sense of their pain points and business frustrations.
- What questions or complaints do you hear repeatedly from your customers?
- Do your products or services solve specific problems?
- Are you filling an obvious gap and providing new value?
Knowing exactly what your target customer wants and needs allows you to reframe your B2B content marketing strategy from their point of view.
3. A preemptive strategic planning process
So many companies waste time, resources and effort reacting with their B2B content marketing efforts.
A proactive approach, that considers the organization’s needs within the context of a broader business strategy, always yields much better results.
4. An allocated marketing budget
It’s true that fast-emerging platforms and open source content marketing systems have made certain strategies more affordable and scalable.
But marketing is expensive.
Website design and development calls for specialized expertise. And any strategic content marketing effort requires the ongoing development of solid resources to fuel your blog and social media communications.
Whether you develop internal resources or outsource to a marketing firm, these supports can be costly.
But we’ve found the companies that prioritize B2B content marketing and allocate ample budgets preemptively ultimately realize the best results.
Approaching your marketing in a piecemeal or ad hoc manner, and always looking for the most affordable option, usually results in a watered down and substandard campaign.
5. Executive buy-in
My friend (and content marketing genius) Marcus Sheridan writes a lot about the importance of optics and executive buy-in when it comes to any content marketing campaign.
Essentially, Marcus underscores the importance of a corporate culture shift, originating at the top and trickling down, proclaiming the implicit importance of B2B content marketing.
Needless to say, at MarketingWise, we agree wholeheartedly; we find that when the directive is genuinely embraced and evangelized by the executive leadership of the organization, the impact is dramatically enhanced.
6. A thoughtful web presence
Sure, you can develop a website on your own, hire your spouse’s sister’s nephew’s fiancé to slap something up, quick and dirty.
But I can pretty much guarantee that in due course, it will prove woefully inadequate.
Your web presence should:
- Enhance your brand
- Engage stakeholders
- Capture leads
- Help to convert sales
Is your web presence set up to do these things?
If not, you are simply not going to realize the same success with your B2B content marketing campaign.
We always recommend WordPress as the web development platform of choice, since it is easy-to-use, easy-to-customize, search friendly, and can easily accommodate beautiful design.
7. Consistent execution
B2B content marketing requires a lot of ongoing effort.
It is not a ‘build it and they will come’ approach.
It’s more like a ‘build it, renovate, repair, add on, improve, build it some more and keep building” approach.
You have to continue fuelling your website and social media outlets with solid content, every week – arguably every day – or you just won’t see results.
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to B2B content marketing.
8. Accountability through analytics
This final, and perhaps most important attribute, is overlooked all too often.
You can’t know if your B2B content marketing campaign is working if you don’t have the right insight.
Google analytics offers tremendous visibility, but too few organizations leverage these tools properly.
Do you know how visitors are navigating your website?
Are your Calls to Action working for you?
What is your page rank?
Where is your traffic coming from?
What terms do people use to find you?
Make sure that you are using analytics and holding yourself accountable to your B2B content marketing efforts, otherwise, you won’t be able to adapt and improve as needed.
So, be honest – how many of these attributes do you have? Have I missed any from my list?
Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below, and don’t forget to tweet and share this post if you found it useful and interesting.