So you’re a B2B marketer. You must be part acrobat with all the plates you keep spinning. After all, it’s your responsibility to keep the website updated, blog articles written, social networks posted, emails sent, not to mention press releases, brochures, letters and other off-line content needed to keep your company top-of-mind. Constantly coming up with new content ideas can be overwhelming. To handle the demands of content creation, marketers have been told again and again to “think like a publisher.” it’s great advice, but what exactly does that mean? Just how do you think like a publisher?
Like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. Who are your ideal customers and prospects? What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests? Where can you reach them – on search engines, social media, or blogs – and what kinds of content do they prefer? These questions will help you develop buyer personas.
Focus on the right stage
Content plays a critical role in every stage of the inbound marketing process, from generating awareness about your company to helping convert leads into customers. But the types of content you should use to achieve each of these goals are often very different from each other.
The prospect gets acquainted with your brand or realizes they have a need for your product/service.
The prospect identifies the problem and researches potential solutions, including your product/service.
The prospect examines the options and begins narrowing the list of vendors
The prospect decides from whom to buy.
What Content Attracts Traffic & Leads?
For the purposes of launching a powerful marketing campaign, you will focus on the first stage--creating awareness through your marketing content. This means your marketing offer needs to attract a ton of traffic and generate new leads for your business. There are different types of content formats and topics that you can pursue to achieve this goal.
Finding the Right Content
In order to find what content topics capture the attention of your target audience, you should look at past data that you have access to. For instance, what are the most popular blog articles you have published? What are some of the most viewed pages on your website? Your historical performance should dictate your direction for new marketing content. If you don’t have access to marketing analytics that give you this type of intelligence, look in the public domain (Google news, Google trends, Twitter trending topics) for popular and newsworthy industry stories. Piggyback on this information by adding a personal spin, your expertise and comments.
Finding the Right Format
You can create content in different formats, from text-based content like whitepapers, reports and ebooks to media content like webinars, videos and audio interviews. While you can host an internal brainstorm session and come up with creative ideas for different content formats that you can produce, it’s important that this new content matches the needs and preferences of your target persona.
Take a look at your landing pages. These are special pages of your website that contain premium offers and a web form that a visitor must submit. Landing pages are essential to capture visitor information and convert casual website viewers into qualified leads. Does a webinar offer typically do better than an ebook? If the conversion rate of one type of format is lower than average, the marketing offer isn’t appealing enough to your audience. If you have a sense of what that format is for your business, use it to build your marketing campaign around it.
Recruit a Team of Content Creators
You don’t have to be the only one creating your company’s inbound marketing content. You can use different voices from inside your organization. Technical folks, customer service people, c-level executives, product managers, and others in your organization have a unique take on important aspects of your business. Get your coworkers to contribute by:
- Asking them to co-write a whitepaper or an ebook.
- Interviewing them and posting short videos that share their expertise.
- Inviting them to give presentations or answer questions in webinars.
You can also look outside your own company for help creating content. New online content marketplaces are springing up to connect marketers with legions of freelance writers and editors who will take on blog posts, ebooks, and other writing jobs for you.
You can specify the topic, your desired style and tone, and your intended audience, and you typically don’t have to pay unless you accept the finished article. You can easily find external writers using Zerys or the WriterAccess, both apps available in the Hubspot marketplace if you’re a HubSpot customer.
Almost every piece of content you create can be adapted, reused, modified and republished in another format. Make a habit of finding multiple ways to package and distribute the same information in different formats.
Here are a few ideas:
- Combine text from an old whitepaper with new videos to create a multimedia ebook.
- Turn videos or webinars into blog posts and ebooks or vice versa.
- Use commonly asked questions and comments from webinars to create a new ebook.
These topics will directly address your prospects’ pain points. Share all company presentations in multiple formats. Post the slides on SlideShare, upload the video on YouTube, and create a series of blog posts that dive into specific points of the presentation.
You will be amazed at the wealth of knowledge and content that already exists in your business. By putting a new spin on it, you can freshen up your website, blog and social media marketing in ways that will resonate with your target customers.
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