5 Practical Tips for Activating Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

By Aaron Bean on Feb. 9, 2016

Strategy Content

You’ve studied the latest thinking on content marketing. You’re sold on the outcomes you can achieve. And, you’re tasked with building brand while driving demand. You need to activate a content marketing framework.

Pick your flavor – big rock content and turkey slices, content pillar publishing and micro-content, content atomization. All of these frameworks approach content marketing strategy from a similar perspective.

So, regardless of whether you prefer turkey slices, micro-content or atomized bits; to gain the highest efficiency from your content investment, focus your content marketing strategy around building hearty content assets that can be derived into multiple, smaller chunks; each capable of driving demand and engagement as an ecosystem of ideas, insights and knowledge that your audience is seeking.

Use these 5 tips to move from theory to action:

  1. Prioritize quality over quantity
  2. Architect for frequency instead of volume
  3. Understand and leverage the relationship of open access and gated content
  4. Build once, and optimize for multiple channels
  5. Think partnership and value exchange to build your owned/earned audience

1. Prioritize quality over quantity

To get the most mileage out of your content marketing efforts, ask yourself a few simple questions before you dive deep into development.

  • Why would someone share this piece of content with their colleagues or contacts?
  • How does this content answer meaningful buyer questions with a distinctive point of view?
  • Does the effort required to consume this content correspond to the value received?

Quality content gets shared. Sharing demonstrates inherent value within content. Sharing broadens the reach of your content at no incremental cost. So, work towards building content that people want to share instead of just publishing a lot of mediocre content with limited or self-serving value.

For more practical considerations before you develop more content, see these tips.

2. Architect for frequency instead of volume

If you publish quality content that people like and share, they will want more of your content. If your content is reaching the right audience for your solutions, over time you will convert readers into leads and customers.

Regardless of whether you commit to a daily, weekly or monthly publishing cadence, commit to a frequency in order to set expectations and regularly engage your audience. Content marketing requires a long-term view, so start with that assumption and understand any implications for your investment of time and resources.

And if you don’t have the resources internally, consider leveraging a network of contributors – freelance journalists, services such as Scripted, your agency - who can supplement your internal talent.

3. Understand and leverage the relationship of open access and gated content

Content marketing success doesn’t happen by accident. The most successful content marketers understand how to drive momentum and engagement from smaller chunks of content into larger assets that drive inquiries and marketing qualified leads.

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (as well as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat) all need compelling, sharable micro-content. Those content pieces then function as the first clicks towards deeper, related information.

For example, a relevant Tweet to your target leads to a usable statistic and metric, which leads to an infographic, which leads to a customer story video, which leads to an on-demand demo. You get the picture; it all works together to motivate a contextual, next action by your viewer.

The Sophisticated Marketers Guide to LinkedIn is a great example of a hearty content piece that was built with this thinking at its core.

4. Build once, optimize for multiple channels

The “Guide to XYZ” that you’ve created should be developed in a manner that allows individual images, videos, stats, graphics and other elements to be derived into smaller, bite sized chunks – perfect for social sharing, development into simple blog posts and other lightweight content formats.

Each channel has its optimal content format that drives the highest engagement. Your job is to build at least one meaty content asset that can be broken down into a range of form factors and variations to cover the best channels that reach your audience.

5. Think partnership and value exchange to build your owned audience

Many people and organizations are already reaching your audience. With a little creativity and research, you can realize a value exchange in the co-creation of content, not the least of which is increased organic distribution.

Find a few influencers in your space. Gin up a topic that all of them can easily contribute to. Then, use the topic as the basis for building a guide that provides objective, third party views relevant to your business and the solutions you sell. A great starting point for topic research is your buyer personas.

In exchange for being included in a high-quality, insightful piece of content, the influencers you partnered with and cited will be highly likely to share the content with their audiences. You’ll end up with a quality piece of content that gains you access to new, receptive audiences.

Have any other practical tips to activate your B2B content marketing strategy? Please add your thoughts in the comments. 

Artwork by Sandra Ballardo

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