Most successful B2B content marketers won’t be afraid to share their secret – they very rarely do it on their own! As they focus on improving, or establishing, their content marketing process they ensure they have one key ingredient in place: the buy-in and participation from the rest of their business.
B2B content marketing is a complex process of combining the strength and experience that’s unique to your company – your story! – with what’s important to your target audience. As such, in B2B, it is not a task for one person or team.
That story can’t possibly reside in just one person’s mind, created through their perspective alone. The role of the B2B marketer is to play the part of the internal investigator, working with various stakeholders to unearth and combine their unique contributions, and piece them together in a compelling narrative. And then turn this narrative into a schedule of content ideas that are relevant and interesting to your potential customers!
Getting the most out of your B2B content marketing team
Some marketers have an easier time than others getting the rest of the business involved in the process. Here are the steps we take with our customers when running their B2B content marketing programs:
1. Secure senior management buy-in
There’s no doubt it about it, a customer and marketing focus needs to start at the top. If this is lacking in your business, you may need some inspiration to assist you in having the right conversations.
The business case for B2B content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s this: Content is what sustains regular conversations and establishes trust with your target market. Without it, you are just talking about product - which only a small percentage of your market cares about – and potentially ignoring the majority of your potential customers!
For additional inspiration, take a look at Total Synergy’s story on how they have transformed their sales and marketing process to ensure a relevant customer experience at all stages of the B2B buyer’s journey. Or read our article on the buyer’s journey – or what we call, the Buyer RACER – for a more detailed overview of the key concepts.
Alternatively, get in touch if you’d like us to talk to your senior management team. We can come in and present the content we’ve delivered at large conferences, such as Microsoft’s APC.
2. Be clear on your target market and buyer personas of focus
In order to cut through the noise of the web, your content must have focus. Before you start engaging the business and generating B2B content marketing ideas, make sure you can clearly identify your target market(s) and, within each of these, the buyer personas to which you will be speaking to.
These two elements are the foundation of effective content marketing. If this is new to you, do get in touch, we can introduce you to the process of establishing this foundation.
3. Ensure you get the right people involved
Generally, when starting out, the more people you get involved, the better, as everyone has an interesting perspective. To help you focus, however, consider the following:
- Who will help you get to the heart of your company’s unique story?
- Who has the depth of experience you need?
- Who has an interesting way of looking at complex problems, your company solutions or the market as a whole?
- Who can provide best insights to your customers?
Spend some time thinking through these questions and developing your list. The aim is to get a range of different perspectives, that you can then weave together into a company narrative and content plan. Your list should include representatives from the following teams / departments: Sales (who can provide better insights to customer than those that spend the most time with them?!); Product; Technical; and Customer Service, among others.
4. Initiate regular Content Leadership meetings
Once you have your dream team in place, ensure that you establish a regular schedule for your content marketing conversations. We are often asked, ‘how often should we meet?’. This depends on where you are at in your process and how big your team is – your direct marketing team and your extended team of subject matter experts.
Initially you may meet more often and, as you get more established and familiar with the process, the schedule may change. If you have a marketing team, you may decide to make content a formal agenda item at the start and end of a week and bring in your experts less often – every fortnight or once a month.
If you are just starting out, we suggest that you have formal content planning discussions at least weekly – to establish the momentum and keep it going! We run these meetings for our clients as part of our Content-as-a-Service offer. Get in touch to find out more.
5. Make sure you ask the right questions
Once you have your team established, you need an agenda and a set of question to help guide the conversation that will help uncover engaging content marketing ideas. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Are your buyer personas up-to-date? Do they need review? Consider their professional pains and challenges, their tactical and strategic goals, objectives etc.
- What are the buyer personas talking about / asking about? What is top of mind for them?
- What’s happening in the market place? Any emerging trends or developments? How can we contribute to these conversation?
- How is the existing content performing? Have you had any feedback?
- What is our product development pipeline?
- What are our competitors up to?
The B2B marketer as team captain
There’s no doubt about it, B2B content marketing is a team sport. As marketers, it is not our job alone to craft and create all the content ideas. In fact, we would not be doing our job properly if we tried. Instead, we need to create our dream team, set the strategy and get the most out of the individual players. For another point of view, here are some great suggestions from the CMI about the different roles required in a content marketing team/organisation.
If hiring a full-time content specialist team is not an option for your business, Content-as-a-Service by Mogrify could be the answer. We provide your business with the expertise and process required to run your content marketing activities, without having to take on additional head count. Give us a call to find out more.
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