Defining Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Posted on August 27, 2013

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So you know what content your target market wants to hear, and you have a good idea of the type of content that will be most engaging. Now what?

Before you create a single piece of content, you need to take some time to develop a content marketing strategy.

What is a content marketing strategy?

Basically, your content marketing strategy defines the overall goal of the content you create and the metrics you will use to evaluate the success or failure of achieving each goal.

What do you hope to accomplish by joining Twitter?

What do you want to gain from the free eBook you published?

When developing your B2B content marketing strategy, remember that the true value of your work won’t necessarily be measurable in dollars and cents – at least not right away.

Yes, increased conversions and lead generation may be the ultimate goal of your business. And content marketing can help you achieve that goal.

But you won’t always be able to attribute a sale to a specific type of content marketing (if at all). You need a way of measuring the success of your content marketing efforts before a sale is made.

What is it that’s bringing business in the door?

Ok. If I don’t measure the success of content marketing in dollars, what metrics do I use?

Content Marketing Success = Engagement  

Think about the overall goal of each type of content marketing piece you create, and define a measurement of success that shows how your efforts are engaging your target market.

Remember, the purpose of content marketing is to keep your business out in front of potential buyers at all stages of the buy cycle and to build trust. This is achieved by keeping your target market engaged with your brand.

Let’s say you joined Twitter. You may never know if a sale results from a business that read a helpful tweet and then visited your website for more information. But you can measure your number of followers and how engaged they are.

Are followers joining in the conversation?

Are they clicking on the links in your tweets?

Are they retweeting and sharing your thoughts?

All of these are measurable metrics that can help you determine whether you are truly engaging potential customers and gaining trust.

Let’s say you published a free eBook. The number of downloads the eBook receives could be one measurement of success. Businesses are reading your eBook and being exposed to your brand. Tip: Remember to include an About the Author page with links back to your website!

But why not take it a step further?

Require an email address and basic contact information to download your eBook. On the download page include a tick box the person can check to also receive monthly updates from your business via email (I know you’ve seen these before).

Now, not only do you know the number of people who downloaded your eBook, but you’ve gained contact information for lead nurturing. Just be careful to avoid sending pure sales emails (focus more on sending helpful information at first) and absolutely NO third party spam!

Measurements of Content Marketing Success

Ian Laurie of Portent, Inc. recently released a 652 step guide to creating a content strategy.

That’s a lot of steps! But it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

In this awesome guide, Ian breaks down 11 possible measurements for auditing the success of a content marketing strategy, along with tips on how to get this information without going crazy.

I’ll give you the measurements of success below, but you’ll have to read Ian’s guide to learn the rest.

  1. Facebook Likes
  2. Facebook Shares
  3. Facebook Comments
  4. Twitter Posts
  5. Linkedin Posts
  6. Reddit Votes
  7. Google+1s
  8. Page Comments
  9. Page Reviews
  10. Page Authority
  11. Revenue/Conversions

Of course, Ian goes into much more detail about how to use these social metrics along with website performance (yes, even website content and product descriptions are part of content marketing) to gauge the success of your content marketing efforts.

But it wouldn’t be right of me to give away all the goodies!

So go read Ian’s guide. It may be a bit advanced for some, but it’s full of great advice.

 

Written by: Michelle Thompson

 

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