“B2B content marketing is so easy, anyone can do it.” I’ve heard this idea thrown around countless times. And I can’t help but shake my head at the notion.Yeah, sure, anybody can write a blog, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to have an audience. It takes a lot more than basic writing skills to create successful B2B content.
The fact is that not everyone who can write can necessarily create content.
Because content marketing is much more than writing. It’s about storytelling and thought leadership. It’s about connecting with your audience and providing real value to their lives.
It might sound like a lot of work, and you’d be right, it is. But that work is truly worth the effort. Content marketing, when done right, helps in many other areas of your business. Let’s look at a two of them: B2B public relations and thought leadership.
How Content Marketing Supports B2B PR and Thought Leadership
Content marketing goes beyond simple creation.
Other areas such as B2B PR and thought leadership are interwoven with our content marketing strategy.
It’s been said that B2B PR and content marketing going hand in hand — and it’s true. As Neil Patel, one of the leading faces of online marketing, says, “PR and content marketing have amalgamated. And, it appears to be turning into a long-term relationship. I’d go so far as to say that marriage isn’t only in the cards, it’s inevitable.”
The promotional skillset that’s a natural part of PR helps your content to reach new audiences. But it’s not just a one-way street. Having a well-rounded and good quality supply of content also helps your public relations strategy to reach its mark. Not only does it help you to build links, but it also captures an audience through the stories you tell.
Content marketing also inherently builds trust between your brand and your audience. With every successful piece of content you create, you move one step closer to establishing your brand and building thought leadership.
Between thought leadership and B2B PR, content marketing makes sense for any brand eager to reach its audience.
But how can you do B2B content marketing right? Bottom line: How can you create content that doesn’t suck?
Let’s look at 6 key ways that you can make sure your content hits the bull’s eye.
6 Ways to Improve Your B2B Content Marketing
1. Create a Headline That Pops
Many go in two extremes when it comes to a headline or title. Some go so literal that the headline lacks any excitement or luster. Others hype it so much that it comes off as fake.
But you can do better. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t overcomplicate things. Create a headline that gets to the point and tells people why they should care.
- Deliver on your promise. Make sure that your headline doesn’t deceive your audience.
- Make it the right length. The optimal length is under 70 characters. This will prevent your headline from being cut off on social media or search engine result pages.
- Use emotion. Your headline should be more than just straight facts. Grab someone emotionally or surprise or delight.
2. Find a Hook
To say that you need a hook almost oversimplifies the process. A hook is not simply one thing. It involves a human element, a story, captivating visuals, and striking facts and figures that support your content.
Avoid creating content just to fill your archives. Create each piece of content while answering these questions:
- Why should my audience care?
- How does this information impact my audience?
- How ill this motivate my audience?
- What’s my point in creating this content?
Such questions will help you to find your hook and create other elements, such as visuals, that support that hook.
3. Add Value
Valuable content is evergreen — it will be just as applicable a year from now as it is today. Answer questions and offer actionable advice.
Avoid simply recycling content from other brands. This will jumble your voice and rob your content of personality. Instead, look at ways to individualize each piece of content, even if the idea has been used before.
4. Promote It
Don’t just assume that people will find your article without any help.
Plan a content promotion strategy that will get it in front of the right eyes.
Influencer marketing is a great way to do this. Choose an influencer that your target audience respects and avidly follows. Follow him or her and observe the influencer’s posts and interactions. After you’ve observed enough, begin to interact by say retweeting or commenting on a post. Once you establish a level of familiarity with the influencer, approach him or her about corroborating on a project or a guest post opportunity.
Outside of influencer marketing, there are many other ways to promote content, both paid and unpaid. For example, you can link to your new content in older, popular posts. You can enlist colleagues to help publicize it. But before you do anything, be sure you choose the right platform. Whether on social media, Google, or a content syndication platform, choose platforms that align with your audience’s interests.
5. Don’t Keyword-Stuff
Especially in the beginning, many content marketers and bloggers are single-minded when it comes to keywords. Quite simply, they go overboard — so focused on keywords that other factors, such as story and emotion, go out the window.
What should you do instead?
Step back from your keywords and just write. Focus on writing valuable content that is both grammatically correct and interesting.
This doesn’t mean that keywords are unimportant — it’s just not the only thing you should focus on. Add in your keywords after you’re sure that your content is compelling and valuable.
Also, do your research. Make sure that your SEO strategy is up-to-date. SEO has changed a lot in the past 10 years, with a focus on long-tail keywords that sound natural. Do your research to make sure that you’re doing SEO the right way.
6. Think About Your Audience
Content should never be made in a vacuum.
Your content is made for an audience — it’s only right that your audience should motivate your content strategy decisions.
To do this, have a clear picture of your audience.
Do your research. Look at social media and blog analytics to see who is viewing your content. Gather every piece of demographic data you can to understand your current audience better.
Don’t have enough data? Send out a survey to your current audience or prospects. Include questions that will help you identify what kind of content your audience cares about.
B2B content marketing is much more than just writing or creating visuals. It means building a relationship with your audience and creating content that feeds into an overall strategy.
What do you think is an important facet of content marketing? Let us know in the comments below.