A recent study by Kapost shows that content marketing brings in three times as many leads per dollar than leads from paid search. This fact is a little striking and shows that the right content marketing strategy can mean a lot of revenue for your brand. Maybe it’s time to revisit and refresh your content marketing strategy to power your brand?

When it comes to content marketing strategies, some brands simply throw up a blog and maybe publish the occasional ebook and consider the job done. However, to maximize the potential that a content marketing strategy can have for your brand, your strategy needs to be dynamic and include various forms of content geared toward a variety of target consumers.

Mixing up forms of content, embracing the buyer’s journey, amplifying your content and tracking your work are all key things that you need to be doing as a content marketer for your brand. But, don’t get overwhelmed, this post is here to help you revamp and revive your content marketing strategy so that you can generate more leads for your brand.

Experiment with Content Types

Producing different types of content spanning different topics helps your brand meet consumers where they’re at. One potential lead might like to digest content by reading about a topic while another may be a visual learner and prefer video. It’s important to constantly mixup the forms of content that you produce.

Let’s explore the different content types that you should be scheduling out in your editorial calendar so that you can get started on your dynamic content marketing strategy right away.

Blogging: More than half of all B2B content marketers think that blogging is their strongest content marketing tactic. A blog promotes thought leadership, gives you a platform on which to consistently post about new topics, generate leads through subscribers and improve SEO. You probably already know these things if you’re reading this post. So, let’s explore ways to optimize your blogging program:

  • Include video in your blog posts so readers/viewers can digest your content in they’re preferred way.
  • Use your blog to propel your other pieces of content like ebooks and white papers.
  • Invite influencers as guest authors on your blog.
  • Guest post on like-minded blogs and link back to posts on your company’s blog.
  • Be sure to have a clear CTA that allows people to subscribe to your blog or visit other pages on your website.
  • Nurture your blog subscribers and leads with continuous content digest emails and eventually an email with a CTA to try to get them to talk to sales.

Ebooks: Ebooks are great for lead gen because they’re usually housed on a landing page with a lead capture form. Not only are ebooks a great source to generate new leads, but, ebooks also promote you as a thought leader on the industry that pertains to your brand. If readers trust your words and content, this credibility translates to turning leads into sales.

Here are some ways to get ideas for your next ebook:

  • Meet with client facing coworkers like the sales or customer service teams and find out what questions they get asked a lot. These questions can be reframed and turned into the topic of your next ebook.
  • Identify common pain points that your target consumers face and develop an ebook that addresses and solves these painpoints.
    Interview industry influencers and curate their great advice on a topic of your choice into your next ebook.
  • Look at like minded brands and competitors and see what they’re writing about. Of course, you’re not going to copy their topics but it might inspire topics of your own.

White papers: While the web is flooded with memes, cute social posts and generic blog posts—white papers can help brands come across as more authoritative and helpful.

A white paper is very concise and takes complex problems and gives solutions to these problems in an easy way for readers to understand. A white paper can be a guide or it can be research that you conduct within your industry. They are written in a more formal tone than, say, a blog post, and they don’t include any fluff content. Their purpose is to be educational.

Just like ebooks, white papers are usually housed on a landing page with a lead capture form making them a great lead gen tool.

White papers are one of the strongest ways that you as a marketer can position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and establish credibility.

Video: Video already dominates the world of social media and is used heavily in B2C marketing but less in B2B marketing. With video forecasted to grow to account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2021, it’s blatantly apparent that your strategy needs to embrace video.

Research shows that videos with the highest engagement are under 2 minutes. So, creating a short video to embed into your next blog post, the sidebar of your website or on Facebook should be your top priority.

Here are some types of video content that you can develop to power your content marketing strategy through video:

  • Short branded video: Create a brand awareness video that you embed on your site. Highlight features of your product, the pain points it solves and maybe even add in some company culture to personalize the feel of your video. This video can also be used in social and retargeting ads.
  • Testimonials: Instead of having written testimonials on your site, your client’s words can come across with more personality and sincerity through video testimonials where you interview your client and publish their experience with your brand.
  • How to: Create a how-to video on how your product solves a problem. This showcases great thought leadership and is a great asset to drip to your leads.
  • Spotlight: Showcase your employees and office culture through an employee spotlight video. Interview one of your co-workers and have them talk about their role at your company, how they help clients and have them offer some industry tips.

Webinars: Webinars bridge the gap between video and ebooks. They present a topic in a visual and engaging way. They’re also a great lead generation tactic and a way to convey thought leadership. Many times, webinars are often paired with the launch of an ebook and marketers can tackle the main points in their new ebook through a webinar and then provide a CTA at the end of the webinar to download the ebook.

To run a webinar, you’re going to need to create a landing page with a lead capture form. Then, you need a platform in which to host your webinar. We recommend GoToWebinar. Next, you’ll plan your slides and script and be sure to get a good microphone to use on the day of your webinar. Most Webinar platforms have functionality where attendees can ask questions so be sure to leave time in your webinar to address questions.

Podcasts: Podcasts are quickly becoming popular because audiences can listen to them while they work. They allow your brand to reach people who aren’t interested in reading a blog post or downloading an ebook.

In order to start a podcast for your brand, here are a few steps you can follow:

  • Come up with a topic and name of your podcast that makes sense with your brand and that your buyer personas would gravitate towards.
  • Decide who on your team will host the podcast.
  • Line up guests to interview on your podcast
  • Find a podcast hosting platform.
  • Research and write a script for your podcasts before you go on air.
  • Don’t forget to promote your brand at the beginning and/or end of your episodes.

Case studies: Case studies involve working with a happy client and tell the story of how and why they became a client. The client is interviewed and your job is to put together a formal “story” about how your brand and your client work together in an impactful manner.

Case studies demonstrate positive client experiences and are great assets for your sales team to have that can turn a “hot” lead into a consumer. Potential clients love being able to digest a real-life example of how your brand works to solve problems they encounter before making their purchasing decision.

Since case studies are so valuable and shed a ton of positive light on your brand, we don’t recommend having them gated with a lead capture form to ensure that as many people as possible reads them.

A good format to follow when writing a case study is:

  • Introduce the brand
  • Talk about the problem the brand had before they found your product or service
  • Highlight the solution and discuss how your brand swooped in and helped your client
  • Wrap it up with what the brand has next in terms of using your product or service in their upcoming plans and/or goals

Social media: Of course, you’re implementing social media into your content marketing plan but there are probably ways that you can stand out more on social. Social media allows you to put your best content out in front of target consumers and generate more views of your content so that you can move them through the buyer’s journey.

Here are some ways you can up your game when it comes to social media:

  • LinkedIn is the strongest social platform for B2B marketers so try using LinkedIn ads to promote some of your best blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers or webinars. You don’t have to put a huge amount of your budget toward this strategy so try some experimentation at first.
  • Use a wider variety of hashtags. We like Hashtagify for hashtag research and to identify new hashtags to use.
  • Many B2B marketers don’t find Instagram to be a relevant platform but we disagree. There are many ways that B2B marketers can use Instagram such as sharing interesting datapoints overlaid on a photo or showing how their product works “behind the scenes.” So you might want to consider implementing Instagram into your social media strategy.
  • Use organic and paid social to amplify your blog, webinars, ebooks and white papers.

Make a Plan That Embraces the Buyer’s Journey

So, we’ve just gone over a ton of ways that you can create different forms of awesome content for your brand and hopefully your editorial calendar is starting to fill up with new and great ideas. But, not only do you need to focus on rotating the types of content you produce, you also need to make sure that you’re creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

To simplify the concept of the buyer’s journey, there are three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Content needs to be published for each of these phases so that leads can move through the funnel and become clients.

An example journey would look like this: A target consumer comes across your brand in a blog post that they found when googling for a topic that aligns with your brand (awareness). The target consumer became a lead when, after reading your blog post, they downloaded one of your ebooks and signed up for your upcoming webinar. After reading your ebook and attending your webinar the lead becomes really interested in learning more about your brand (consideration). The lead is ready to purchase your product or become a client but wants to know what makes you better than your competitors so sales sends them a product video and a case study (decision). The lead loves these brand assets and becomes a consumer or client.

Hopefully this example helps you understand the value in keeping the buyer’s journey in mind when you are planning the content that you have planned for your brand.

Amplify Your Content

Now, content marketing isn’t going to grow your brand if you put out amazing content but no on knows about it, right? So, part of a dynamic content marketing strategy is content promotion. In fact, many successful marketers report spending more time promoting their content than actually creating it. What can you do to ensure your content gets in front of as many of your target consumers as possible? Here are a few quicks tips to get started:

  • Utilize paid and organic social media. If you have a budget for paid social, put it toward the pieces of content that are gated with a lead capture form.
  • Purchase email blasts to announce your new ebook or webinar from likeminded thought leadership sites.
  • Find brands who put out newsletters that makes sense with your brand and find out what it will take to get your content inserted into that newsletter.
  • Grow an email list by generating leads from your content and having a subscribe option on your blog. Email them all of your new pieces of content and ask them to share it on social.
  • Join LinkedIn groups or online groups like Triberr and do some virtual networking and share your new content in those groups.
  • Be sure to optimize your content so that it gets organically found in search engines like Google. Here is a guide on SEO to get you started.
  • Work with influencers by interviewing or quoting them in your content, tagging them on social and/or asking them to share the content that you highlight them in on their own channels.
  • Equip your co-workers to share your brand’s content on their channels. We recommend sending out a weekly email to your company with links to all of your new content and some pre-written social messages, so sharing is as easy and copying and pasting.

Track Your Work

Now we know this post is already very extensive, but, after creating awesome content and promoting it all over the internet, you’re going to want to see what’s working and what might not be working. Tracking your content marketing strategy is crucial to proving the value to your team or your boss and it will help you get a bigger content marketing budget so that you can scale the strategies that are working.

Using Google Analytics, you can see the amount of visitors coming to your website and where they are coming from. This allows you to see things like which guest posts or social media channels are bringing visitors to your website. You can also see which pages they are visiting and how much time they spend on your website. Above that, you can see if someone visits your page and downloads a piece of content or registers for a demo of your product making this person a new lead which is also called a “conversion.”

When it comes to social, there are plenty of metrics available on your social media channels and social media marketing tools so that you can see how certain social posts perform better than others and how many clicks, likes or shares your social posts get. This will clue you in on which topics resonate best with your audience and you can adjust your editorial calendar accordingly.

If you’re using a marketing automation tool and it’s synced with SalesForce, then you’re going to be able to pull a lot of data as it pertains to your content marketing strategy. Having these 2 types of platforms working in tandem means that you can follow a lead from the time they discover your brand until they become a client which allows you to attribute your content marketing program directly to sales.

All of these tools aim to do one thing: find commonalities in your content marketing strategy to identify the types of content that work for your brand so that you can scale your strategy and consistently refine it so that your strategy continues to grow.

Depending on the company, content marketers need to report on their strategies weekly, monthly or quarterly. Be sure to tell your team about the cool content your producing and what you have planned so you can show off your skills. But, you also want to implement some consistent KPI’s that you track so that you can show that what you’re doing is working and so that you can grow what is working best and get rid of strategies that may not be working so well. So here are some common KPI’s to track each time you report on your content marketing strategy but there may be plenty more that your boss or team members may have in mind, these are just a starting point:

  • Traffic to site
  • Top 10-20 sources of that traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • Leads generated
  • Top 5 ways your content generated leads
  • Leads converted
  • Where did these leads originally come from?
  • Increase in social following
  • Social media engagement
  • Top 3 LinkedIn posts
  • Tweet that got retweeted the most
  • Number of pieces of content created
  • Ebooks and blog posts that you wrote on your company’s site
  • Guest posts you wrote for other sites
  • Sales generated from your content marketing campaigns

What are your thoughts on creating a dynamic B2B content marketing strategy? Is there a specific form of content that you find effective? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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