Content varies greatly depending on your industry. For example, in retail, content is highly personalized and designed to enhance individual experiences. Whereas in finance, we see an emphasis on building trust. Despite the varying content needs across industries, are there universal rules that can help you create content that moves the marketing needle with your B2B audience?
Start with your content’s voice and tone
Your brand voice and tone are often thought of as your unique identifiers. While this is true, they also do something arguably more important. Your voice and tone, when based on customer research, help you communicate in the right way to your audience. The right way means choosing topics that solve customer problems and communicating in a style that resonates with your audience.
Your branding documents don’t have to be complex to be useful. At a minimum, they should identify your audience, what’s important to them, industries you’re targeting, and topics of high interest. The deeper you dig into customer preferences and language, the more precise you can be with every marketing communication. The key is to find the right balance for your company size and marketing needs. A few questions that can help you get started are:
- Who is my target contact at prospective companies?
- How do they currently educate themselves? What is their preferred publication style?
- What do they already know, and where are their knowledge gaps?
Questions like these will help you create content that fills a need and catches the attention of your most valuable audience.
Find high-value topics and match them with keywords
SEO is a technical tool that can help you rank higher on search engines, brainstorm topic ideas, and help you guarantee that content will be relevant. That said, SEO shouldn’t be the only driver to your content strategy. How customers feel about your brand isn’t a technical decision but an emotional one. To appeal to these emotions, you must speak to topics that matter to your audience.
Where can you find high-value topics? These topics come from your customers’ pain points, knowledge gaps, and innovative industry ideas. By helping your customers solve problems, better understand solutions, and think about the future, you’re helping them provide more value to their business — something every business owner is looking for.
Still, SEO shouldn’t be ignored. Through SEO keyword research, marketers can find topics that are relevant and validate topic ideas with hard metrics. However, be cautious not to discard good ideas simply because there isn’t enough traffic around the keyword at the moment.
Maintain a high level of professionalism
Everything you publish on your website should reflect positively on your brand. Basic editing is a no-brainer to help ensure what you publish is professional. In addition to proper spelling and grammar, your marketing team needs to take a close look at what you’re writing about. Publishing content in a haphazard way can confuse and deter prospects.
To avoid any confusion, make the purpose of your blog clear. For instance, think about the content industry for a moment. There are subtle but crucial differences between helping copywriters write better and helping marketing teams produce content in a consistent and engaging manner. For example, if you’re targeting copywriters, you’d focus on topics that help them as individuals, like how to self-edit your copy. For marketing teams, you’d target someone in a marketing leadership role and share tips that help them boost team performance. They’d be more interested in topics like improving team collaboration on your content calendar and helping their writing team boost efficiency than tips directed at the individual.
The challenge is that topics for both of these groups are similar. But, if a company were to confuse them, it’s likely that neither group would find the blog as valuable as if it had a clear vision. So, be clear about who you are targeting.
Start small and go big
Content marketing relies on momentum. Companies that start by trying to do it all are at risk of failing. At Content Reactor, we recommend that our clients take a measured approach to content by starting at a point that is manageable and that might even seem easy. This approach allows clients to discover what works and what doesn’t. It also introduces them to attainable content strategy practices.
By starting small and growing their content marketing efforts, we’ve seen clients turn small, consistent actions into high-performing marketing tools. If you’d like to grow your content development, let’s talk.