New Breed Expert Guide

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Pull in Your Prospects. Keep Your Customers.

Content marketing strategy is focused on creating valuable and relevant digital content to capture the attention and loyalty of a target audience and organically draw qualified leads to your website. After capturing new leads into the top of your funnel, content works to nurture those leads down the funnel until they’re ready to make a buying decision and convert into customers.

When it comes to inbound marketing, content is the fuel that powers your entire strategy. From blogs to webinars and emails to video, content touches every stage in your sales and marketing funnel. Search-engine optimized content draws visitors to your website. Helpful content encourages visitors to convert into leads. Sales enablement content educates leads about your product and helps your sales team close the deal.

There's a reason that 92 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their strategy. To survive — and thrive — in today's competitive climate, B2B businesses must develop an effective and targeted content marketing strategy.


THE VALUE OF STRATEGIC CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

The Voice of Your Brand

Content is about more than just advertising your product. Every blog post, CTA, ebook, email and conversation is an opportunity to help your prospects and customers solve their everyday problems. From on-site conversion points to long-term nurture tracks, every content type can assist your prospects, boost your credibility and contribute to your bottom line.

Attract Quality Traffic and Boost Lead Conversions

Here's a statistic you can't ignore: B2B companies that blog generate 64 percent more leads per month than those that don't. Helpful, search-optimized content built exclusively for your ideal personas draws your target customers to your site and empowers them with the information they need to make a smart investment.

Today's consumer expects to be able to learn the ins and outs of any product before making a buying decision. In fact, 47 percent of buyers will view 3-5 pieces of content before ever engaging with a sales rep. Professional content does most of the selling for you.

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Build Brand Credibility and Awareness

In today's over-saturated market, maintaining strong differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult. With compelling, consistent and high-quality content, you can set your brand apart for its unique values and competitive offerings.

In the B2B and SaaS industries especially, consumers want to know: Why should they buy your solution over your competitors'? The answer to that question lies in the valuable, authentic and educational connections that you make with your prospects throughout their buying journey. These connections are made most effectively through content that's tailored to their unique needs, desires and values.

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Nurture Stronger and Longer-Lasting Customer Relationships

One of the most tragic mistakes any company can make is pushing a sale for the sake of the sale — not because the solution would be truly valuable to the customer. Content helps you avoid this mistake by allowing you to directly target, educate and nurture your ideal prospects. Fresh, thought leadership pieces help fill your pipeline with high-fit prospects, and then educational and solution-based content guides them through the funnel.

When you attract and close only your best-fit prospects, you create a powerful relationship between your brand and your customers. After the sale, content gives you the ability to continue delighting your customers with educational and engaging material. Happy, engaged customers become evangelists, who help boost word-of-mouth marketing for your brand and drive long-term success for your business.

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COMMON CHALLENGES OF CONTENT STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT

Content is About More Than Advertising

Although content is essential to building your brand, expanding your reach and generating leads, creating high-quality content that drives results isn't an easy process. If you're struggling with effective content development, don't worry — you're not alone. Here are some of the most common challenges we see with content strategy and development.

1. Your team doesn't understand the business value of content marketing.

Don't underestimate the power of content. Often, marketers are impatient to see results from content marketing; they posted a blog, optimized it for SEO and shared it on social media, only to find two weeks later that it hasn't generated any leads — but the reality is, content marketing is a long-term play. Studies have shown that content marketing can generate three times more leads than traditional marketing techniques (and costs 62 percent less), and it's one of the few marketing techniques that has a compounding effect; in other words, its value increases over time.


2. Your team doesn't have the time, resources or knowledge to develop content in-house.

This is one of the most common challenges we see with content marketing. Developing content takes time, energy and expertise; from topic ideation and conversion mapping to writing and revision, the content development process is often too cumbersome for one marketer alone. If you're a small company just starting out, it might be more effective to outsource content development to a marketing agency with the existing resources and talent needed for developing content that converts. If you can't afford content services, recycling existing content and optimizing your social sharing strategy might be the best way to stretch your resources.


3. Your team is developing content, but it's not attracting visitors to your website.

No visitors, no leads. You could have killer content, but you won't see any return on your content marketing efforts if nobody's even seeing that content in the first place. If prospects aren't reaching your blog, you could have issues with your editorial strategy, SEO strategy, social media strategy or persona development.


4. Your content is attracting visitors, but they aren't converting into leads.

Too often, marketers make the mistake of thinking hosting a blog and generating web traffic is enough. To see a real return on your investment in content marketing, you need to give your visitors the opportunity to offer some personal information in exchange for the valuable content you've created; you need conversion opportunities spread strategically across your website. Additionally, take another look at your buyer personas — is the content you're generating relevant to them? If not, they won't convert on forms.


5. Your content is attracting visitors and converting leads, but you aren't sure how to measure ROI.

One of the biggest hurdles marketers need to get over is justifying the cost of content marketing and measuring the returns. Without solid, tangible insight into the success of your content marketing endeavor, you'll have trouble optimizing your strategy for the future. To accurately measure content marketing ROI, you'll need the right marketing automation software and analytics tools.

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KEY ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL CONTENT STRATEGY

Attract, Convert and Delight

Developing an effective content strategy can be difficult, but it's certainly not impossible. The key to creating content that supports your organizational goals is a well-rounded strategy that targets your ideal customers with the right message, in the right format and on the right platform. Here are some of the key elements of a successful full-funnel content strategy.

Persona Development & Buyer's Journey Alignment

Successful content development begins with an accurate and in-depth understanding of your buyer personas. Consult your sales and marketing teams and conduct some outside research to understand who your ideal customers are, what their goals are, what their main challenges are, how your solutions solve for their challenges and which messages would resonate most with them.

Once you've developed three to four primary personas, combine external research and current customer data to understand the buyer's journey for each. Ask yourself: What content would be most helpful to my personas at each stage in their buyer's journey? What content is so valuable that they'd be willing to share their personal information in order to reach it? Use this insight to inform the content topics you choose and to optimize the voice, tone and format with which you deliver that content.

SEO and SEM

Amplifying the value of your content requires fully-optimized on-page SEO, a killer keyword strategy and — when appropriate for your personas and your business — paid search advertising. Once you've developed optimal buyer personas, you can begin determining the key search terms that your personas will use when searching for solutions to their problems.

Use these terms to develop your editorial calendar, optimize your on-page SEO, create topic pillar pages to build your domain authority, develop an SEM strategy that will put the right ads in front of the right people and continue to audit, update and optimize your content for the best results. Remember, Google now understands the context search terms, so an effective SEO/SEM strategy takes into consideration a searcher's intent.

Editorial Calendar and Conversion Maps

Once you understand your personas and have a list of keywords that they're likely to be searching, don't just dive into content creation. A solid editorial strategy is the backbone of a business blog that converts. With the list of keywords you determined in your SEO strategy, think about the user's intent behind each key search term; if your personas are searching "best practices for content creation," what are the goals, needs and challenges that drove them to search that term? What content would be most helpful to them?

Brainstorm titles and topics that would appeal to your personas, and lay out an editorial strategy for the month. Set due dates to determine the cadence of your content development process. Then, make sure you can map each post to a gated content offer that relates to its topic. By considering the conversion paths for each persona early on, you can make sure that the content you create is relevant to your personas and drives visitors to convert into leads.

Blogging

With well-developed personas and a strategic editorial schedule, you can begin creating content for your business blog. We recommend taking a journalistic approach to writing, so before you lay down any words, you need to conduct an ample amount of research. This could include interviewing subject matter experts for unique insights, reading other blog posts about the topic to understand the industry perspective, surveying your customers or employees about their opinions on the topic and more.

Next, write the post, keeping in mind your brand's voice, the tone and goal of the piece and the audience you're writing to. Considering your audience is critical to writing a successful blog post; if it's not relevant to your ideal personas, then they won't land on the post, stay on the post or convert on the related offer. Make sure you proofread your post — one spelling mistake or grammatical error could leave a permanent stain on your company's reputation. Finally, optimize the post for SEO and share it across social media to extend its reach.

Premium Content Offers (PCOs)

Even if you're blogging regularly, visitors to your website will never convert into leads if you don't give them something to convert on. Premium content offers, such as ebooks, webinars, templates and checklists, should contain invaluable information that your prospects need to solve their challenges. By gating these offers behind forms, you incentivize your prospects to give you their personal information, such as name or email, and they become leads that you can nurture, close and delight.

The best part about content like this is that it can be broken down and recycled to maximize its reach and profitability. An eBook can be turned into a three-part blog series, and a three-part blog series can be turned into a webinar, and so on. Use data to determine which of your premium content offers are generating the most leads, and then repurpose and re-share that content to boost its value.

Email

After a prospect has subscribed to your blog or converted on a premium content offer, email is a quick and easy tool to nurture those prospects into customers. If that weren't enough, re-engagement campaigns can revive interest in your brand if a prospect has fallen away, and blast emails are a great way to announce product updates and other new offers to your existing customers.

However, most people get dozens, even hundreds of marketing emails every day. To ensure your email avoids the spam folder and stands out from the competition, the content of your email needs to be helpful, engaging and contextually relevant to the people you're sending it to. Segment your contact list based on persona, and send each segment targeted, conversion-optimized content to keep your brand top-of-mind and continue to nurture them until they're ready to talk to sales.

Video

Video content has become the new sweetheart of the inbound marketing industry. In fact, 85 percent of consumers have said that they want to see more video from brands in the future. Video marketing is a unique, engaging and easily-personalized channel for increasing brand awareness, educating prospects, nurturing leads and delighting your customers.

Additionally, video can be leveraged in every stage of the marketing funnel. Short, educational videos educate prospects about their problems; webinars and testimonials can give prospects the chance evaluate potential solutions; and demo videos and live streams can help your sales team close the deal.

 

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CONTENT DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

Smart Tech to Support Your Strategy

With the right tools, creating, publishing, managing and measuring the success of your content becomes significantly easier. These tools will help you scale your content development strategy as your business grows.

Content Management System (CMS)

A CMS allows you to easily create, edit, manage and track the success of the content on your website, including blog posts, landing pages, site pages and email campaigns. By removing the design elements and technical skills required to upload blog posts and other content assets to your website, you empower your marketers to write, optimize and track all content on their own in one central place. 

We use HubSpot's integrated CMS solution to streamline our content development process. Learn more about HubSpot's CMS in our cheat sheet.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

A CRM system is where you store all of the information captured when a prospect fills out a form and converts on one of your gated content offers. Without an effective CRM, it would be next to impossible for your sales and marketing teams to organize contacts, qualify leads and nurture prospects into a sale.

New Breed favors HubSpot's CRM system for its flexibility, scalability and ease of use. Learn more about the HubSpot CRM in our insider's guide to the HubSpot Growth Stack.

Marketing Automation Software

Like its name suggests, marketing automation software is used to automate certain marketing activities. Typically, marketing automation software automates your email process for you by triggering specific email nurture campaigns based on a prospect's behavior on your website — although some platforms are much more robust. As your business grows, marketing automation software is key to stretching your resources and making the most of your marketing efforts.

Marketing automation software can make your life so much easier, but only if it's a good fit for your company's needs. Find out if it's time to switch in our webinar, "It's Not You, It's Me: When to Break Up with Your Marketing Automation Software." 

Analytics Tools

You should never just publish your content and forget about it. Use data analytics to understand which keywords attract the right visitors to your website, what content has the highest engagement levels and which content offers are driving leads. With this insight, you can optimize your current content and develop better content in the future. Rather than embedding a code into your blog and connecting that to a separate analytics tracking tool, you can use the HubSpot platform for an all-in-one content management and data analytics tool.

The HubSpot platform allows you to host, edit, share and track all of your content in one place. Watch our webinar to learn more about HubSpot's various marketing tools. 

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CONTENT DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS STORIES

Proven, Predictable, Data-Powered Results

New Breed's content development services are driven by the same full-funnel, data-led approach that drives the rest of our business. Working closely with our content strategists, our clients have developed successful content plans that ultimately track to their pipeline contribution and revenue goals.

Kalibrate

Kalibrate offers a fuel and convenience analytics platform and strategic consulting all around the world. When they came to New Breed, the marketing team at Kalibrate was struggling to identify their ideal prospects and develop inbound content with limited resources. We helped Kalibrate establish buyer personas, develop content to target those personas and amplify that content with SEO, SEM and conversion optimization. While working with us, Kalibrate has seen 72 percent growth in leads generated, 90 percent of which are qualified. Click here to read more about Kalibrate's growth with New Breed's content development team.

ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan’s Software as a Service (SaaS) platform was designed to help residential contractors manage a growing technician force and deliver excellent customer service at scale. When they came to New Breed, they were struggling to develop persona-driven content that attracted the right leads to their website and align their sales and marketing teams for better qualification and nurturing. We helped them define their core buyer personas, optimize their content strategy and develop automated email nurture campaigns. With New Breed's help, ServiceTitan saw a 71 percent increase in organic traffic and a 26.7 percent growth in new customers. Click here to read more about ServiceTitan's growth with New Breed's content development team.

New Breed

At New Breed, we test out our new strategies before ever using them with clients — that's how we know they work. When we found that our blog wasn't performing as well as we hoped, we made three fundamental changes to our content development strategy: we revised our buyer personas, created data-focused content and increased our content promotion efforts. In the first six months following these changes, we saw a 108 percent increase in blog leads based on a first-touch attribution and a 56 percent increase in unique visitors.Click here to read more about New Breed's rapid growth with an optimized content strategy.

NEW BREED'S CONTENT STRATEGY SERVICES

Accelerate Your Growth with New Breed

New Breed can help you develop high-quality content that converts leads and grows your business. Our content strategy services include our Content Premier Services, Inbound Marketing Services, Growth Acceleration Workshop and more. Download our services booklet to learn more about how New Breed can help you create content that converts.

Assess Your Current Content Strategy

We can help you identify gaps in your content strategy and provide recommendations for improving the quality, relevancy and reach of your content.

Content Audit

Maybe you already have a wealth of content at your disposal — but are you maximizing its worth for rapid lead generation and business growth? Our content audit will help you understand if you're speaking to your personas, mapping your content to the buyer's journey and optimizing your content for maximum value to your business. Learn more about how our content audit can help you boost conversion rates and generate more qualified leads.

SEO Audit

If your content isn't attracting visitors to your website — or it's attracting all the wrong visitors — your problem could lie in your SEO strategy. Our SEO audit will comb through your blog and website to uncover technical SEO errors, discover quick wins and provide actionable recommendations for optimizing your SEO strategy, targeting keywords that speak to your personas and amplifying your content plan. Learn more about how our SEO audit can help you create more effective and relevant content.

Set the Foundation for Content Marketing Success

The first step to effective content development is gaining a deep understanding of your buyer personas and developing a website that has the power to attract and convert. Our foundational services can help you amplify your content marketing strategy with these basics.

Growth Acceleration Workshop

An effective content strategy begins with fully-developed buyer personas, a roadmap for each persona's buyer's journey and clear metrics to track your success. In our Growth Acceleration Workshop, we bring together your sales and marketing teams to discuss your goals and challenges, gain organizational consensus on your ideal customer profiles and develop a plan for creating content that speaks to your personas. Learn more about how our Growth Acceleration Workshop can set you up for strategic content development that drives conversions.

Sales-Ready Website

To make the most of the content on your blog, your website should be more than a standard digital brochure — it needs to be fully optimized with high-quality copy to drive conversions and generate leads. Our Sales-Ready Website redesign process helps you develop a persona-driven architecture that encourages web visitors through conversion paths and puts them in front of the content most relevant to them. Learn more about how our Sales-Ready Website can boost your content strategy and turn your website into a lead generation machine.

Develop a Strategic Content Plan with New Breed

Our premier services can help you create powerful and comprehensive content initiatives that work well with your ongoing strategies and programs.

Content Premier Services

Content helps you attract high-quality traffic, convert leads into visitors and create long-term brand evangelists. Working closely with our Inbound and SEO Strategists, our Content Strategists will work with you to create a content plan that will speak to your personas, guide your prospects through conversion paths, encourage visitors to convert into leads and ultimately track to your pipeline contribution and revenue goals. By taking a journalistic approach to content creation, we combine your unique insight and industry knowledge with our content expertise to create fresh, never-before-seen content that builds trust with your prospects and customers. Learn more about how we can help you produce high-quality content that helps you drive revenue and grow your business.

Inbound Premier Services

Content development is just one staple in a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy. Working closely with our Content and SEO Strategists, our Inbound Strategists will work with you to define your goals and KPIs, grow your marketing efforts and create search engine optimized content that will drive results and help you hit your revenue goals. Using your buyer personas, the team emphasizes the continual process of speaking directly to your target in a way that moves your prospects through the funnel and grows your business. Learn more about how we can help you develop an inbound marketing plan that maximizes the value of your content.

SEO Premier Services

Connecting with your prospects through relevant content begins with a Google search. Working closely with our Inbound and Content Strategists, our SEO Strategists will work with you to develop editorial topics that focus on keywords relevant to your personas, increase your search visibility and attract more of the right traffic to your website. With an effective and ongoing SEO strategy, you can optimize your content to attract high-quality visitors and drive conversions. Learn more about how we can help you develop an SEO strategy to attract and convert more leads.

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