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Today, more B2B companies are thinking like media companies. They realize it isn’t about traditional selling or interrupting people, it’s about connecting with their audience and building permission.

But what do audiences actually want? They want useful, actionable information that helps solve problems, answer questions and make connections. To that end, valuable B2B content helps companies increase trust and ultimately boost lead generation in a way that scales.  To achieve this, follow the steps outlined next to build your brand with valuable content:



  1. Planning.  The key to thinking like a media company is to add a solid content strategy to your overall B2B marketing plan. Once this is established, you have a clear and decisive direction for your content. Part of the planning process should involve a deep dive into the content that matters to your audience. The planning phase should address buyer personas, understanding potential audiences, what problems they have and how they can be solved. Once you set clear and definable goals for your content, it’s time to start creating that content.


  2. Content creation. Traditional push marketing tactics and sales-like pitches are only half the battle. Smart companies are using inbound approaches by marketing with powerful and engaging B2B content. Carefully crafted, genuinely useful content with valuable information bring prospects in organically and gets them thinking---generating higher qualified leads. Sample content formats to leverage include:


    • B2B blogs


    • Video content


    • Audio content  (e.g., podcasts)


    • White papers


    • B2B case studies


    • Guest posting on other industry-relevant blogs


    • Creative and shared content through B2B social media





    • Promotion. Building the right content is not enough. To read it, your audience needs to find the content. Making it as simple as possible for your prospects to find, share and consume is vital.To get your content seen and shared, develop a promotion process for each piece of content in order for it to have the highest propensity to spread across the web.  This process should be tailored to your category and include both search and social tactics.


    Every company is a media company. Today, B2B companies connect faster and easier with audiences of prospective customers---and powerful content is the key to attracting new business. Harnessing it can bring in more fans and ultimately more sales.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Maria Pergolino works as Director of Marketing at Marketo, where she specializes in demand generation, inbound marketing, and campaign optimization. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six. Maria has a Marketing Degree and MBA from the School of Business at Rutgers University, is a Salesforce Certified Administrator, and a speaker at numerous marketing events. She is the author of the most success social media book created specifically for B2B Marketers, The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media, and has also written for many marketing blogs, including frequent contributions to Marketo's popular blog, Modern B2B Marketing, found at http://blog.marketo.com. You can reach Maria at http://www.twitter.com/inboundmarketer or maria@marketo.com. For questions about marketing automation please email sales@marketo.com.