So that puts me in a unique position to take about what works and what doesn’t.
Part of the battle with content comes down to analysing your business from a content perspective. This includes making sure you’re using the right kind of content for your purposes, or even if you should be using content at all.
Yes, its super trendy for industry people (freelancers, agencies) to push the idea of a blog. And yes, I do advocate using a blog in more cases than not.
I think any sound business to business content marketing strategy should start with a blog most of the time before branching off into others.
However, being able to plan out why you’re entering into content, and looking at it critically to see whether it will actually work needs to happen BEFORE you start putting effort behind content.
Content isn’t simply blog versus photo or social media versus blog. Content is anything that you produce to tell your business story that helps your client step through the door.
Taking yourself through a process of asking the hard questions is the name of the game. Consider this your little helping hand with that very decision.
Let’s do this thing!
Here’s a quick and dirty guide to making business to business content marketing plans
What work issues keep you up at night?
The first thing you need to know about content is that great content solves a problem. It steps your customer through from simply checking you out as a possible solution to their problem to actually giving you a try. And the best way to nail that is to think about what work issues are keeping you up at night and how they impact your customers.
If you are being kept up at night because no one can find you on Google, you’re better off looking at your website copy from an SEO perspective and looking into Google AdWords.
If you do most of your work through customer referral and repeat business, think about how you can keep reminding your customers you’re around through blogging or monthly newsletters and social media.
If word of mouth is the thing that really makes it or breaks it for you, having a strong social media presence coupled with support of a blog that is informative and helpful is your best content combination.
Think about the particular pain points you’re facing and choose a content form to match.
What common problems do your customers face?
Think about what makes your customer stare at the ceiling, and choose a format that best fits the story of the solution you have for them. After all, the reason why they buy your product is because it solves a problem, satiates a need or want, and makes them feel better about something, right?
Think about that problem, think about how your product solves that problem, and then tell the story of the solution via the appropriate content.
The trick is making your content storytelling engaging and useful at the same time.
If your product is a health food product for pets, you should look out for opportunities to newsjack other inferior product claims and bust myths via your blog.
Couple this with showing the quality of your ingredients and your preparation process through places like Instagram, Pinterest and your blog.
Follow this up with showing healthy, happy pets enjoying your product, and their active lives through the same channels and on your website and pretty soon, you’ve got a connected story.
Or if your startup is in sharing economy and collaborative consumption space, choose social media channels, have forums and match your online activities with offline events to demonstrate your own pro-activity around specific issues.
Use the problem that your business solves as a vehicle to promote your support for solving the wider problem- whether that’s over consumption, environmental impact, economics or disconnection.
Make the link between the solution you offer and the problem the customer has crystal clear, and include the social benefit and the impact on the wider issue you solve as part of the content.
The bottom line:
Make your business to business content tell a story that relates to your customers issues and cuts down your workload (and worries).
Ask yourself the following questions and choose the content to match:
- What keeps me up at night?
- How do my customers usually discover me?
- What questions do my customers often ask that need answering?
- Why do my customers choose other solutions over mine?
- Where do my customers go for advice and/or other solutions?
- Are my customers visual, video, social or written word orientated?