6 Best Practices for B2B Content Marketing That Get You Leads

b2b-buying-process-content-match.png

Sure, you heard about content marketing.

Content marketing is no BS marketing. Customers are completely saturated with marketing messages and ads.  They read or watch only content that solves their problems. A blog is an effective tool to attract customers when sustained over a longer period of time consistently.

Here are 7 best practices that help you to write a blog entry that attracts customers:

1. Understand your target buyer

You need to know your target audience well. In B2B marketing, there is no one person making a purchase, instead it is a group of 3 to 7 people, a mix of business and technical roles. Define each of these buyer personas to get a solid understanding of the information they are looking for.

Ask these questions to understand your targets better:

  • What function do they play in the organization?
  • What is their background? Business? Technical?
  •  What are they measured on in their jobs?
  • Who is the decision maker, the influencer?
  • What are the three challenges they struggle with every day?
  •  How do they go about purchasing your technology?
  • What are the buzzwords that they are looking for?

Then draft the buying process for each of these buyer personas.

2. Give them what they want

Have you bought anything of value lately without checking it out first on the web?

About 80% of people search for technology products online before they connect with a salesperson. In a typical B2B sales cycle the buyer touches the web several times before purchasing. At every stage of their buying process, you need to provide them the information they are looking for  to keep them interested.

Here are the typical stages a B2B buyer goes through:

  1.  Awareness: Customer realizes she has a problem and looks for solutions
  2. Evaluation: Customer narrows down the list of solutions, evaluates  them in detail and looks for recommendations.
  3. Purchase: Customer contacts sales rep.

It is important to match the content provided to each stage above. Be creative and test to see what works best.  See the graphic above for ideas on which kind of content matches each buying stage.

3. Design your webpage as the marketing hub

The web page functions as your content hub. Your ultimate goal is to lead any prospects back to your web page and entice them to take actions such as signing up for a newsletter, participating in a webinar, or purchasing a product. Make sure navigation on your page is tailored to the buying behavior of your target audience. Guide your customers through the buying process.

4. Spread the word and interact

Articles on your website, newsletters, blogs, case studies, and videos, are ways to communicate and engage your customers.  Social media and blogs have the additional advantage that people:

  • Access them any time via their mobile phone
  • Exchange and seek recommendations from their friends
  • Forward valuable information to their friends, which give you word-of-mouth exposure
  • Give feedback that you can implement into your products and content

5. Add a Call to Action

Any content piece that you produce should have a call-to-action. The action that you want a customer to take depends on the stage of the buying process. In the awareness phase, when you address your customer with an article, blog entry, or overview brochure, you can ask them to watch a video for more details. Or an infographic. In a blog post you welcome them to give their feedback.

6. Optimize for your audience - the new SEO

Websearch has always been directly connected with SEO. Today’s SEO is audience optimization. What does this mean?

Google who has the largest search market share now understands the value of content on a web page.  For marketers this means that our highest goal is to design a web page that provides the ultimate user experience and is filled with content that is highly relevant. Keep this in mind:

  • Write content with your target in mind. Make sure it is 100% valuable to your prospects and customers and addresses topics in the way they think about them..
  • Once the content is finalized, find a few keywords and weave them into your copy. In a natural way, don’t overdo it.
  • A good place to use keywords is in your title

Implementing these best practices get you started with content marketing. Success is not instant, however. You need to nurture your engagement with prospects continuously to turn them into leads.

What are some of your best practices that you can share?