For something that can work so well, executing a B2B website content marketing campaign sure can be difficult.
First, you have to figure out to what to write about. It's easy enough to list out your most important target keywords or talk to your sales team to see what customers are asking about.
But then you have to take those ideas and convert them into content that people actually want to read, and that has a chance to make it into potential customers' search engine results.
There's also a sometimes-prohibitive time commitment involved with B2B content generation. It takes a long time to write quality content, not to mention any social promotion, ad promotion, or outreach programs that are part of your post-publishing plan.
So how can you be sure the content you're producing worth the time investment and worthy of search engine placement? These five strategies are typically where we start for our B2B clients that are new to content marketing.
1. Provide Complete, Authoritative Information About The "Big 5" Things All Customers Want to Know
Customers in the internet era don't like relying on salespeople to answer their questions.
Setting up your website in a way that allows potential customers to answer questions by reading and watching in privacy will not only bring prospects to your website, but usher them through the sales process on a self-guided tour.
So the question, then, is what do your customers want to know?
First identified by Marcus Sheridan, potential customers - in any industry - always want to know about these five things at some point during their consideration process:
- Your Pricing & Cost
- Problems With Your Product or Service
- Reviews of Your Product of Service
- Your Product/Service Vs Competitors
- What Solutions To Their Problem are Best
- Like it or not, these are universal FAQs, and they get searched a lot.
Ask yourself how you can help your customers learn about these five things, and importantly, how you can do it better than anyone else.
And if you're thinking to yourself that you'd rather not talk about these things on your website, keep in mind that will not prevent your customers from trying to find the answers on your own.
They're going to seek out that information whether you help them do it or not, so wouldn't you rather
- Help them do it?
- Control the messaging?
- Have an opportunity to bring even more customers to your website who are using search engines to find answers to The Big 5?
2. FAQ Page Optimization
The next logical step after the creating content around The Big 5 is focusing your attention on other, more specific FAQs to help your customers do more research.
At MMG, many of our clients (wisely) include an FAQ page or section on their website. In almost all of these cases, there are two truths when it comes to these and other FAQ pages:
- Visitors love FAQ pages.
- Companies - especially B2Bs - are not very good at getting value out of FAQ pages.
So how do you get value out of your FAQ page? Don't treat it like a traditional FAQ page. Instead, think of it more like a blog.
It's fine to have an FAQ page, but if you're listing out your questions on a single page, make sure each FAQ also has its own page and that, crucially, this is where you've answered the FAQ.
If you organize your website FAQ section and take the time to provide a complete, honest, and authoritative answer for each one, it will be easy for prospects to find the answer they seek, whether they're browsing your website or using a search engine to do it.
3. Research the Best Content (and Do It Better)
Instead of taking a guess at what kind of content will send you to the top of search engine results pages, why not do something that you know already works?
Successful content tends to rank highly in search, get shared a lot on social media, and/or receive a lot of inbound links. The best of the best often does all three.
So what you need to do, then, is figure out which keyword you want to rank for, and then figure out which content that matches that keyword ranks the highest and gets the most shares and likes.
Google search can take you a long way here, but tools like Ahrefs (for link data) and BuzzSumo (for social shares data) can help round out your research.
Once you've assembled some of the top performing content around your target keyword, take the best parts from each to create your own piece of content and then—and this is important—make it even better.
Whether it's better designed, longer, more comprehensive, or even just more up-to-date, your content will need to be demonstrably better than the competition to have a chance to outrank, outshare, and outlink it.
Hat tip to Brian Dean at Backlinko, who has perfected this technique and from whom I learned it from: