Many great marketers are amazed when it comes to creating a content schedule that will help them reach their short and long term goals. We recently explored what forms the basis for a successful B2B marketing strategy.
Here we’re going to look at the types of content you want to include in your content calendar.
Short-form content is anything between 100 and 300 words long. These could be brief updates on your business, product launches, press releases, etc. These can also be called “snackable” because they don’t require an investment of time from the public.
This type of content tends to be between 500 and 1,500 words long. When it comes to content created for digital consumption, such as on a B2B website, this interval is considered “long-form” because it takes 10 to 20 minutes to read. This applies to most industries, but it doesn’t include things like product manuals or dissertations for more scientific or regulated industries.
If the goal of your website is to generate leads and retain clients, a blog is an essential part of your B2B website design. Regardless of the frequency with which blogs are created, blog posts are often one of the building blocks of a robust content calendar.
Guides and ebooks
Depending on available resources, the content calendar might include a guide or eBook downloadable once a year, once a quarter, or once a month. These are great resources for attracting potential customers who are in the early stages of decision making.
White papers are often more in-depth than guides or ebooks. They may be more clinical or be based on research. These pieces of content often require more resources and skills to make. Generally, but not always, provide more detailed information to prospects who are about to make a decision.
Press Releases / New Articles
It’s hard to find a customer or partner willing to promote your company or products. As such, it’s imperative that you plan to “tap your own horn”, so to speak. Press release and news articles on your B2B or PR Wire website are a great way to create content that showcases your successes, accomplishments, or breakthroughs. However, just like no one likes a person who talks only about themselves, this is only part of your content strategy.
The only thing we miss in content calendars is graphics, mainly because infographics are typically generated from content from guides, ebooks, or white papers. Often times, good infographics are stand-alone pieces.
Video content should not be an afterthought or live outside the content schedule. Just as you want all of your written and visual content to be consistent, you want all video content to be consistent with your overall message. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and lacking the skills to make great videos, find a video partner, or start small with live interviews or recording webinars or training sessions.
Think about what your customers and prospects need to know. Does your end-user need to know the difference between the two types of products? Are your services not easy to understand for your end-users? Include strictly educational content into your content calendar. These pieces are NOT promotional or sales-oriented. Think of them as a workout.
Your sales team faces the same questions and concerns throughout the sales process. While creating sales-centric materials shouldn’t be the central focus of your B2B content strategy, it can be useful to create content that the sales team to use in the sales process. This includes things like client testimonials, customer case studies, customer stats, etc. The bottom line with sales-oriented content is to approach it from the perspective of the prospect, not yours.
While we recommend that you minimize the amount of promotional content you include on your calendar, this can have a purpose. Promotional material shows what makes your products or services different. The real masters of content marketing create promotional content that doesn’t look like promotion and really resonates with potential clients or clients.
Timely + Trending
You are an expert in your industry. In many cases, you will have a better understanding of your industry. Think about it, you probably work with tens, hundreds, or thousands of companies in your industry. Your clients can only have their own institutional knowledge. Be sure to include spots or openings in your content calendar to create timely content that explores what’s happening in your industry or trends you see emerging.
A client recently told us that while a particular piece of content was “basic” or “entry-level” knowledge, it was perfect. Why? Because the buyers they interacted with were often recent graduates new to buying their products or experienced purchasers new to their industry. In either case, the core or core content was essential in building trust with these prospects.
Strategic Thinking Leadership
Again, you are an expert in your industry. Understand the challenges your clients and prospects face on a daily or weekly basis. Well-written, thoughtful leadership content is essential to building your business’s credibility. This type of content does not have a promotional angle. If so, it is not about thought leadership.
Yes, a list of definitions or terms can be considered part of your content marketing strategy. At some point in your career, you likely came across a piece of content that was constantly helpful and that you kept on hand for quick reference. A glossary or reference piece, while simple, is an excellent way to give your prospects the information they need.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any B2B content marketing schedule. Your content calendar should focus on the end-user first, but the end-user won’t even get to your website without SEO. Successful content strategies include a mix of content created primarily for SEO while having the benefit of being useful to prospects or clients. Learn about the art of choosing the right SEO keywords for your strategy.