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What B2B content do you need?
15
Apr 2016

What B2B content do you need?

The AUDIENCE is king. Content serves the AUDIENCE need.

The proof of this is in reports like the CMI 2016 UK Benchmark report. UK businesses that do some form of content marketing are really concerned about what content to create and what content will be effective. One of the challenges posed to content marketing agencies is to come up with the answer. BREW’Ds view – start simple and focus on effect not volume.

If you are new to content marketing then we suggest you review our Content marketing made simple 5 step guide – on how to focus and plan your content marketing first.

There are two things you MUST have a very clear idea of before you begin to create content:

  1. AUDIENCE – know who they are and what they need. You are looking to tailor your content to meet their challenge/need and link to more content that will offer a solution.
  2. OBJECTIVE – what do you want to get from the creation and promotion of this content? Usually it starts at awareness and ends with a sale. You are unlikely (though it isn’t impossible) to achieve all this in one piece of content… so you need to take the AUDIENCE on a little content journey – ably served by your website.

This content journey, broadly speaking, breaks down into 3 categories.

  1. AWARENESS – With this content you are looking to make your customers aware of your business and the industry you serve. The AUDIENCE at this stage may not be looking to buy, so don’t be sales heavy. You can’t be sure where they are in the sales journey so this content is about making the audience aware. Aware of a problem they need solving and that solutions exists. E.G Blogs – infographic – animations – memes.
  1. CONSIDERATION – This content is aimed at the AUDIENCE that already knows about your industry, products or service that you and competitors provide. It’s essential this content shows how informed, skilled and experienced your business is to mark it out from competitor comparison by the the AUDIENCE. This content needs to be based on providing tips, guidance and how-to guides surrounding the product. Rather like this one… E.G eBook, case studies, webinar, articles and video.
  1. DECISION – This content stage is for the AUDIENCE that is ready to buy. They are persuaded they need the solution you are selling so you need to provide the provenance of your marketing promises. This will include personal Testimonials , Buyers Guides, and Implementation Guides and could also include Insight & Research data that illustrates the operation and financial benefits of your business. Generally it’s sensible to ‘gate’ this content.

Once you have plotted the content into these 3 sections you can see how you link the content together to form a journey from interest to engagement and action. For example, if your product is Project Management SasS software, the journey could look like this:

AWARENESS:
Lost Time: Save XX days per year (blog, social)
CONSIDERATION:
1 platform vs multiple solutions? (infographic, animation)
DECISION:
How to… in 10 simple steps (gated eBook)

Gating the best VALUE content

You need to aim each piece of content at a different point in this 3 stage AUDIENCE buying journey. Doing so aligns to the CRM / Sales funnel and you are narrowing, by way of interest and engagement which customers are looking at the ‘Decision’ content so a more qualified lead.

‘Gating’ simply means content that the AUDIENCE will have to trade some of their contact / interest / need information to access the content. Generally, anyone should be allowed to view blogs & videos, but if they wish to access an eBook it’s fine to ask for information in return. It’s a value exchange. Once done, you know they are interested in your product and services and so they are now a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) but not yet a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).

Gated content must be worth the information trade. They shouldn’t be able to get the information easily elsewhere or it be too generic. You can gate earlier content but remember that the potential leads gained here may not be looking to buy yet. A sales follow up may alienate them.

Using CRM and handing over to sales

All of your MQLs can be passed into the CRM system for your sales team to follow up. They will need a process to decide if they are BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Time) and can become SQLs. It’s essential you align this part or you’ll never be able to define the ratio of MQL to SQL which is how your marketing ROI can be calculated. It will also make the sales team accountable for lead conversion.

Promoting content

It is a business crime to create content and then leave it to just sit on a website. You must promote it or seed your content online. Send links out to key influencers and industry journalists / blogs and of course link your social networks. Create images and short trackable links with your posts and consider ‘boosting’ the links to content by paying for them to appear in target AUDIENCE walls, feeds and timelines.

The AUDIENCE is king. Content serves the AUDIENCE need.

To read more guides, tips and learn the art of content marketing made simple go to www.thisisbrewd.co.uk

 

BREW’D Marketing: B2B marketing experts based in Datchet, near Windsor, Berkshire, SL3 9ED. Delivering marketing consultancy, creative & content services, and lead generation to London, the Thames Valley, and the South East.

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