Four Essential Steps for Building a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Audience. It’s one of the most frequent things business professionals fail to properly understand or simply forget about as their organization grows and evolves. It can take a lot of time and hard work to create solid connections between vendors and their partners, and the corporate messaging can either help or hinder that process.
That is one of the most important things for B2B companies to remember. You not only need to know who your customer is, but understand how to work your company’s value proposition into the background conversation. A successful content strategy will help and here are four key steps that every channel-focused organization can follow to make sure they’re doing all they can to connect with their partner base:
- Build a dynamic website
This is where prospective channel partners learn the most about your company, so be sure every page consistently conveys the proper message. Your online presence is more crucial today than ever before. A proper channel-focused website will drive engagement and encourage prospects to call, email, respond via chat or fill out a brief form to get the conversation started. In addition, it’s your digital content repository that hosts articles (i.e. news, blogs and media mentions) and video; everything that can and should be promoted extensively through your social media accounts.
The main page should establish your company’s value proposition for the channel and offer easy-to-follow drop downs and links that provide prospects with what they need to know. Most importantly, it’s where you can share your story and branding, so be sure your site offers an engaging and satisfying user experience…and make sure to update the content regularly.
- Develop and promote quality content
How do you convey your company’s channel value proposition? Most companies do a great job of explaining what they do in person but fail to support that message with dynamic content such as blogs, videos and infographics. Provide your prospects and current partners with a continual stream of material that will peak and engage their interests, while gently promoting your company’s ability to help them take advantage of innovative ideas. When done well, this content should drive a variety of new sales and partnering opportunities.
Reminder: the articles you share on social media and link to on your website don’t always have to be your own. Look for complementary content from industry thought leaders and experts in areas that interest your target audience, especially when they reinforce your company’s value proposition. Social sharing is free, but be sure to get permission from the author or originating company before posting their material on your site (may be copyright protected).
- Employ effective SEO methodologies
Search optimization is a necessary evil in today’s business environment. If your company isn’t ranking high on Google, Bing , Yahoo or any of a number of other sites, it sends the wrong message to prospects and partners. Not only does it make it harder to find information on your company, but questions your business commitment and marketing effectiveness. Of course, a solid SEO plan requires a regular stream of high-quality and relevant content, as well as a solid social media presence to improve your online visibility. The good news? If your company doesn’t have a quality specialist in house, there are a number of third-party organizations available to help. Be sure to do your homework and check references.
- Listen socially
Is your company actively engaged with its online audience? Are you listening and encouraging discussions with prospects, customers and other stakeholders? If not, you need a more strategic social media plan. That includes listening to your competitors as much as your own audience, giving your team a more comprehensive view of the business landscape and issues those in your industry are encountering. Watch what the influencers say and do online and pay close attention the tactics employed by thought leaders, competitors and consumers. Follow others social media posts and blogs, and spend time each day keeping up with industry-related news (set Google Alerts for companies and key terms).
The channel has become an extremely competitive environment for vendors. It takes more than an expression of commitment to gain traction; you have to back it up with solid products, services and support. If and when those are firmly in place, then it’s time to tell the world. An effective content strategy will ensure that happens and help you make a better connect with your target audience.