Content marketing is an absolutely crucial piece of marketing for any B2B company; it might even be said that it is non-negotiable. Yet many companies, even successful ones, are completely phoning it in – this is nowhere more true than it is with startups.Do you as an entrepreneur or marketer feel a constant or persistent pressure to make “content”? To keep that LinkedIn or Facebook active? Maybe you follow the common wisdom of posting once a day.When it comes to any piece of marketing advice, it’s crucial to disregard the common knowledge and instincts that are out there. By doing what everyone else is doing, you are setting yourself up for failure; not distinguishing yourself and your content is equivalent to marketing suicide.What’s that you say? But Chris – I can’t write! I don’t want to have to hire an agency, freelancer, or gob-forbid get one of my employees to write for me and mess with the brand image…

B2B Content Is No Longer Blogging

The first critical piece of knowledge with respect to modern content marketing is it is not just about writing blog content stacked with keywords for SEO, or a sleazy lead-magnet “e-book” that’s really a poorly disguised sales pitch. No, content marketing is about providing value – providing content – that’s it.

Content can be provided in many different formats, not just writing – in fact, with people’s limited attention span and the busy schedules of the decision-makers you’re targeting, chances are no one is reading your “800 word” mega-optimized blog you spent 8 hours producing.

At You Don’t Need A CMO, we split content into 5 different buckets:

  • Engaging Content: Controversial or Emotional Quotes/Statements (LinkedIn, Twitter, FB) or Memes (Instagram, Facebook)
  • Live Content: Webinars, livestreams, or chat groups/AMAs (typically opt-in)
  • Distributed Content: Podcasts, interview clips, infographics that can be easily shared.
  • Targeted Content: Instructional videos, slide decks, etc. (Generally posted on LinkedIn or promoted as a download on your landing page)
  • Crap Content: Blogs and website content for SEO.

There are many subcategories within these 5 but in terms of production and objectives, this is a very effective way to think about it. Each have their own pros and cons, and serve a specific and warranted purpose in your content marketing “stack”. Anyway, if you’re interested in one piece – make sure to sign up for our new slack community for marketing support 24/7 (more on that later) but for now, here are three actionable steps to get your content marketing apparatus live and performing.

Step 1: Gather Source Material for you B2B content Marketing

We recommend our clients have at least one ongoing source for content that is not dependent on having a full-time content writer researching and producing topics. This should be an organic avenue and in many cases can be developed our of things you already do. For example:

  • Turn your customer or client interviews into podcasts; interview them on their pain points and discuss how they address those pain points. (good opportunity to plug and demonstrate the value of your product)
  • Film and stream your demo calls and events/conferences; turn calls into webinars; get a video producer on Upwork to put together some well-produced clips. (good example in a B2B context here)
  • Have market research for your investors and pitch deck? Take the most interesting studies or data points and send to your designer and make a few infographics.

Step 2: Pick The Destination

Channel selection is one area where following your competitors is a good idea. Where do people in your industry go to consume content? Are you are targeting recruiters? Maybe LinkedIn is a solid option…with advertising, blog, and messaging opportunities…or maybe you are targeting gym owner and a visual medium like Instagram might be ideal. Or you’re targeting developers and Reddit is the perfect place to find them.

The selection of channels does not end at social media; webinars and events can be posted to Meetups, Google My Business, and more – for example, we post our webinars to Crunchbase and Gary’sGuide which target startups in NYC. Likely, there are more sources in your industry – forums, industry publications, private memberships, conference sites – even email newsletters.

Once you have a solid set of targets, it’s time to distribute.

Step 3: Gather Data and Iterate

You’re not going to know off the bat what content works best – it’s just not possible. Over time, you’ll notice certain content trending – pay attention to the qualitative factors; the quality of the interactions, shares, and replies – or maybe the inbound leads you received. Be proactive in reaching out to people you’ve found examining your content to ask them what they were drawn too.

It’s not realistic to expect your content to be picked up immediately – we’ve seen this mistake repeatedly. It’s also not realistic to expect your content to be picked up at all – it doesn’t matter if your content is top-notch or your timing/regularity is flawless. That’s just not how these systems work.

You’re going to need one of two deployment options.

  1. Ads – recommended if you are posting to social networks, and if you have little patience of experience in organic marketing.
  2. Influence/Referrals – getting an influencer, PR publication or referral partner/company to pick up and post for you, or getting them to plug/reshare your social content.

Spam-posting LinkedIn and meetups groups is not going to work; instead, write a message communicating the value you are going to provide to the organizer or owner and get their approval to post. You may even be able to build a partnership or official relationship. This has worked for us particularly well on meetups – there are plenty of options and communities out there in 95% of industries and niches, even ones that are traditionally old school. The internet has been around for 30 years, folks. Look.

Through one or a combination of these methods, you’ll be able to get some engagements and views. Try to learn from the data; once you get an idea of what works, double down on quantity and frequency. It will pay off over time.

Conclusion

When thinking about marketing strategy for your B2B company, do the opposite of what the common knowledge tells you. Differentiate yourself from the masses by creating value, in your own unique way. Mix up the types of content you produce; not just the format (video, post, stream, image et) but the purpose.

Don’t create content that is too broad; but don’t go too niche; you need to keep content accessible to the full extent of the audience in your industry; that will allow you the “engagement” that will help you reach decision-makers.

                                                            Creating content should not be a colossal effort,

                                                         but it shouldn’t just be checking off the box either.

Content is something that’s best done internally. But it’s just one ingredient in the larger picture of B2B marketing – one that involves an ever-increasing number of variables and channels. Channels that might be best managed by people whose daily life revolves around those channels and those variables – with the right people at the helm, You Don’t Need A CMO.

You Don’t Need A CMO is one of the few hybrid marketing agency focused excluisvely on startups. With Over 50+ Clients and millions in revenue generated, we are the perfect solution to your marketing problems and the key catalyst in your customer acquisition.

Are you a technical startup founder of business owner with a great product/servive, but little-to-no marketing? If you’ve got the runway to trial us for a few months, we might be a great option. Read more about our signature demand-gen product here or book a discovery call now to get started.

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