It’s not hard to create content today. After all, there are thousands of content mills in operation, churning out endless streams of content. And automated content creators and content bots, which are getting better and better at creating content, are poised to help meet the internet’s limitless need for fresh content.
But if you’re a B2B marketer, you know that there’s a lot more involved in creating content that will help you meet your inbound marketing goals. Whether it’s created by a human or a bot, B2B content has to be relevant, engaging and provide value, in order to keep your prospects engaged as they move through your sales funnel. The right content, in fact, will lay the foundation for a relationship with your prospects, based on expertise and trust, all from interactions with your website.
The key is to create the right kind of content – content that speaks to your prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey, offering the information they want at the precise moment they want it. Can a content bot come up with a strategy and the right content to meet these goals? Well, probably not yet. (But that day may be coming soon. For an eye-opening comparison of human-generated content vs. bot-created content, check out the website bot or not. Created by Benjamin Laird and Oscar Schwartz, this site shows you a poem, and invites you to guess if it was written by a person – or generated by a bot. It’s harder than you think!)
Here are some steps you can take to make sure that you’re creating the right kind of content to meet your marketing goals:
Plan your editorial calendar
All of your content should be itemized on your editorial calendar. Choose a timeframe (six months, or a year) and start filling in topics and formats. List everything from social media posts to blog posts to white papers. Include the content you’ll create for exhibitions and trade shows, speaker events, and product launches. Measure this against your marketing goals. Are you creating content that supports your goals, or just creating content to support what’s happening around you? Your editorial calendar should be a clear reflection of your strategy, with blogposts, articles, social media campaigns, etc., tied closely to your goals.
Check out your competition
Take a look at the content that’s your competitors are creating. Assess it on its ability to engage and offer value to prospects. Then compare it to your own content offering. Look at the content offered by leading B2B companies in other industries. Check out some great B2C websites too.
Use different content formats – long, short, infographics, video, images, cinemographs
Mix it up with different formats. Take some interesting content and turn it into an infographic. Try adding a cinemagraph. And make sure you’re using lots of video, including live video. Researchers at Facebook found that people are 300% more likely to watch a live video than one that was pre-recorded. And according to live video company Livestream, more people would rather watch live video than read a blog (80%), and 82% of people prefer live video to social posts.
Think ‘mobile first.’ You can have the greatest content in the world on your website, but if it isn’t optimized for mobile you risk losing a big part of your intended audience. Even for big-ticket purchases such as technology solutions and equipment, prospects are increasingly doing their research on their phones. So no downloadable PDFs!
Try HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator
If you’re really stuck for ideas (or need a fun break), try HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator. We entered these terms:
- Good content
- Bad content
- The right kind of content
And here are the blog ideas we got:
- 10 Quick Tips About Good Content
- 20 Myths About Bad Content
- Think You're Cut Out for Doing the Right Kind of Content? Take This Quiz
- Why We Love Good Content (And You Should, Too!)
- The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Bad Content
Sounds like some good ideas.
For more information on inbound marketing, download the free checklist 'How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign', and start building your own custom inbound marketing campaign that works!
If you’re looking for support with creating the right kind of content, Living Stone’s experts are here to help. We can help you with strategy, developing and managing editorial calendars, and copywriting, from white papers to blogposts to social media campaigns. We’d be glad to talk with you.