When it comes to B2B marketing, having a strong content strategy is key. But what should you be considering when developing that strategy? We talked with Nick Bennett, Sr. Director of ELG and Evangelism at Airmeet at our Pipeline Summit last fall and got the deep dive on his content framework.
Nick is known on LinkedIn for his killer content focused on building personal brands within the B2B marketing space, as well as his podcast The Anonymous Marketer and many other resources you can check out here.
Want to crush your content like Nick? Steal his content framework by adopting these 5 considerations:
First and foremost, it's important to consider the context in which your content will be received. Nick asks himself two important questions before forging ahead on a piece of content:
If not, it may not be as effective in capturing the attention of your audience.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies pivoted their marketing efforts to focus on how their products or services could help businesses navigate the new landscape. This was a timely and relevant approach that resonated with audiences, and proved to stay relevant for quite a while.
Now, three years later, we’re seeing yet another shift in our industry with a looming recession and economic uncertainty--savvy marketers should be focusing their content strategy on pieces that help buyers feel confident in their investments, demonstrate ROI, and prove that your customers are successful because of what you offer.
Your audience’s needs come before your wants when it comes to content creation. Who are you trying to reach with your content? What are their needs and wants? Understanding your audience is critical in creating content that will resonate with them. As Nick points out, "If your content isn't tailored to your audience, it's probably not going to be successful."
To better understand your audience, it's important to conduct customer research. How are your customers actually using your product? Don't just assume they use it the way your team intended—once your product is in the hands of the end user, there are so many nuanced ways in which they might adopt it.
What are your current customers missing about your product? Where do you need to do more educating? Is there content that you can create to help your customers be more successful, leading to long-term success for them and creating evangelists for your product?
It's important to create content that is relevant, as we covered, but even moreso it has to be accurate. If you aren't the subject matter expert you need to write true to life content, find one. You need someone who lives and breathes your audience's pain points to be able to create content that serves them.
For example, if you're creating content around a new product feature, you'll want someone on your team who is intimately familiar with how that feature works and how it can benefit your customers. Without that in-depth knowledge, you’re just creating fluff.
What are you really trying to achieve with your content? Does it align with your overall marketing goals—having this part of your content strategy ironed out is essential to running a successful content program.
Nail down what success looks like to your team before you set goals. Start with the basics:
Tracking the number of visitors to your website helps you identify what content pieces are worth your target buyer’s time. you can gain insights into the effectiveness of your content.
Track what percentage of buyers actually do what you want them to with your content. Are they engaging with your CTAs? Are they curious enough to fill out a form? Great! You’re probably creating the right kind of content.
Engagement metrics are another important consideration. These include metrics like social media shares, likes, comments, and other interactions with your content. By tracking these metrics, you can gain insights into the level of engagement your content is generating.
You'd be surprised at the amount of people that are commenting on our stuff on social, that are engaging with the target accounts, the people that we want to actually sell to. They're just jumping in and giving us all these additional insights without us even asking for it.”
Ultimately, the goal of any B2B content marketing strategy is to drive sales. It’s important to track sales metrics and have an idea of what kind of leads you’re generating for your sales team. By tying your content marketing goals to revenue, you can better demonstrate the impact of your efforts.
A great content marketing strategy doesn’t just help sales hit their quotas, but also helps improve customer retention. By providing value and education through your content, you can help keep your customers engaged and loyal to your brand.
Nick likes to look at it as an 80/20 split. Tying 80% of your content strategy goals to revenue is key to getting leadership buy in and setting your content program up for success, but leaving room to experiment with the other 20% is key to creating a truly powerful brand.
Finally, it's important to consider how you'll distribute your content. Will it be gated or ungated? Will you share it on social media, through email marketing, or some other channel? This decision will depend largely on your audience and your goals.
The biggest decision? To gate or not to gate.
Ungating content can be a bit controversial (we know because we literally wrote the book on it, read it here!) but as Nick says, "you'd be surprised the amount of people that have actually converted from ungated content because they say, 'you're just giving this all away for free, I figured I'd have to take a demo.'" Ungating your content comes with a whole other host of considerations, but it can create a powerful positive association between you and your potential buyers. When you’re creating meaningful, valuable content and just giving it away, you make an impression.
Craving more insights from rockstar B2B marketers like Nick? We’d love to have you at Pipeline Summit ’23.
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