Shweiki teams up with Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, to present a webinar about awesome blog topic ideas for B2B marketing.
There is not much of a difference in content planning between B2B and B2C marketing. The fact that you are selling to people is not unique. What is unique about a business is its perspective.
There are four ways I like to gather good content ideas initially.
- Anybody in the company who talks to prospects should ask them what questions they are asked most often in meetings, such as delivery, price and point of differentiation. This can yield easily around 20-30 questions. If people are asking these questions in a sales meetings, then people are googling them.
- Write down all the questions the customer service department is asked.
- Go to your website and download the frequently asked questions.
- Go to sent mail to see what kind of questions your clients are emailing you that you answer. Trends start to appear when you answer the same questions over and over again. If you can provide a link to where these frequently asked questions are answered, then it will save time, drive traffic to your website, and be at the top of mind for customers.
In the beginning, it is hard to brainstorm for content with a blank canvas. Once you get going, content creation becomes easier. To start, think about what you already have been talking about and build from there. Another good idea, is to Bcc your marketing department whenever sales or CSR answers important questions. By doing this in the beginning, it should generate about six months worth of content.
I also subscribe to 91 newsletters that I get weekly. I send them to a separate folder so my inbox does not get inundated with mail. I sign up for SmartBrief. On Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I look at articles. These are all good places to look for inspiration. Once you start creating content regularly, it will become top of mind and blog topics will be easier to come by. Go to competitors or trade associations in your industry to see what they are doing. You should also subscribe to industry blogs.
Who should the content be directed to or written for? You have to figure out who your customer is and speak to them. Do not try to be all things to all people. Focus on the main decision makers.
If you have three main target groups but do not have the resources to target all of them, then prioritize in terms of most important. As you add resources, you can expand your focus to the others.
What topics and ideas should be accomplished first? Prioritize content based on the number of times a question is asked. What is the question that is asked over and over again and start with that one.
How much content should be written about a company and product? Most of the content regarding a company, product or service specifically belongs on the website and not in a content plan. There is a lot of ways to create content and still talk about the product, company or service without being boring.
What are good examples of topics? One way to incorporate your company into a blog post is by offering yourself as a viable solution a problem. If there is a problem, offer potential solutions with yourself as one.
How much should keyword research play a part in content creation? What do you do? What I like to do is write the content first and create the title, subheads, and SEO stuff after. I do the human element then apply the technical. Figure out what the main theme is and what people are searching for by looking at Google AdWords keyword planner. I write the SEO title and description based on those results.
How long should it take for a B2B company to start seeing the benefits and results of a content plan? From a B2B perspective, it takes a year to breakeven. Year two will start to yield a profit if you continue the strategy.
When developing a content plan, think about hitting three parts.
- Building Awareness and Trust
- Building SEO
- Lead Generation
If you set up the program successfully, you will hit all three.