Content marketing can be the backbone of a successful business. Crafting useful and informative content that appeals to your target audience and helps them resolve their pain points is precisely what can help you sell your offerings.

Surprisingly, however, not every business focuses its efforts on content marketing. According to the latest content marketing research from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute (CMI), only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.

The same study found that 38% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy that isn't documented, and 25% of B2B marketers don't even have a defined strategy for their content marketing efforts.

If you are a B2B marketer who places a high value on content marketing, and you have a strategy to support your assets, you are already ahead of the game. But are you taking the right steps to ensure that none of your content marketing is being wasted?

Here are some actionable tips that will help you make your content marketing efforts pay off and help you effectively achieve your goals.

1. Build your content strategy around your mission statement

Creating and marketing content is not rocket science, yet a lot of marketers often lose sight after a while and have a tough time getting back on the right track. That is why you should build your content strategy around your mission statement: You will have a guide that you can easily follow.

Your content marketing mission statement will capture the essence of your content strategy and help you create high-quality content that converts. It will point you in the right direction and help you deliver real value to your readers.

Accordingly, your mission statement must be focused on your target audience's needs and pain points—not on your products or services.

Include your mission statement on your website so your customers can easily see it. It goes without saying that you should always deliver on your promise and consistently provide quality and compelling content that your readers will find useful.

2. A content calendar is a necessity

After creating your blog and learning the blogging basics necessary for making your blog effective, you need to create a content marketing plan that will guide you toward your goals. That plan should include a content calendar to give you clear insight into what, where, and when you will publish.

A content calendar will help you stay organized by detailing every piece of content that you will create in a certain period of time. It will help you schedule your content creation and distribution, helping you to stick to that schedule to maintain your blogging consistency.

Your content calendar will both save you time and prevent you from being repetitive by giving you a clear view of the topics you will need to tackle each month.

If you're not publishing a lot of content, Google Calendar might be just the right platform for you. But if you're publishing a lot of content, use a tool to help you seamlessly manage all your content marketing tasks. For example, Asana has a great editorial calendar feature that can help you stay on track with your content and increase productivity in your content marketing team.

3. Prepare a content brief

A content brief is an essential part of your content creation process because your content writers will use that brief as a guide to deliver high-quality content that compels your readers to return or take action.

Your content brief should contain information about your vision and everything your brand stands for. It should contain the goals, purpose, and objectives of your content so your writers can fully understand what you want to achieve. Include information about your target audience as well, because, after all, you're crafting content for them.

Also, address important specifications in the brief, such as the voice, tone, and style you want your content to have, to help your content creators inject your brand's personality into every single word they write.

All of that is especially important if you outsource your content creation and need to help the writers understand who you and your audience are so they can perfectly tailor the content to your and your readers' needs.

4. Establish and keep track of your KPIs (key performance indicators)

If you don't define your KPIs, how will you know whether your content marketing efforts are paying off? Your KPIs are metrics that will help you measure the success of your content marketing strategy. They will help you see how your content is performing so you know whether you are hitting your targets.

Define the key metrics that will show you where you stand with your goals and objectives, and track them regularly. For instance, you can track your blog subscriptions, time on page, bounce rates, conversion rates, traffic, page rank, sales, revenue, and anything else directly related to your defined business goals.

Once your KPIs show you that you've achieved a certain goal, you will know what you're doing right and what you may need to focus on a bit more.

5. Get feedback from the people it's intended for

Many B2B marketers mistake criticism for negative feedback when, in fact, it represents constructive feedback that can help them learn and improve. Feedback from your target audience is the best source for improvement, which is exactly why you should encourage your readers to give you their honest opinions regarding the quality of your content.

Enable comments on your blog and social media channels, and encourage discussions that you will also take part in. Take every piece of feedback into consideration to help you make better decisions that will lead to higher engagement and customer satisfaction.

Email is one of the best ways to gather customer feedback, but social media and comment boxes on your blog are also useful. When collecting feedback, explain why it is important and how you will use it.

And, most important, show your audience that you are effectively listening to them and that their feedback provides your business with great value.

6. Identify optimal content channels

It's not the smartest idea to distribute your content on every possible channel. Your target audience certainly doesn't use all the available channels, so there's no point in wasting time and effort marketing your content on platforms that won't bring you results.

Instead, identify the content channels that will help you reach the right type of audience and expand your customer base. Where do your target customers spend most of their time online? Which channels do they prefer for reading the type of content that you create or plan on creating?

Once you figure out what those best lead-generation channels are, you can focus your content marketing efforts there.

* * *

Those six tips may seem a bit basic at first, but they are essential for helping you achieve content marketing success.

Start with your mission statement to develop an effective content strategy. Then create a brief and content schedule to serve as a guide, and measure the performance of your content by keeping track of your KPIs and collecting constructive feedback from your readers.

All the while, share your content on the right social channels, where you will regularly communicate with your followers and entice them to check out your blog to see what else you have to offer. Capture their attention and keep engaging them, and you will hit the bullseye with every piece of content you produce.

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Six Tips to Ensure Your B2B Content Marketing Efforts Are Not Wasted

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image of Anja Skrba

Anja Skrba is a content creation manager for FirstSiteGuide, an educational website that provides tutorials and guides for creating, growing, and maintaining your online presence.

LinkedIn: Anja Skrba

Twitter: @AnjaSkrba