Are you strategising on the best ways to make your content marketing the most successful it can be? Here are 5 rules businesses should consider when improving their B2B content marketing strategy.
Write for the Customer – Not You’re Company
It’s easy to slip into chest-beating content marketing. While publishing your own content might seem like a golden opportunity to let your customers know how active your company is and encourage them to check out your products, it should not be your goal or focus. Your content should attract new leads and retain viewers. Your readers will gravitate towards content that offers answers, ideas and solutions for the things that interest them.
What does your audience need help with immediately?
What issues are your customers facing?
What are the most common questions your customers ask your sales team?
What will simplify your audience’s lifestyle?
Use your content as a magnet instead of a bullhorn. A bullhorn kind of marketing simply tells the customer what you want them to hear. Like traditional marketing methods (commercials, cold calls, billboards), this is interruptive in nature and not effective for your online audience who will simply go elsewhere for information they want or need.
Make it a Two-Way Communication Street
B2B Content marketing should be a two-way street. Even if you don’t use a bullhorn approach to writing your articles, ignoring audience response is just as bad. A company who actively responds to their customers in a timely manner is viewed much more positively than one that isn’t available for commenting or assistance.
Do you know your customer’s expectations?
What your audience actually expects as reasonable in response times might be shocking in comparison to your own perspective. According to Edison Research, nearly half of all respondents (42%) expected companies to respond to them via their social media page in less than an hour. This is unbelievably fast for companies who think little of taking a day or two to check their pages. It is even more shocking when you realize that 57% expect the same response time on weekends and evening hours as they would during normal business hours. Many companies don’t have employees working around the clock to respond to their customers, yet in today’s world of active social interaction, this is what is commonly expected. NM Incite found 71% of your viewers are more likely to recommend your brand to others if they receive a fast social media response from you. Companies less responsive are likely to be viewed as unprofessional, sluggish or unconcerned about the individual customer.
Open up Honest Discussion
At the same time, opening up comments on your blog is very important for an engaged audience, though it might seem terrifying in theory. Moderation should only be applied in rare occasions and always after the fact. Forcing your viewers to wait to see their comments until they have been approved discourages commenting and feels forced (or controlled). An organic discussion may result in negativity, but how your company responds will tell other readers a lot about your brand – presenting your professional courtesy in stark contrast to the disgruntled commenter.
Write Now for Later
You should have a single list for recording ideas as they crop up for your content. Take regular times to brainstorm, but always have ideas on hand. Content should be created to publish on another day. This will reduce the pressure of your content marketing and help you produce more valuable pieces. When content deadlines are coming up, you will want to consider what method and platform you want to use to achieve specific objectives for your company: Want to increase your new leads and email contacts list? Consider making your next idea an in-depth white paper and offer it to your viewers after they fill out a simple contact form. Trying to get new visitors to traffic to your site? Work on creating enticing social media blurbs to point them to your content – even if that content is from months past. Looking to expand your audience with more followers? Consider curating content or create a video tutorial instead of just writing. Don’t get stuck in a rut because of habit or deadline.
Utilise Audience Influencers
Don’t ignore what the influences around you are doing. From your competition to other professionals who hold the same target audience captive, look at how they approach their viewers and utilize them to reach out further. Get audience influencers involved in specific blog posts you publish by using them as guest bloggers, for interviews and or in top lists of best blogs, posts or Twitter handles you create. By including other professionals in your content, they will take a specific personal interest in helping promote your blog to their audience (and the audience you want to reach).