Neil Patel

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How to Create a Winning B2B Content Strategy

 How to create a winning b2b content strategy.

The fact is that B2B content strategy requires a different approach from B2C. With a longer conversion path and more complex buying process, B2B customers need support every step of the way. That’s where content marketing comes in. 

Content is how you boost brand awareness, build trust in your company, and empower your customers to solve their problems. However, you can’t just create the occasional blog post or paid ad and hope to generate results.  

Instead, you need a targeted B2B content strategy to reach your marketing goals

Let me show you how.

Key Takeaways

  • A B2B content strategy enables you to meet the unique needs of B2B customers, which includes a longer sales funnel and a more intensive decision-making process than B2C customers.
  • The benefits of an effective B2B content strategy include brand awareness, brand credibility, customer education, and improved rankings on search engine results pages.
  • The types of B2B content vary widely, including blog posts, videos, infographics, white papers, case studies, and social media posts.
  • Your B2B content strategy should include content that covers customer needs from start (i.e., top of the funnel) to finish (i.e., bottom of the funnel).

Why Your B2B Content Strategy Matters

When done right, your B2B content marketing strategy can enable you to deliver a high return on investment (ROI). In fact, blogging alone can make you 13x more likely to see a positive ROI on your overall content marketing strategy. 

The benefits don’t stop there, though. With an effective B2B content strategy, you can also:

  • Establish your brand as an industry leader.
  • Build trust with potential customers.
  • Educate prospects about your products and services.
  • Increase your chances of ranking highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Increase brand reach through social media shares.

A content marketing strategy is like a roadmap or a blueprint. Without a roadmap, you’re more likely to lose track of business goals. 

With that said, content marketing for B2B presents different challenges from B2C content marketing.  

While B2C consumers might be impressed by influencer marketing and emotive product launch campaigns, businesses won’t be swayed by these tactics.  

They want useful, actionable information to help them solve real commercial challenges and grow their organizations.

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Every B2B content marketing strategy is unique. However, successful content marketing campaigns  typically start with well-defined objectives and a clear understanding of your long-term goals. Here’s where to begin.  

1. Identify Your Audience and Their Needs

There’s nothing more important than your user base. 

Remember, the whole point of creating content is to convert your audience into paying clients, so your content must meet their specific demands and needs. If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, they won’t move through your sales funnel.

How do you identify your audience, though?

  1. First, create your buyer personas.  
  2. Then, segment your prospective audience into subgroups based on, for example,  buyer behavior.  
  3. Decide whether you’ll target all these subgroups or if you want to focus on one or two specific segments.
  4. Once you’ve identified your audience, you can tailor your content to match their specific demands.

One unique element of B2B content, though, is its diverse audience. When I say diverse audience, I mean the audience of stakeholders within every single organization that you’re targeting. Julie Woon, Director of Content Strategy, NP Digital explains it best:

“B2B purchases often involve multiple stakeholders. That means content must address multiple audiences, some of whom may not have direct contact. For B2B content, it is crucial to know all players in the purchase process and identify what each might need to seal the deal.”

2. Research Competitors in Your Niche

Unless you’re in a super unique niche, chances are you have numerous competitors vying for your audience’s business. 

What types of B2B content can you offer that sets you apart from your competition? That’s where competitive content analysis comes in! 

Here are some tips to execute competitive analysis. 

  • Identify your competitors. Not sure where to get started? Look to your target audience. Who else are they following? What other businesses are they interested in?
  • Evaluate their content strengths and weaknesses. Create a list of the types of B2B content they create (e.g., blog posts, infographics, white papers, videos) and the content that they’re missing. Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and ask yourself what they do well and where they fall short.
  • Build out a list of B2B content ideas that enable you to gain a competitive edge. This may mean creating the types of content that your competitor isn’t, or creating better versions of content types that they use.

You want to go all-in on your analysis by scouring your competitor’s website, blog, social media pages, and newsletter content. If you want to get really deep, you can use Ubersuggest’s Backlink Checker to check the backlinks of your competitors for an easy list of content ideas: 

Ubersuggest Backlink Checker report results for neilpatel.com

3. Define Your Goals

Every great marketing strategy needs clearly defined goals to help you stay on track and measure your progress.  

While your goal targets will be specific to your business, there are a few metrics that most B2B marketers find helpful when measuring their B2B content strategy. They are: 

  • Brand awareness. How well-known is your brand to your target audience?
  • Lead generation. How many prospective leads are your tactics bringing to your website?
  • Conversion rate. How many of those prospective leads have completed an action? In most cases, this action is a purchase though you may have other actions in mind for different campaigns.
  • Share of voice. What percentage of the SERPs do you dominate for a set of keywords as compared to your competitor?  

So, how do you go about setting realistic goals? Here are a few tips:

  1. Consider industry benchmarks. You can find industry reports for just about any aspect of digital marketing. These are helpful resources for learning what the industry trends are and what goals you should strive toward.
  2. Use existing data. The customer and sales data that already exists on your website, your blog, and your social media pages will be helpful in understanding where your brand currently stands.
  3. Consult with subject matter experts (SMEs). Whether they are industry experts or part of your in-house team, you should consult with SMEs before you set your goals in stone. For example, meeting with the paid marketing manager (or an outside paid media agency) before you set an ROI goal for your Google Ads campaigns.

Remember, as you collect more data, it’s okay to adjust your goals. They are a way to measure your success, not a life sentence.

4. Create Content for All Stages of the Customer Journey

The B2B customer journey is a long one and—according to a new survey on the topic—it’s only getting longer.  

How can you maintain the attention of your audience while also catering to their needs at every stage of the customer journey? Create content that fills the need.

The B2B customer journey has six stages:  

  1. Awareness.
  2. Interest.
  3. Consideration.
  4. Intent.
  5. Evaluation.
  6. Buy.

It’s your job as the B2B marketer to bring your audience—including the stakeholders within a company—through the journey with ease. From awareness and interest all the way to the buying phase, you must create content that anticipates B2B needs and provides a solution.

Audience segmentation can help, so long as it includes thorough research and understanding of the industries that you’re targeting. 

5. Consider Omnichannel Distribution

Where do your prospective customers hang out? The answer is likely quite diverse, and that’s why omnichannel marketing and content distribution is so crucial.

Omnichannel distribution is the distribution of content across various marketing channels and platforms. Your blog is one channel. Other distribution channels include advertising platforms (like Google Ads), social media platforms (like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram), and even industry forums and blog comment sections.

So, how do you get started with omnichannel distribution?

First, improve your website’s discoverability in search engines. The goal is to secure a first-page search ranking for your chosen keywords, so optimize your pages for SEO by adding meta descriptions, including alt text with your images, and using keywords strategically. You can use  

Ubersuggest’s Traffic Overview report to get started: 

A screenshot of Ubersuggest Traffic Overview report for neilpatel.com

Second, run a paid ads campaign. These ensure you shoot to the top of the search rankings for specific keywords. Aside from Google Ads and LinkedIn, you could also run paid ads on popular social media platforms. It all depends on where your target audience spends their time, so do your research to generate the best ROI from your paid ad campaigns. 

Third, create content and distribute it organically.

This means creating different types of content (i.e. blog posts, videos, infographics, white papers, etc.) to disperse across different channels. You can then recycle that content on your own website using a multi-layered content approach.

With multi-layered content, you’re using media such as text, videos, and images to create a visually engaging user experience. It’s also a traffic driver, since articles with at least one video see 70% more traffic than articles without. 

Let’s look at my post on visual marketing as an example. Sure, I include plenty of informative text to educate readers: 

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy - Create Multi-layered Content (an example)

However, I also include images to illustrate my points and break up the walls of text:

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy - Include Images (NeilPatel example)

Finally, I include videos for users who prefer a more interactive experience:

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy - Include Videos (NeilPatel example)

While this benefits the audience on my website, it also benefits potential customers who may stumble upon my video content on YouTube or on my social platforms.

6. Monitor Your Results

How do you know if you’re achieving those goals you set earlier? By measuring your results or tracking progress using tools like Google Analytics and Ubersuggest.

Tracking metrics gives you key insights into what works and, of course, what doesn’t. Once you know what content works best, you can invest your energy into those areas and grow your business more effectively.  

To give you an idea of how to get started monitoring your results, let’s look more closely at brand awareness and share of voice.

First up, brand awareness. One way to track this is using Ubersuggest’s Keyword Research reports. You can either check variations of your keyword in the Keyword Overview report, or use Keywords by Traffic to see which branded terms are driving traffic to your website:

Ubersuggest keyword overview.

You can also create keyword lists in Ubersuggest to save you the time of adding your keywords every time you open the report. This means tracking your progress is quick and easy.

Next is share of voice, the percentage of SERP results you hold when compared to the total industry.

For example, let’s say you rank on spots 3 and 7 for the search term “CRM software.” Your share of voice is 20% because you hold 2 spots out of 10 on the first page.

You can track this by searching each keyword, but tools like Ubersuggest make it easier to see results and track them against historical data.

Ubersuggest’s Rank Tracking report enables you to see where your top pages rank on SERPs. Add up to 25 keywords and the report will calculate average position. Most importantly, you can measure your growth over a custom timeframe.

Try not to worry if you haven’t met some performance goals. That’s all okay. In fact, it’s normal. Remember, you’re experimenting with different angles, so if something’s not working, just pivot and try something new. 

FAQs

How Is B2B Content Marketing Different From B2C?

With B2B marketing, you’re targeting business clients. You’re trying to demonstrate your experience, expertise, and skill to convince businesses to work with you.  
On the other hand, B2C marketing involves targeting individual consumers. You’re focusing on nurturing leads, building an emotional connection with people, and convincing them to buy a specific product. 

What Makes a Good B2B Content Marketing Campaign?

A good B2B content marketing campaign should help build trust in your company, provide valuable information to your audience, and inspire companies to choose your products and services.  
Above all, a great content marketing strategy should establish you as an industry leader or innovator in your chosen niche.  

How do you create personas for your B2B content marketing strategy?

You can create personas for your B2B content marketing strategy by collecting extensive customer data (demographic and behavioral), narrowing in on customer pain points and goals, drilling down to focus on specifics like geographic location, and then aligning the new personas with your business goals.  

How do you demonstrate ROI on content marketing?

To demonstrate the ROI on content marketing, you first must have a way of attributing your revenue to different marketing channels. You can achieve this with tools like Google Analytics. Once you have done that, you can begin to calculate the ROI on your content marketing efforts. The formulas will vary depending on your metrics, but there are various online calculators available for you to use. 

Conclusion

Do you want to establish your company as an industry leader? Are you trying to convince businesses to choose your company over your competitors? Then a solid B2B content marketing strategy can help you stay on track.  

Focus on creating useful content and cultivating a sense of trust in your company, and don’t be afraid to step back and make changes if something’s just not working. Remember, a strategy is a roadmap: It’s not set in stone. Let it guide you, but don’t let it hold you back when you’re ready to move in a new direction.  

Have you tried B2B content marketing yet? How are you finding the process?

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