Did you know that B2B customers today are more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before speaking with a salesperson? This is because they are consuming content online and making up their mind about a company simply based on the content on their website. Because of this, every company needs a solid content marketing strategy.
Truth be told, content marketing comes with a lot of stigmas. We constantly hear things like, “Creating content is so much work. Is it really worth it?” Below, we share the top five benefits of having a content marketing strategy. Between making your brand look like an industry leader (even if you are not), generating leads and improving your SEO strategy, there is no doubt that a strong content marketing strategy will help your company excel in today’s consumer-driven marketplace.
1. Thought Leadership
What sets you apart from your competitors? In many B2B markets, competing companies have very similar value propositions and service offerings. Being an industry thought leader could be the trigger that sets you apart from the rest. To be seen as an industry thought leader, you must have industry-leading content across your site. This can be in the form of blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, videos and more. Content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You must determine what types of content resonate the best with your target audience. You can figure this out by analyzing pageviews, bounce rate and time on page for your content pieces.
Think about who the current thought leaders in your industry are. What websites are your go-to source for information that pertains to your industry and makes you better at your job? How can you emulate their strategizes and make them your own to specifically target your buyer personas?
2. Build Off-Site SEO
When you create amazing industry-leading content, other websites will naturally link to it. The more links your website gets from high-authority websites, the higher your website’s domain authority becomes. If Google sees that people are consistently linking to your content, it will start to believe your website is a reputable source of information. In turn, your website will begin naturally outranking competitors for key search terms. The best content to get links is content filled with research-backed data and statistics.
When putting together your content marketing strategy, it is important to ensure you are never creating content just to have more content. The “quality over quantity” rule certainly applies here. Spend the time creating long-form unique content that is likely to acquire links from external websites and you will certainly see the ROI from it.
3. Brand Visibility
In today’s world, the minute someone has an issue, whether it be business-related or personal, they go to Google. If your website content is well optimized for search engines, it will show up when your prospects are searching on Google for their needs. Your website content should be centered around the pain points of your target audience.
For instance, if your goal is selling industrial cable and you write a blog post titled “Top 5 Cables That Outlast Harsh Industrial Environments,” engineers and buyers searching for “industrial cable” and “cable for harsh environments” may find your content and learn about how your brand has just the product they need.
As your company is building its content marketing strategy, you must keep SEO top of mind. There is no point in creating amazing content unless people searching on Google can find it. Optimizing content for search engines is a very in-depth process and one that requires a whole other blog post or more to really get into. However, if you have SEO questions or want to start ensuring your content is well optimized for Google, reach out to our team of SEO specialists for help.
4. Employee Engagement
Having a blog can seem like a huge undertaking. Instead of putting all of the content creation duties on the marketing department, get employees across the whole company involved. In fact, it is often more beneficial to have the people in your company that are doing the day-to-day work share their insights.
One of the keys to a successful content marketing strategy is having a regular cadence. Find the sweet spot for your team—maybe it is once a week or perhaps it is once a month. Put together a blogging calendar filled with topics that appeal to your target audience. Not sure which topics to write about? Asking your salespeople what prospects are commonly asking them during the sales process is a great place to start.
Once you have a calendar together, assign your team members with their blog topics and deadlines for writing. Knowing that they are probably not writers by trade, assigning topics and deadlines ensure everything stays on track and they are given adequate time to prepare the best possible content.
5. Lead Generation
When people hear “content marketing strategy,” their first thought is often a blog. Rightfully so! A blog is a key piece of a content marketing strategy. However, the blog is just the beginning. Robust gated content (often linked to from a blog post) is what is going to drive people from unknown blog readers to known qualified leads.
By building robust content pieces and gating them, or requiring visitors to fill out a form before they can access them, a business can generate leads through content marketing. In order to successfully generate leads from a gated content piece, it needs to be worth it. People are very cautious about giving their email address out to companies. By showcasing your brand as an industry thought leader and only gating your best content, people will have enough trust and interest to hand over their name and email address in exchange for your content piece.
To determine what kind of content would be worth gating, you can survey your target market. Ask them what they really need to do their job successfully. Keep in mind that their need may not be a traditional one-page sheet of information. Perhaps they need informative how-to videos or a template they can use. Another way to brainstorm gated content ideas is to look at what the top-performing non-gated content on your website is. Can you create a more in-depth version of this and put it behind a form?
A Successful Content Marketing Strategy
There are so many benefits to having a content marketing strategy. The key to success is just getting out there and doing it. Create strong content today that will serve your marketing and sales efforts in the future.