According to a Demand Metric study, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, while generating around three times as many leads for every dollar spent. But despite having so much potential for B2B business, many companies are hesitant about committing to a content marketing strategy.
That’s because developing a blogging strategy that works isn’t easy – you need to know the approaches that will bring you the results, as well as have an understanding about how to be more productive in your content marketing efforts, instead of wasting resources and time on tactics that simply don’t work.
But developing your blog is important for multiple reasons, so it’s definitely worth the effort. For instance, if you take the time to build your blog, you will have a much easier time selling your website in the future if you’d want to.
So, to help you get started, here are some of the most effective content marketing strategies that are often overlooked by most businesses.
Make content the center of your SEO effort
It’s impossible to imagine creating an effective SEO campaign without high-quality content – Google and other search engines have become too sophisticated and have learned to distinguish between good content and filler articles stuffed with keywords.
That’s why, it won’t matter how many SEO tactics you use to try and climb the rankings – without the foundation of a solid content strategy, you’ll have a tough time trying to appear on the first results page.
Luckily, if you’re able to produce informative and relevant content that gets read by your audience, you’ll have a substantial advantage over your competition and will be much more likely to rank for even the most competitive keywords in your B2B niche.
But why is content so important?
Well, Google places top priority on providing the best experience to its users, so the search engine wants to deliver the best answer to any query that a user might type into the search bar.
So, in the end, ranking high on Google isn’t as much about the right keywords or backlinks (although they do play a part). What matters is that your piece of content be the best and most informative way to learn more about the subject, as that will force Google to put it above others.
To create content that’s destined to climb high on the SERPs, you will need to not only have in-depth knowledge about the subject but also understand what’s the current level of information available.
Type in some of the keywords that you want to target and see what the top results are – this will give you an idea for the kind of quality that you want to aim for, and also give you a better understanding of what type of content gets ranked the highest.
There are plenty of tools that allow you to analyze the results pages and see the most prominent keywords used, length, as well as other relevant data about each top result.
If you create content that’s head and shoulders above what’s available and inject it with a unique viewpoint or a fresh perspective, you will not only have a better chance of dominating the Google rankings, but will also have an easier time getting your article shared and published as a guest post, giving you powerful backlinks in the process.
You should also not waste the content that you already have – even if it isn’t up to par with the current SEO needs, you should update your old articles and turn them into an asset that will help you increase your SEO presence.
Don’t forget to include a call to action
After you take the effort to develop content that brings real value and draws interest from your target audience, the worst thing you could do is waste that positive influence that you’ve attained by not including a compelling call to action at the end of your articles and other content.
With so many distractions and opportunities for an online user, you need to be explicit and persuasive with your call to actions because otherwise there’s little chance of your site’s visitor sticking around for long.
But what exactly should you include in a call to action?
Well, that depends on each situation, but in general, you want it to be the next logical step in the prospect’s journey towards becoming your customer.
A good call to action might be a suggestion of another article that relates or expands on the subject, an offer of an e-book or a report that enhances on the topic in exchange for an email address, or even a link to a product page that offers a related solution.
The critical thing to remember when developing your call to actions is that they need to connect with the content that they just consumed. Since a visitor of your site just finished learning more about a particular subject, your best bet is to offer him the opportunity to continue on the same path instead of disrupting the journey with unrelated messages.
You’d be shocked at how many businesses waste all of their effort by not having a proper call to action, so make sure you take the time to include it so that you can increase your conversion rate dramatically in a matter of minutes.
Employ a video content strategy to engage a broader audience
Most business owners don’t use video in their online marketing efforts, and that’s understandable – producing quality video content can seem complicated, time-consuming, and expensive.
However, those that take the time to develop video content that’s relevant to their audience, gain an immediate advantage in the marketplace and can tap into a new segment of their audience, so even if you haven’t done any video marketing before, now is a great time to start.
What’s more, with everyday technology becoming more powerful, you don’t need fancy equipment to start producing videos as soon as today. In fact, often all you need is a phone camera and cheap or even free video production software. If you really don’t want to get in front of a camera, you don’t have to either – even simple slideshow videos or screen-share tutorials can be immensely helpful to your audience and produce great results.
But why should you bother with video?
Well, as we mentioned before, not nearly as many businesses are doing video compared to those that are producing articles, so you’ll be separating yourself from most of your competition and will have a much easier time standing out.
What’s more, video marketing offers unique SEO opportunities as well – YouTube has its own search engine that’s much less competitive in a lot of niches, so you can start getting substantial traffic to your site from the videos if you look for less competitive keywords.
Another thing to remember is that Google owns YouTube, so it has started to feature video results in the SERPs more often as well. You can sometimes find two or even three videos on the top results page, so having a relevant and informative video on the subject can help you gain a spot for some of the more competitive keywords in your niche.
Nurture your leads using informative content
One of the biggest benefits that content can offer is being able to nurture your leads and guide them towards deciding to buy.
Unlike traditional marketing, content doesn’t raise the defenses of your prospects – they are actually enthusiastic about learning more about the subject, so you have the perfect opportunity to educate your audience and position yourself as an authority in the field.
By helping them overcome obstacles, you will immediately form a relationship with your prospects that will significantly increase the chances of them buying from you and not the competitors. However, to reap the full benefits of your content, you need to know how to use it correctly.
The first thing you must ensure is that you have a deep understanding of what are the biggest problems your audience is facing – that’s the only way you’ll be able to develop content that helps them move forward until buying your product is the natural next step.
Don’t be afraid to provide value with your content, but structure it in a way that positions your products and services as the ultimate solution – by taking a “lock and key” approach with your content marketing, you can make your product seem like the only viable option.
Once your blog gains some traction, you should be able to get more guest post submissions on your blog, which will help you cover subjects that aren’t your strong suit and make your blog even more valuable to your readers.