How to Develop a Content Strategy in 7 Steps

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Good content, and a good content strategy, is the backbone of all marketing, especially in the B2B space. It is created to provide value to prospects and leads. 

 

Your content should present you as a thought leader within your market. Your business should be top of mind within your market. Content marketing is also less pressured than sales pitches and meetings. It is used to nurture and build relationships with leads.

 

Therefore, it is important to develop a well-planned content strategy. Good quality content generates positive partnerships.

 

On the other hand, poor or irrelevant content can damage your business, even if you’re posting regularly. Ensure your content is serving your audience, and your business, for the best lead generation.

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Why a Content Strategy is Important

Content marketing is particularly important in the B2B industry because buyers want to be educated before making a decision.

content strategy

Typically, B2B companies and their solutions are more complex. Content can help to explain your solution and the prominent issues within your market. 

 

Use blogs, videos, graphics and more to provide valuable information and discussions to your audience. Begin conversations with those in your industry about the problems that they are facing. Your business should become a valuable resource. 

 

Good quality content also builds trust with those in your market and provides your business with credibility. 

 

It’s also important to note that content is a much easier sell. It can be difficult to arrange meetings with virtual strangers. Your content offers a valuable conversion.

Goals

Begin by considering what you hope to achieve with your marketing. Decide what your expectations are for your content. Be specific, and create a phrase that defines your goal.

 

However, it is also important to be realistic. Avoid setting yourself up for failure. Your goal should be measurable and achievable.

 

Utilize your current marketing analytics and metrics. This information should guide your expectations for new campaigns. Ensure that your goal is measurable. It is important that you can return to your goal and compare your success.

Audience

Next, get to know your audience. It is important that you are as familiar with your potential buyers as possible. Your content needs to resonate with your buyers, so it is important to know who they are.

 

Build a detailed buyers persona. It’s important to identify their demographics, including average age, gender, nationality and more. However, ensure that you look deeper. Consider their interests, motivations, job roles and more. 

 

Research your current customers, your competitors’ customers and your ideal customers. Their demographics and educated guesses should form your buyers’ persona. Your audience guides your content topics, types and distribution channels.

Market Research

Conduct in-depth market research. It is important to get to know the space that you’re looking to occupy. Begin by noting your primary competitors. Find companies that sell a similar product or message to your company. Take note of their existing customers, and how they help.

 

Consider what is missing from the market. Ask what customers are struggling with, or complaining about. This is where your solution and content can add value.

 

Your potential buyers are looking for solutions that they cannot find. Your business needs to offer something new to the market. Your market research can help to guide your messaging and topics.

Buyers Journey and Messaging

Utilize your buyers’ persona and market research to understand your messaging. The right messaging should be specific to your target audience. 

 

Your overall message may differ depending on your leads’ stage in the buyers’ journey. Consider what content or information is useful, at what time. 

 

For example, your content message should be different for those that aren’t aware of your company versus those that are familiar.

 

The right message should push your lead into the next stage of the journey, and build trust in your company. This is a lead nurturing method, that builds a relationship with your prospects. As they build a relationship due to the value that you have provided, they are more likely to convert.

Keyword Research and SEO

Keyword tools like SemRush can help you to identify relevant keywords for your market. Build a list of keywords that your buyers are searching.

 

Your keywords may not be specific to your company or product. They should be based on the questions and answers that your buyers are looking for. Again, this is where your buyers’ persona is useful.

 

Once you have identified popular or successful keywords for your target group, optimize your content. Your blogs, videos and other content should utilize your keywords. 

 

Good keyword selection and optimization should drive organic traffic to your website. Your leads are more likely to be qualified, before making contact.

Distribution

Once you have crafted your content, it is equally as important to distribute it to relevant channels. Your choice of channels should be based on where you are most likely to reach your target audience.

 

  • Outbound: Utilize email campaigns or LinkedIn messaging to reach out to your targets. Offer your content as a conversion. It is important to ensure that your targeting is accurate. Avoid sending irrelevant content, as this could damage your reputation. However, relevant content positions you as a helpful resource.
  • Inbound: Inbound distribution channels make use of SEO. Your website hosts your content, with SEO driving traffic to your website. To use content successfully in your inbound strategy, your content needs to address their search terms. Typically, decision-makers utilize search engines to look for solutions. Your optimized content should rank highly in order to reach them.
  • Paid: Paid ads can offer content as a conversion. This is much more palatable than “contact us” or arranging to meet a stranger. Ad content is useful to build awareness of your brand, or of the problems you aim to solve. Many social media platforms offer an advertising service, so consider the most appropriate.

 

A good content strategy will utilize a combination of all three marketing strategies. Ensure that your content reach is wide, but targeted.

Test and Learn

Content strategies don’t just stop at creation and distribution. It is important to assess your content marketing at regular intervals.

 

As your campaigns and content begin to reach people, use your analytics to compare your performance against your goals. This shows you what content is performing, and which content could be improved.

 

You can change the messaging of your content, if it is not resonating as you expected. However, if you’re happy with your performance, you can begin to build new goals. Continue to test and learn from your content in order to develop your next campaigns.

 

At Nituno, we implement a test and learn content strategy. We optimize your messaging, and create content that generates leads for your business. Get in touch for help with content strategy development. 

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