Why Isn't Creating Content Enough?
In a previous post, “Lucky 13, Which Type of Content Do I Use When,” we discuss the different types of B2B content marketing tactics. At C.E.K. & Partners, an Atlanta-based B2B branding agency offering content creation services, we counsel our clients that content marketing isn’t just about creating—it also involves marketing.
While the concept of brands as content publishers has been gaining traction for a number of years now, confusion still exists around content creation and how it fits into a digital marketing strategy.
Let’s start by looking at the Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
We have highlighted some of the key elements of the definition. It’s a reminder that creating content for B2B brands also requires a content strategy and content plan.
Here are some of the key considerations for creating content:
A content strategy
Clearly defined target audience
Marketing (the channels where the content will appear!)
Content must engage the reader, the right reader, so as to inspire someone to do more (call or download)
As an Atlanta-based B2B full-service market research and branding agency, C.E.K. & Partners’ creates content to support B2B digital marketing strategies, B2B brand strategies, and B2B thought leadership programs. So, how exactly does a B2B content creation fit into your marketing strategy? Following are three best practices to consider:
#1 BEST PRACTICE: Create Content Based on Personas
A marketing plan identifies key customer segments—in other words, your audience. Establishing customer profiles known as personas allows your B2B brand to create content that speaks directly to your ideal target customer. The Content creation process should include addressing pain points your customers are looking to solve. And the type of content developed (i.e., infographics, videos, blog posts, white papers) should support the customer buying journey. Read more about B2B marketing content usage tactics here.
#2 BEST PRACTICE: Content Marketing
Creating content and distributing it doesn’t automatically lead to people reading it. Rather, after creating content it's critical that marketing strategy clearly answer the key question: How will customers find our content?
Here’s how different B2B digital marketing tactics work together to draw attention to your content:
Searchable Content for Search Engine Marketing (SEO)
Content creation works hand in hand with SEO. In fact, B2B content marketing supports an SEO strategy to help B2B brands rank on the first page of search engine results. So, it’s important to identify key words based on those your customers are using in their searches. The content developed for your site and blog should be optimized for these key words, whether it is “Atlanta B2B content creation” or “preventing chargebacks.” Remember, over 90% of search traffic visits sites ranking on page one of the search engine results.
Snackable Content Creation for Social Media
Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and can be used to drive people to engage with your content. Just starting out in social media and don’t have a lot of followers? No problem, a small budget will help boost your content’s reach.
Content Creation for Email
It’s one of the most effective digital tactics to distribute your content. Use your house lists to send out engaging and useful content. It’s not about sending out your company solution sheets, but content that addresses your audience’s pain points. Think actionable tips!
Content Creation to Drive Lead Generation
All of the above digital tactics are elements that work together to generate leads. When content is deemed valuable, people will provide their contact information in return for more information. Of course, you won’t want to immediately hit them up for a sale, but you should nurture that contact. Of course, by creating content to support them across their buying journey.
It’s important to remember that marketing and public/media relations work together to boost each other’s efforts.
PR & Media Relations
When going through the content creation process, consider how media relations should be involved. Which content has a compelling public relations angle, such as the release of an industry study, “What Consumers Want from a Loyalty Program?”
For example, when creating a campaign around the launch of a new product or service, the campaign may include interviews with industry leaders, a press release, search engine optimization and Google AdWords (e.g., pay per click), all driving to a dedicated landing page where a person exchanges his contact information for the gated content. Having a content strategy allows different channels to work together to boost your content’s reach and help lead to those profitable actions.
#3 BEST PRACTICE: What About Branding?
Now that you are clearer on how a marketing strategy and content creation + content marketing work together, it’s important to remember the role of your brand. It’s necessary to clean up your brand house before tackling beginning your content creation. What does this mean? It’s important to have the fundamental brand elements in place before marketing.
Here are some questions to consider:
Q: What’s your B2B brand’s purpose?
Is it clearly articulated in your marketing materials why your brand exists? To read more about finding your brand’s purpose, check out this article: "Beyond Transactions: Do You Need to Humanize Your B2B Brand ?”
Q: What’s your brand’s positioning?
Upon taking a look at your top 5-10 competitors, what is your brand strategy and what is your b2B brand positioning? What makes your brand different, special and better than the competitors?
Q: What’s your B2B brand's story?
Brands with stories outperform brands without one. What’s yours? Does it need to be updated or refreshed? Learn the elements of a compelling brand story by reading a recent post, “Storytelling: What Is Your Brand Story?”
If you have these brand fundamentals established, congrats! You are ready! If not, you have work to do to ready yourself for launching an effective B2B digital marketing strategy that incorporates content creation and content marketing.
Ready to elevate your B2B content strategy and marketing? Give us a call to learn about our content creation services at +1.404.345.6447.
About C.E.K. & Partners
C.E.K. & Partners is an Atlanta-based B2B strategy agency that helps brands create meaningful connections with customers and accelerate business growth. We help B2B brands with capturing data and insights, crafting brand strategies, and establishing thought leadership.