Establishing your B2B content marketing goals
Having a crystal clear idea of what you want to achieve from your B2B content marketing campaign isn't always straightforward. You know you want your campaign to be successful, but what does that mean in terms of strategy, metrics, target audience, and the types of content you produce?
Are you looking to reach new audiences?
- Are you trying to bring more traffic to your website?
- Are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader?
- Are you looking to generate new leads or nurture existing ones?
If you're already familiar with B2B content marketing, you'll no doubt understand how important these questions are when establishing B2B content marketing goals.
To help clarify the importance of establishing your B2B content marketing goals this blog will look at:
- The different types of B2B content marketing goals.
- B2B content marketing benchmarks
- Why content marketing is important for B2B.
What are B2B content marketing goals?
B2B content marketing goals are what you will centre your B2B content marketing campaign around, and they will also help determine what metrics you use to measure success.
Without having clear goals and a strategy to achieve them, your time and marketing budget will likely go to waste.
You might have a brilliant idea for some content, and it can be tempting to make a spur of the moment decision and start creating content. But, if you don't know how to measure success, and you're not entirely sure who your target audience is, what's the point?
For example, you might have written an excellent 3000-word blog on how important lead generation is for a B2B business. But, if you aren’t laser-focused on your target audience, goal and strategy, your content will fall on deaf ears.
Without seeming pretentious, it's important to remember the phrase, 'fail to prepare; prepare to fail' when discussing B2B content marketing goals.
Common B2B content marketing goals
B2B content marketing goals often intermix, and it can be difficult to distinguish your exact goals without looking at several different options first. So, let's start by looking at the most common B2B content marketing goal, lead generation.
If you ask a group of B2B marketers, 'what is the main goal you look to achieve from a B2B content marketing campaign?', 9/10 will say, 'generate leads.'
And rightfully so.
In the B2B world, leads are everything, and any successful B2B business will prioritise lead generation as one of its primary marketing focuses.
Unlike the B2C world, B2B lead generation is a much more complex and time consuming process that requires B2B businesses to nurture their leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
If you're considering lead generation as one of your B2B content marketing goals, it's essential to establish at what stage of the buyer's journey your leads are at.
- Are you looking to target fresh leads and begin nurturing them through your marketing funnel?
- Are you looking to target leads who have shown an interest in your business before?
- Are you looking to target leads who are close to purchasing?
- Are you looking to bring back old leads for a return purchase?
Once you've established what types of leads you're looking to target, you can then look at developing a B2B content marketing strategy that will address the unique needs of the decision maker.
Getting your name out there and letting people know about the existence of your business is a very popular B2B content marketing goal.
Granted, brand awareness could also come under the lead generation section, as that is the ultimate goal of a brand awareness campaign, but we'll treat them separately for now.
Brand awareness is typically for new B2B businesses or businesses looking to branch out into a new market.
B2B content for brand awareness isn’t ‘salesy’ and generally won't look at creating purchases right off the bat.
The goal of B2B content marketing at the brand awareness stage is about familiarising your target audience with your brand and establishing yourself as an educational point of reference or a thought leader.
If, for example, you're a B2B software development agency looking to branch out into the educational sector. You could create content that informs the reader how your software helps improve the home learning experience for high school students.
The content doesn't have to give prices or discuss payment options; it just has to plant a seed in the minds of your target audience so they will view you as a valuable source of information for the future.
Create engagement and conversions
You might find it easy to reach your target audience but keeping them engaged and returning for further content instalments isn't always so simple.
If your goal is to generate engagement and interest in your business, consider producing content that requires users to enter in their contact details.
Placing case studies, white papers and ebooks behind contact information walls can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your target audience and nurture them throughout their customer journey toward a conversion.
However, if the content behind the contact wall lacks quality and doesn't offer the reader specific insights, your target audience will be put off, and will avoid engaging with you in the future.
Also, once you acquire a prospect's personal contact information, you mustn't bombard them with spam or useless information as you run the risk of damaging your reputation.
Prospects, especially in the world of B2B, have little patience when it comes to junk email, so it's important that each piece of content you send them serves a purpose and addresses their businesses' pain points in some way.
Educate your audience
Whether you're planning a new launch or you're anticipating a change within the industry, keeping your audience 'in the know' is a great way to increase brand loyalty and display yourself as one of the top performers in the industry.
Whether or not you're trying to generate immediate sales, educating your audience is a great B2B content marketing strategy.
Not only will it help increase lead generation over time, it will also create the opportunity to have your content shared online via other industry leaders or industry news outlets on social media.
However, it's essential to ensure that your content is unique and isn't mirroring your competitors. Re-hashing the same information and stamping it with your name can tarnish your brand reputation and damage your search engine ranking.
B2B content marketing benchmarks
Understanding and realising your B2B content marketing goals is one thing, but developing realistic KPIs and B2B content marketing benchmarks to measure success is a whole other challenge.
2021 taught us a lot about B2B content marketing - the way businesses budget for their campaigns, and their metrics to monitor success, to name a few.
Many businesses responded to the pandemic with new approaches to their B2B content marketing strategy that they plan to keep in effect even after things start to return to normal.
In an industry that values competence, logic and rational decision making, it seems that B2B marketers who created content that provided insights into how they were going to adapt to tackle the pandemic performed well in 2020/2021.
Businesses that thrived throughout the pandemic were also ones that adjusted to the lack of personal interaction.
In years gone by, B2B buyers and sellers often made the final purchase decision face-to-face and saw content marketing as a way to lead prospects into the sales funnel rather than out the other end.
However, with everything that has gone on over the past two years, B2B content marketing has had to take over and help manage the purchasing process. But as we have already discussed, finalising purchases isn't the only role that B2B content marketers have - the metrics of success can be varied and often overlap.
Top B2B content marketing benchmarks to measure success
With a high amount of B2B leads entering into the purchasing journey through blog posts, tracking the number of readers you have can be an excellent B2B content marketing benchmark.
An increase in the number of readers shows that new prospects are hearing about your business and consuming your content.
If you create internal links within your blog content, you can encourage readers to travel to other parts of your site or landing page and take further action.
Higher search engine rankings
Paying attention to your search engine rankings should be something that any B2B business does, but it pays to be laser-focused on your position before, during and after a B2B content marketing campaign.
Not only will a higher Google ranking demonstrate your industry reputation, but it can also mean that your content has been deemed to be valuable by sites like Google.
The days of keyword stuffing and tricking Google bots are way behind us. Instead, Google now uses a wide range of factors to determine their rankings, including the value and user experience of a piece of content.
It's vital that you create unique and relevant content that provides the reader with educational insights that they can't find anywhere else - information that is duplicated or plagiarised from other sites will actively be punished with a lower ranking.
The amount of organic traffic to your website is one of the best B2B content marketing benchmarks. Not only does it show that your content has been optimised properly, but it also demonstrates that your technical SEO and web design team are doing their jobs properly.
Alongside keyword ranking and quality of content, search engines like Google take into account mobile-friendliness, site loading speed and site mapping. So, it's essential to factor in some level of back-end optimisation if you want to increase your organic traffic.
With most B2B sales starting on search engines, organic traffic is one of the best ways to get potential customers into your marketing funnel and begin the lead nurturing process.
Social media interaction
If your social media interactions increase during or after your content marketing campaign, you can be sure that you're doing something right.
Building your social media following can be one of the best ways to attract leads and create a bigger platform to launch future campaigns and keep audiences engaged.
Most B2B businesses now utilise social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook as part of their content marketing campaigns, and it's easy to see why.
For example, organic shares on LinkedIn can have a massive reach with posts appearing on the feeds of users who interact with a piece of content, allowing their other followers to see it.
If you’re not already utilising social media as a part of your content marketing strategy, you are missing out on lots of potential benefits!
Why content marketing is important for B2B
This point cannot be stressed enough, but content marketing is essential for generating high-quality leads.
By producing high-quality, educational, and relevant content, you are in an excellent position to attract and add new leads to your marketing funnel.
For example, IBM aren't just giants of the B2B world for the business solutions they offer; they are globally respected as being a leading B2B content marketing institute.
By creating targeted and personalised B2B content marketing campaigns, IBM has managed to stay on top for decades and will undoubtedly do so for many years to come.
With this in mind, let's look at some other reasons why content marketing is important for B2B.
B2B content marketing helps cultivate your brand
Not only will an effective content marketing campaign help bring in new leads, it will also help to keep existing leads engaged with your business.
Businesses that have successfully worked with you in the past will keep you on their radar for the future and will look to see what content you will produce down the line. By creating personalised, engaging, and relevant content that addresses current industry issues, you position yourself as a good point of contact for educational insights.
B2B content marketing is cost-effective
Although the upfront costs of investing in a content marketing campaign can seem off-putting. Hiring a B2B content marketing agency that has experience generating leads and ROI will save you time, money and energy in the long run.
Here at 93x, we help businesses develop unique B2B content marketing strategies that are tailored to their unique goals.
If you'd like to know how 93x can help with your next campaign, speak to one of our B2B marketing experts today.
Effective B2B content marketing helps save time
Without a content marketing strategy in place, you would be left to nurture leads over the phone or in person. But as you are probably already aware, that would be time and energy-consuming beyond belief.
By running a B2B content marketing campaign, you can leave your content to do most of the work for you. Often prospects will consume content at different times of the day, and if your content is available 24/7, it frees up your time to focus on other more important aspects of your business.
Establishing your B2B content marketing goals won't just help guide you on your content creation process. It will also help you determine the relevant KPIs and metrics by which you can measure the success of your campaign.
Like everything in the B2B world, your B2B content marketing strategy needs to be laser-focused on the unique needs and pain points of your target audience.
Therefore, you need to create relevant content that provides the reader with something they can take away and use to either help their business or improve their industry knowledge.
By dedicating time to assessing your content marketing goals, you set yourself up for long-term success.