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  • Alan Thorpe

A simple B2B Content Marketing plan for success.

Updated: Jan 26

Need to create a simple B2B content marketing plan? Here's our guide to what we've proved works. There's no 'post every day' duty. There's no 'you must be on X, Y, Z' doing a dodgy dance. We believe it's as simple as producing solid content that your audiences want. Content that aligns with your brand & goals.

How about we take HubSpot’s B2B priority list as our start-point.

We'll focus upon items 1 & 2 since, if these are brilliant, then we've a great basis to successfully achieve items 3-5.

1. Increasing Brand Awareness. No 1 on HubSpot’s list of B2B priorities.

It’s no surprise that this perches aloft priorities. Let’s imagine that your business sells a solution with a 5-year cycle between supplier reviews. What we get is:

· 12 months x 5 years = 60 months.

· If we split 100% of your target audience across 60 months, we get 1.6%

· That’s 1.6% of your target audience being ready to buy in any one month.

· And you're targeting the same 1.6% as all your competitors.

Which makes running a campaign to purely win ‘in-market’ opportunities expensively flawed. Why? Because the more strategic will have been busy building up relationships to win a preferential position for when each 1.6% comes to market. Buyers always prefer lower risk career decisions. The chances of the tiny in-market % going for a new relationship is slightly less than your next holiday being to Mars (none of us get THAT much holiday…).

Need more convincing that brands build businesses? Here’s our 3 minute explanation of why brand is central to winning when the time is right.

Branding building wins via (as we say in our strap-line) ‘growth through upstream thinking.'

· A consistent brand builds buyer familiarity, lowering perceptions of purchase risk.

· It becomes the anchor upon which to moor a content driven marketing strategy.

· It drives brand term SEO

· It bonds a team around a core message.

· It’s the way to spot any ‘off brand’ loss of focus that may reduce sales/waste budget.

A great example? Boris.

Have you noticed how (possibly) more honest Keir struggles with cut through vs. banqueting Boris? OK, it was only cheese and wine. Boris has built a powerful brand.

· He knows his audience.

· He’s created an image (design).

· He has a consistent tone of voice.

· He’s unafraid of standing out and entertaining.

· His builds emotional connections.

· He’s succeeds despite being deeply flawed.

A great brand makes even the imperfect seem the best choice. Brand is supremely valuable.

Resources to help nail your brand: Our walk-through video that includes Simon Sinek presenting ‘start with the ‘why?’' and the brilliant Andy Bounds explaining why selling outcomes you give clients is critical to nailing what you do. A real-world example from a SportsTech client of ours. Our work together has been so successful that they've been bought! Branding can be potted with pitfalls. Our good friends at Firehaus have fashioned a checklist to ensure that your brand bigs up, not slopes off. The no. 1 trap they list is believing logo and name are the only real brand essentials.

2. Winning engagement. No 2 on HubSpot’s list of B2B 2022 priorities.

For buyers, it’s hard selecting the right tech. Sales and web blurb blurs into sounding like it’s all from the same supplier. Buyers want help to navigate the nuances. Successful suppliers provide this help.

But there’s a problem. Who of us ever reads instruction manuals?

Let’s imagine your hols include a hire car. Would you spend an hour reading what each button does, or just drive off? You’re too busy pretending to be with flat Eric? Or trying to drive on the right?

But this hasn’t stopped 66% of B2B Marketers upping their content quota over the last year.

That’s a lot of instruction manuals we’ll never read. And LinkedIn posts. And blogs. And white papers. And emails. All of which marketers have slaved over, splurged budget upon. Most of which make Keir Starmer seem brilliantly engaging.

For any B2B marketer charged with generating engagement SEM’s ‘State of Content Marketing 2022’ research proves two things.

i) The clear link between a consistent brand and winning an audience.

ii) The need to truly invest in audience understanding. Without this it’s impossible to craft the ‘guide’ and ‘how to’ research articles that help audiences with their buying cycles and, in turn, tune up you your trust factor.

Here’s our list of ‘guides’ and ‘how to’ articles that can help you to capture what it is that your audience(s) want help with. Spend a little time & money on this stuff. You’ll be in a great place to plan for content cut-through.

e We share the ‘bottom line’ question that determines if your content will fly or dive (spoiler alert. It’s ‘would you read it if you were the buyer?’) Facts tell, stories sell. Weave a few case studies into your content and it will add celebrity to your clamor for attention.

Our experience is that it’s best to produce less, but more focused, content.

Posting everyday isn’t cool. It’s overload. Only 'instant' content (a few seconds) works this frequently. And it better amuse us. Posting longer form content too regularly can bury your brilliance. So, typically, for our clients, a quarterly content plan looks like this:

If you’d like to nail hitting your goals, then do shout. We’ll take the pressure off your team to produce content that creates curiosity. Would that feel good? And you'll also get to share our deep commitment to eating cake during all meetings.


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