Social media may attract the most breathless headlines in today’s digital marketing circles, but search engine optimization (SEO) remains the most valuable tool for generating long-term traffic and leads. This is particularly true in the B2B digital marketing services sphere, where the focus is on creating lasting visibility, building relationships, and adding value rather than chasing quick hits of viral exposure.
But for SEO to be effective in the B2B space it needs to be built around solid content, and developing that content can be a challenge in a crowded market. If you’re finding inspiration hard to come by, here are eight proven ways of creating genuinely useful, relevant, and compelling content that delivers results.
- Keyword Research and Selection
Keywords lie at the core of all effective content creation. Their most basic use is to drive traffic by reflecting what topics potential customers are searching for, and providing content that meets those visitors’ needs. However, as you use research tools to find the most popular and relevant keywords, you’ll also be exposed to related ideas and concepts you might not have thought of originally, inspiring new ideas for targeted content.
However, don’t fall into the trap of chasing high-traffic keywords just for the sake of volume. Relevancy is vital if you want your traffic to convert into business, particularly in the B2B arena where impulse purchases are vanishingly rare. Use keyword search volume reports to inform which phrases are likely to drive the most traffic, but base your final selections on which questions your customers are asking and how you can provide compelling answers. Keyword research and selection is part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan and strategy which is the service we provide in a Digital Marketing Blueprint.
- Define Ideal Customer Personas and Audience
And of course, you can only identify which keywords your customers are using if you know who they really are. Defining an ideal customer persona (or several) is a tried-and-tested way of putting yourself into your customers’ shoes, giving you a starting point for developing attractive content.
To create a persona, draw up a profile of your typical customer’s background, profession, position, and the problems they’ll need to solve in their everyday work. How can your content speak to their needs, placing your company’s services at the fore of their attention? Each piece of content you create should speak as directly as possible to a customer persona, rather than simply hitting the keywords you’ve selected during research.
- Conduct a Content Review
Not all content needs to be brand new. Indeed, some of the most effective B2B content is ‘evergreen’ in nature, addressing the long-term themes of your industry without catering to fast-changing facts or fashions.
However, evergreen content can cross the line into staleness if it’s sitting untouched on your site for too long. Get into the habit of periodically reviewing your existing content and updating it if necessary, with fresh information, or simply improving its quality to maintain its value. And as a bonus, regular reviews will not only boost the effectiveness of existing content but will usually spark off ideas for new, related topics that can expand your keyword footprint.
- Repurposing Content
When you’re reviewing older content, consider if the same research and subject matter can be reused in another format. For example, could a lengthy article be condensed into a quickly digestible infographic? Could the same basic content be turned into a short video for spreading via social media with a link back to the original?
Repurposing content is usually much easier and less expensive than developing it from scratch, so make the most of the assets you already have available.
- Company News and Events
If your company releases a new product or service, extends its market, or otherwise changes what it offers, then that’s a natural source for new and relevant content ideas. An engaging but informative press release can gain wide exposure, while a blog post on the same topic will provide long-lasting value for your site.
But always bear in mind that B2B customers are primarily concerned with their own business, and not yours. Make sure most of your content is focused on a customer’s needs, with only a small amount devoted to your own company, or you risk projecting an inward-looking image.
- Industry News and Trends
By their nature, most B2B relationships develop in closely related industries. If there’s an industry event or development that interests you, it will also likely interest at least some of your customers. Creating content on industry news not only generates exposure but can also build a reputation for expertise if you add insight and commentary to each piece.
- Leverage Your Own Industry Experts
Your business likely has daily access to experts in your industry’s fields, whether that’s yourself, your employees, or the agencies you work with. Could an interview with any of these experts serve as a basis for compelling content? Choose a topic in which your expertise will shine through and you’ll not only create content with traffic potential but also boost your business reputation in the process.
- Make Customer Support a Traffic Generator
Lastly, customer support is often seen as a cost center but it can also be a powerful source of effective B2B traffic. If a paying customer has a question or concern, a prospect would probably also benefit from your company’s response. Every time a query lands in your support section, make a note and consider ways it could be turned into evergreen content that speaks to a wider audience rather than that specific customer. Publish this content in a FAQ or blog post form, and over time you’ll develop a genuinely useful resource with the potential to generate both traffic and leads.
These ideas are only a starting point for a well-rounded content campaign. Our B2B digital marketing services can help you explore your business’s content potential, and develop your SEO strategy for maximum effect. We can also take care of ongoing campaign maintenance with our adaptive search engine optimization approach that continually hones your B2B results over time, establishing your business reputation for expertise and value in your field. Let our experienced San Jose digital marketing team at WSI Smart Web Marketing help you put everything together for you to unlock the full potential of B2B online marketing.
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