B2B marketers everywhere cite the creation of engaging content as their top priority for 2016 (72 percent), according to the Content Marketing Institute. This statistic makes it abundantly clear that creating high-quality content is nothing short of table stakes for any business hoping to see a return on their content investment.
Because of this trend, content marketers need to invest in areas beyond solely content production to ensure the success of their campaigns.
Four proven strategies that can boost the success of your B2B content marketing strategy
1. Spend more time promoting your content
If you're just beginning to publish content for a huge brand that already has significant traffic, publishing solely high-quality content may be enough. However, the fact of the matter is that creating amazing content isn't enough for most marketers, especially those just starting to build an audience. This means it's important for marketers to ensure it is in front of their target audience.
One of the best ways to do this is to simply spend more time promoting your content. This is where content marketing becomes all about the hustle. Here are four key things to keep in mind when thinking about content promotion:
- Content promotion begins the minute you finalize your topic and/or title
- Be strategic when you're outlining your post and deciding who you want to mention
- Focus on people that can help you out the minute you publish
- Find tools that will help make scaling content promotion easier
If you're looking for more resources on content promotion, here are a couple of my favorite posts on the topic:
2. Engage influencers in your industry
One of the fastest ways you can gain traction is by tapping into an already-established audience of key influencers in your industry and having them share or endorse your content. Of course, this is easier said than done. Inherently, these are busy people who value their time highly. It's important that you're not just pushing for a quick win but are actually working to build a relationship.
Sujan Patel said this really well in this post,
"...your goal should be to help others—because you know what a great gift that can be. As you become someone who’s known for that sort of behavior, others will recognize it and return the favor."
A few great ways to help build these relationships is by:
- Sharing their content on your social channels
- Engaging in conversations with them on Twitter
- Include their content and link to them in your own blog posts
Now that a repertoire has been established, when you have a great piece of content you want the world to see, there's a good chance they'll share it with their audience (if you craft an amazing outreach email).
Here's an example of what that email can look like. A few months ago, we wrote a post about the best presentation decks for SaaS leaders. Once the post was published, we emailed everyone we included using emails like this one:
And got responses like this:
And because of the exposure we gained through the audiences of these influencers, the post is now one of our most viewed and shared posts all time.
3. Create interactive content
Creating content that is interactive and immediately actionable for your prospects is a great way to differentiate yourself. HubSpot's Website Grader is one of my favorite examples of this type of content, for a couple reasons:
- HubSpot was way ahead of the curve, launching this site in 2007 (and they would actually mail you a report as a follow-up)
- The grader offers incredibly actionable improvements that prospects can make to their websites, making it incredibly compelling to engage further
It's clear that great content like this can withstand the test of time and is a great investment for marketers. We've even done this at New Breed, creating a SaaS Grader tool, and to date it's delivered an astounding ROI of over 300 percent!
4. Test different types of premium content
Premium content offers are a key piece of any inbound marketing program. However, just because you've always written e-books, doesn't mean you need to keep writing e-books forever. Instead, revisit your buyer persona research and see what other types of content they engage with and test creating that same type of content for yourself.
To give you a sense of what other marketers are seeing success with, and to get your creative juices flowing, research from the CMO Council has shown that these are the types of content driving the best results as of late:
The great advantage of having a content engine up and running is that managing this type of test becomes easier over time. That's because you can repurpose existing content into these new formats to quickly iterate and launch new campaigns, instead of starting from scratch.
What strategies and tactics have you found helpful or have taken your content strategy to the next level? Let us know in the comments below!