Your B2B content strategy drives your site -- either moving leads toward a designated goal -- or, if your content fails to resonate, to a holidng pattern or dead-end. Most likely, if you don’t have many leads, there’s a disconnect somewhere in your content. Ready to discover how to create content that effectively captures leads and drives them down your sales funnel? Read on....
Let’s stop for a moment and appreciate how powerful content is. Content Marketing Institute recently conducted a study that showed that 88% of marketers use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Companies using content marketing in their marketing strategy saw conversion rates a whopping six times higher than their competitors. A well-considered B2B content marketing strategy and well-crafted and quality content is obviously at the root of success for many B2B companies.
(Click here to find out 6 reasons why your marketing campaign needs a B2B blog.)
Craft B2B Content That Wins Them Over
Build a Buyer Persona
Who is your audience? An idea or concept stored in your mind is no replacement for hard, cold nuggets on paper. To get a concrete idea of who your desired audience is, answer these questions:
- What is your audience or audiences' pain points?
- What does your audience want to learn to up their performance or their company's?
- What sites and social networks does your audiece frequent to find content?
- What kinds of content are liked and shared on these sites?
- What will their needs be at each stage of the sales funnel?
Once you know who your target audience is, it’s much easier to create content. You'll discover that your audience will segment into particular sectors based on your answers to the questions. Write down your answers so that your whole team is on the same page, and your content remains cohesive.
(Click here to learn more about how to build a buyer persona.)
Tell Stories That Build Your Value
Your content should never be left to chance. Approach each piece of content with a dedicated B2B content strategy. What do you want the content to do? Do you want to help someone just starting out? Provide more advanced information? How can your content educate someone to take the next step and become a lead? Answering those questions will guide you on what type of content to create -- a checklist for someone just starting out, a whitepaper or someone further along.
How does your own story or company's story add credibility? You've no doubt read about someone who survived tremendous odds to make it.
Check out social media star Jeff Bullas' story here. I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's compelling.
Now, you may very well not have the rags-to-riches story Jeff has. No problem. Everyone has their own passion and story. You just have to dig a little. What are you or your company offering that will make someone sit up and take notice?
Don't forget the stories of your happy customers. Nothing is quite as powerful as a delighted customer singing your praises. Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials. Create case studies weaving in quotes from a client. Sprinkle these throughout your site and reference them in your B2B blog posts. This stands as social proof of your trustworthiness.
Collaborate with Influencers
Your audience likely won't trust you overnight. You’re definitely on your way, but in the meantime it helps to piggyback on someone else's reputation. We're talking influencers: someone with a vertiable brand among your audience.
Influencers ease the journey from passive brower to engaged lead. They reassure a prospect that they're not giving their contact information to just another company -- they’re giving it to someone who is recommended by Joe Influencer, whom they trust.
(Click here to find out more about using influencer marketing to drive leads.)
Pay Careful Attention to Your Brand
People aren’t drawn to a company -- they’re drawn to a person. Your brand needs authority, credibility and personality. Prospects won’t stick around and become leads unless they feel an attachment to your company.
Deomonstrate your thought leadership by providing educational, non-self-promotional content. This doesn't happen overnight. Spitting out a blog post or two or even three isn't going to get you far. You need a content marketing startegy focused around specific topics and issues your audience cares about. If you're not sure what type of content will appeal to prospects, don't be afraid to ask them. Start recording what questions you get asked time and again. And start blogging about the answers. Do some undercover work scoping out what competitors are writing about. Don't just copy but look for gaps or ways to enhance what they're doing.
Nothing speaks clearer than numbers and data. Use this factual information to prove the value of your product or service. How many people have used your product or service? Are sales doubling? Use the answers to those question as proof points.
Use customer testimonials to buttress your points. Has using your product or service caused a customer to get five times more leads or an ROI of 100 percent? What other numbers and facts can you use to enhance your credibility? Maybe you have phenomenal customer retention rates. Whatever proof you have, use it.
Answer Common Sales Questions
You no doubt receive multiple questions regarding your products or services -- but imagine how many people never think to ask a question. Reach the silent majority by publishing helpful and thorough answers, either in a checklist or on the FAQ section of your site.
Include Relevant Calls to Action in Each Post
Your B2B blog is a powerful tool to capture the interest of readers -- but without clear calls-to-action, these posts are nothing but dead ends. Use calls to action to entice people to the next step or follow you in social media or subscribe to your blog. Don't create one-night stands but ongoing relationships.
(For more information on how to craft effective calls to action, click here.)
Steer Readers Toward Your Marketing
Craft some key posts that relate to your products and services, and use these to gently steer your audience towards your marketing pages. You can use a few well-placed links that guide your visitors down your sales funnel.
Gate Your Valuable Content
Have you recently published an eBook with valuable, industry-leading information? Maybe you have the results of a recent survey that provides insights into your industry. Gate it! It’s valuable information that others will want, and will easily exchange their contact information to get it.
Your B2B content is an important part of your marketing strategy. Don't let it be an afterthought. Create content that not only captures the interest of readers, but motivates them to become invested leads.