Pro tips for creating a revenue-driven B2B content marketing strategy
A lot of marketers fill out a content calendar and call it a strategy.
But don’t be fooled:
Simply having a plan of what content you’re producing over the next three months isn’t enough.
Your content strategy needs to be tied to your company’s wider marketing goals.
That means blogs don’t just sit on your site and collect dust. They actually contribute to revenue.
To both achieve this and prove it with data, you need to invest time and resources into getting your B2B content marketing strategy right.
So we spoke to someone who’s already built a successful content engine.
One which sees him collaborate with some of the world’s top scaleups like Intercom, UiPath, Zendesk, Monzo, Trustpilot and Cazoo.
In this blog, Juro’s Director of Content, Tom Bangay, gives you the tips and tricks you’ll need to build a successful B2B content marketing strategy. And in double quick time.
Without further ado, let’s start. 👇🏼
What is a B2B content marketing strategy?
A B2B content marketing strategy is an extension of your company strategy. It uses content to help achieve key business goals like generating targeted leads, converting customers and retaining business. You can use number of content formats to achieve this, including blogs, newsletters, videos, eBooks, white papers and more.
B2B content marketing strategies are also frequently updated to match the changing problems and ambitions of personas. Usually, this happens on a quarterly basis, but can vary from company to company.
Why do you need one?
It’s pretty simple.
For your content to consistently get results, you can’t expect to throw mud at a wall and hope it sticks.
You need a data-driven strategy that demonstrates tangible value. Which means contributing to your business’ growth.
Ultimately if you’re working in any business and you don’t tie content to wider strategic objectives, you’ll be in for some difficult conversations.
You shouldn’t worry about being judged against revenue that comes from content. You should be worried about your job security if you’re not judged this way.
How do you start your B2B content marketing strategy?
Once you’re clear on the company objectives, defining your audience is the most important part of your content marketing strategy.
And this is the responsibility of your whole business.
Not just content.
Because without a wider understanding of your customers’ pain points, ambitions and profile, you won’t be able to create a content strategy that accurately reflects your company’s goals.
More than that, you’ll end up creating content for people that won’t buy your product.
So if you’re not confident in your ideal customer profile (ICP), that’s what you need to work on before starting on your content strategy.
What makes Juro's content strategy work?
At Juro, we live by a few core content principles. They can work for anyone, but a lot of content marketers neglect them and skip to the end - do that, and before you know it, you’re just servicing a blog that doesn’t have any impact on the company’s growth.
If you’re one of those people, now’s the time to switch things up...
Digging deep into our ICP
We spend a lot of time with the people we’re trying to convert. And I mean a lot.
That means understanding their professional ambitions and pain points. It also means understanding how they function day to day.
Because if you don’t do that, you’re basing your content strategy on guesswork. And relying on guesswork means 10% of your content will resonate, rather than 90%.
It’s also a marketing shortcut. If what you want is relevant demand, then it’s much faster to borrow someone else’s brand than to build your own.
Writing content on behalf of people who fit your ICP and positioning them as thought leaders is a win for them as much as it is for you - they’re happy to be positioned as experts, and you get the reflected glory and promotional benefits of their brands.
It also earns you a nice chunk of goodwill: something you can cash in later on. In content like anywhere else, it’s good to have friends.
At Juro, we use this leverage to dive deeper into our ICP’s daily life. Not just abstract thinking about what content they might find useful - unless they’re content strategists, how could they answer that question well?
It’s much better to be human and try to understand their lives. Buy them lunch, chat off the record and find out what makes them happy, sad, frustrated and empowered in a typical working day. It might be something as personal as:
“What’s it like being a new father, working out of his back bedroom, whilst trying to lead the legal department of a bank?”
Because by understanding the inner workings of your ICP, you can start speaking to them in a way that truly resonates.
Plus you’ll never struggle for content ideas again.
Specialised newsletters and Slack groups can give you direct access to a bunch of ideal customers in one go. Instead of trying to find the magical oasis where they all hang out, just build it yourself.
Keeping our activity focused
Setting goals is one of the key ingredients to a successful B2B content marketing strategy.
But when you do this, it’s important to remember that you can’t hit every goal with every bit of content.
So writing a piece that...
- Is 2,000-words-long
- Is super well written
- Ranks high in Google
- Solves all your customers’ pain points
...is not quite impossible, but certainly not easy, and definitely not scalable with a small team. What you can do is focus on achieving one of those things.
And that’s this targeted approach we take with our content strategy.
So, per quarter, we might just pick two or three high-intent keywords to pursue - instead of aiming broad with ‘contracts’, or ‘automation’, you can ensure relevance by going super narrow, like 'how to automate an NDA' or 'how to manage contracts in Salesforce'.
Or we might put most of our resources into producing a high-value eBook we think will give us six months’ worth of leads.
We choose our horses carefully and back them with everything we’ve got. We can do that with confidence because we’re in constant contact with our personas.
And we’ll use them to stress test our strategy to make sure it’s on the money.
Writing content with bylines
As a marketer, you’re a nobody. As a marketer in a startup, you’re a special kind of nobody.
It sounds harsh. But it’s true.
So how do you make people listen to a word you say?
Well, you get somebodies to front your content. And you use their bylines.
That’s why we spend a lot of our time building relationships with cool people at cool brands.
This allows us to grow faster than it would, say, trying to make ourselves as cool as Monzo.
Instead, we just borrow their General Counsel for a guest blog.
How to rank on Google
One of the main goals for every B2B content marketing strategy is ranking high on Google.
And pleasing the algorithm takes some care and attention.
To do it, you need to think about on and off-page SEO.
First for the easy part.
On-page SEO is in your control. And just by doing the basics for low-difficulty target keywords, you can rank.
So here are four tips that’ll help you tick Google’s boxes:
Make your content readable
Try using a free tool like Hemingway Editor to check your writing is clear and concise.
Have a clear heading hierarchy
Use H1s, H2s, H3s & H4s and include target keywords to help Google index your content.
Embedding YouTube videos can improve your Google ranking. Just be sure to not include overly large files that affect your load speed.
Use anchor links to help your readers skim.
Off-page SEO is a little trickier.
Particularly when it comes to higher difficulty keywords.
You’ll need backlinks to your content from high authority domains if you want to rank on page one.
And there’s a couple of techniques that’ll help you get them:
The Skyscraper Technique
To do this, you need to Google the keyword you rank for. Then you need to outreach to the top ranking pieces and ask for a backlink.
While the payoff for this can be big, it can be time-consuming.
That’s because you have to find a person with the authority to give you a backlink. And you also have to justify why they should do that.
This is Juro’s go-to backlink strategy. It’s not right for everyone, but if you have firepower in your content team, there are plenty of companies who don’t, and are happy to take your posts.
By offering other companies with high domain authority (50+) free content, you can build links that push you up the search engine results page (SERP).
Partner case studies help us do this on a regular basis.
For example, we’ll write a rave review of products we use in-house, in exchange for three dofollow backlinks.
Trust us: it works.
Managing your content
If you do the basics right, managing your content output is your easiest task.
Here are a couple of things we do that work for us at Juro:
Content calendars keep a content strategy on track.
Tools like Trello and Monday, for example, help you manage workflows, while giving real-time progress reports to senior leadership.
But don’t overthink them:
Deadlines will change and opportunities will arise after you’ve finalised the titles for the next quarter.
A style guide helps you scale your content internally.
It also helps you keep your content consistent when you work with freelancers.
That means there’ll be no more arguments about when to use a hyphen.
Especially for senior content marketers, making a final (and documented) call on style and grammar means you won’t be pulled into every content conversation.
It may take a bit of time upfront, but it’s more than worth the effort.
Reviewing your ICP and content strategy goals
You can’t just set and forget a B2B content marketing strategy.
To make sure it’s contributing to revenue, you need to do regular reviews of your ICP and strategy goals.
At Juro, the whole marketing team sits down, looks at the B2B marketing data and makes a call on this, as well as the channels we’re using.
Then we look to the quarter ahead and start mapping out the events in our calendar.
This gives our strategy a solid backbone which we can fold Big Rocks and eBooks around.
And there you have it! That’s how to create a revenue-driven B2B content marketing strategy. Download our Content Marketing Playbook if you want to learn more. 👇🏼
Over the last 10+ years, Tom has worked for Chambers and Partners, The International Bar Association, Thomson Reuters and Investec. He also edits films for The Arbuturian.