B2B Content Marketing for Dummies

By Ian Blake on 30 September 2015 16:15:00 BST


Keen to get into content marketing but don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. 

In the five minutes it takes you to read this blog post, I’m going to give you all the essential tips and tools you need to get off to a flying start.

(You’re welcome!)

Right, let’s get going. 

First up, what exactly is content marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Content Marketing simply means creating useful resources for your target audience, with the intention of adding value and gently guiding them towards the products and services you offer. 

It’s an excellent way to show off your expertise, cement your reputation and start building a relationship with potential customers. And, best of all, if you’re doing it right it will cost you less (and with far better results) than conventional marketing channels.

That’s why B2B content marketing for SME, startups, and other savvy or budget-conscious companies is so popular.

So that’s content marketing. But what about great content marketing?

Anyone can shoot a how-to video or write a blog post. But to take your content marketing to the next level, you need to have a plan.

The best way to create a content marketing strategy that works is to start by mapping out your customer journey. Where do they interact with your brand? And how do they get the next stepping stone towards an actual sale?

For example, few B2B customers are going to just see a tweet from your company and say, “hey, I’m in.” So think about it from their perspective. 

What could you tweet that might catch their eye and get them to click through to your website? 

And once they get to your website, what will they find there that might incentivise them to give you their contact details? 

Then, when you have their contact details, what are you going to send/say/give to them that will make them start to really trust and like you as a company? 

And where are you going to take it from there?

Basically, think about it like this: each one of these interactions – each step in the journey – needs a piece of content to go with it. 

As Jay Baer of Convince and Convert explains, the best formula to work out how many pieces of content you need to create is this:

Personas x Buying Stages x Questions per Stage

Let’s say you’re targeting 5 different types of customer, you have 4 steps in your buying process and customers have around 5 major concerns at each stage that you need to address. That’s means you’ll need to plan for:

5 Personas x 4 Buying Stages x 5 Questions Per Stage = 100 Pieces of Content 

… Okay, so that’s how to work out the amount of content you need to produce. Let’s move on to what you should be creating.

Once again, you need to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.

What specific problems, issues or concerns do they face in their business? The kinds of problems that you are mega clued up on, and know how to solve?

This doesn’t mean simply giving away your product or service for free. It means figuring out how you can genuinely help them out in a way that shows off just how well you get them, their company and their needs. A way that demonstrates, without you having to say it outright, that’s you’d be a great partner if they want a bigger, more holistic solution to the problem they’re trying to overcome.

Remember: the point of content marketing isn’t to create an extended advert. 

It’s to give a taster of your company’s expertise, customer service and style. It’s about doing a potential client a favour that might just trigger a long-term relationship.

That’s why “how-to” videos, blog posts and eBooks, industry research whitepapers, and interviews and podcasts with respected thought leaders make great content marketing. They’re genuinely useful (and appreciated), they establish you as an authoritative voice in your field, and they allow you to add call-to-actions that naturally guide your audience towards a deeper relationship and the next step in the customer journey.

So there you have it: content marketing for dummies, as promised, in just five minutes of your time. Want to take things further? Download the B2B Content Creation Masterclass, complete with in-depth advice and case studies, below.