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How to Build a Foundation of Strategic Content For Your B2B Digital Marketing & SEO Strategy

Published on: 
February 17, 2021
Updated on: 
June 8, 2021
by
Tory Gray
Tory Gray

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on setting B2B content marketing strategy and executing against it. Read “Part 1: What Exactly is a B2B Digital Marketing & SEO Strategy Framework?” here

A B2B digital marketing and SEO strategy framework is mission critical for success in content marketing. Once you know exactly what that is and nail down the basics, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of your unique content creation plan.

In this article, we’ll guide you through how to craft a digital strategy that aligns with and delivers on your goals, whether you are running SEO operations internationally or utilizing multiple domains, and how to use supporting and complementary tactics to get there.

Build a Foundation of Strategic Content

When we talk about building a foundation for your digital marketing and SEO content strategy, we’re referring to all of your lead generation efforts online. A regular B2B marketing or business strategy is a plan of action, based on data, that sales and marketing teams use to reach clearly defined goals and objectives. All of those marketing efforts are critical here. However, the key difference between that and a digital strategy is your focus, which should be on your brand’s entire digital landscape. 

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To that end, there are two areas you have to consider when building a foundation of strategic content: onsite and offsite. 

Build and Modify Onsite Content

  • Onsite refers to any content you create for your website and landing pages. This type is completely within your control, which means you can use it to shape your brand image, attract desired leads, and educate visitors about your offerings. 
  • Here’s how to create your onsite foundation:
  • Understand sales funnels and time to purchase. All sales funnels have a top, a middle, and a bottom. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is defined by when your target audience first comes in contact with your brand or website. General knowledge topics and industry trends help to attract attention and improve SEO rankings as well as organic discovery. 
  • The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is defined by repeated visits from the same interested leads who a) now trust your brand and b) want to learn more about how your product may benefit them. Content that positions your products or services as solutions to a problem does well here. 
  • The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is for the final stage of the customer journey when they’re ready to choose a particular product or plan that suits their needs. If they haven’t already, marketing will usually hand off these leads to the sales department to close the deal, which is yet another reason why you have to make sure the two are aligned. 
  • Think through the entirety of the customer’s journey in each sales funnel in order to maximize its effectiveness. Nurture your leads at each stage of the funnel by providing helpful, actionable content throughout your entire channel mix. 
  • Also, be sure to consider your industry’s unique time to purchase, which can vary dramatically from industry to industry. Check your website analytics for this information and ask for direct input from your sales team too. 
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Choose the Right Channels and Content Types

  1. In case you aren’t already familiar, B2B channel marketing is any method of contact between your brand and your customer base. Examples include email, social media, and virtual event marketing. Each B2B marketing channel has its own best practices and optimization strategies. 
  2. The right channels and content types for your products and services are determined by two different factors: a) your audience, and b) the stage of the funnel your customer is in when they participate in a particular channel. Different channels can serve different funnel stages depending on how that channel is utilized by customers. 
  3. For example, Twitter users tend to use this platform for customer advocacy rather than brand awareness when they interact with business accounts on this particular channel. For example, if you (the product or service user) have a complaint, you might go straight to the brand’s Twitter page to complain and hopefully get the issue resolved. If/when your business receives tweets like these and successfully resolves them, you may win advocates just by doing right by them.
  4. And remember, every channel has its own primary audiences, which means they can only help you reach goals that are most relevant for those demographics. 
  5. Get crystal clear on all your channel options by creating a matrix that breaks down all of your channel options, what each channel can effectively be used for, and what types of potential customers can be found on each channel. 
  6. Most businesses use one or more of the following channels: SEO, social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and paid ads. Use your matrix and customer research to determine which top channels your next campaign should target. If your organization is small or just starting up, limit yourself to 1-2 channels to begin with. Enterprise businesses, on the other hand, should take a more comprehensive approach that takes advantage of most of the channel landscape. 
  7. Then, consider what type of content these buyer personas like to interact with on your chosen channels. Your options include blog posts, videos, case studies, webinars, white papers, images, gifs,  podcasts, and more. Start by making landmark content pieces that cover the most important topics related to your brand and industry. Then, add in some credibility-building pieces such as screenshots of high ratings or reviews on credible sites, quotes and testimonials from real customers, and case studies that reflect the industry, niche, and job titles of your ideal clients. 
  8. Keep in mind that with each channel and content pairing you’re attempting to effectively move that customer to the next stage of the customer funnel. 
  9. Next, organize your channels and content needs within a content calendar (through a tool such as Google Docs or ContentCal.io) and a content planning system (with an app like Monday.com or AirTable). 

Polish Your Website

  • Here’s a checklist for you to follow: 
  • Make sure your landing pages all have high-quality design, copy, images. You can evaluate and improve SEO content on existing pages easily with this guide.
  • Navigation should be intuitive and straightforward with menus, links, and buttons that direct visitors towards your chosen CTA. This way you would not be jeopardizing your SEO and UX efforts. Examples of great website CTA’s include an email newsletter popup for TOFU leads, a lead bait piece for MOFU visitors, or a landing page for BOFU leads. 
  • Optimize your entire site for mobile screens by increasing the font size, paring down your page elements, adjusting navigation, and speeding up page load times. 
  • Build additional trust among your audience by adding security indicators such as safe checkout data tools, HTTPs, and official BBB ratings to your website. 
  • Keep content you plan to publish on your website organized in an SEO Keyword Matrix so you always know which pages on your site you are optimizing for what terms. Make your decision for each based on what keywords align with what user intentions for that page and what stage of the customer funnel they may be in. 
  • Make sure your website metadata and copy follow SEO on-page best practices.
  • Think through what types of landing pages you’ll want to include on your site too. 

Curate and Develop Offsite Content

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  • Offsite, on the other hand, refers to third party websites such as Yelp, Medium.com, or Google Business where your brand may appear. Offsite content is often not often within your control and is deemed more trustworthy by consumers because they expect these platforms to have a limited bias. 
  • And here’s how to maximize your offsite branding: 
  • Gain visibility through other popular platforms: Sites like Medium and YouTube have a high rate of discoverability in Google which can help your brand reach even more new leads. Leverage influencers in your industry via these platforms where possible.
  • Optimize your business listings: Go through and completely fill out your profile information on industry review websites. Include SEO target keywords that align with your business when possible. If you want to reach an international audience, translate some or all of your copy into your target language to better communicate with leads. 
  • Take advantage of email marketing: Send out weekly newsletters, special offers, and product updates to your email list. Be sure to link back to your website at least once in your message to help drive additional traffic.
  • Focus on social media: Use these as part of your existing sales funnels to improve your brand image, discoverability, and audience relationships. Use a mix of regular content and paid ads to boost your strategy. Each social media platform has its own best practices and target demographics so be sure to incorporate those into your plan too.                     
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Regularly Measure KPIs and Improve Progress Against Your Business Goals

  • First, create a feedback loop with your customer services and sales teams to nail down key pain points for them throughout this process and for your customers. Work together to define what leads convert the best and how you can reach more customers like them. Create resources and content that sales can use to further improve their conversion rates. 
  • Second, consider your analytics across all channels. To improve your overall traffic or conversion rates (likely via Google Analytics), try one or more of the following: 
  • Increase page loading speed for your website.
  • Use copy that directly addresses your audience so that they feel as if they’re having a conversation with you.
  • Keep niching down your content to personalize it further. 
  • Consider the key pain points your audience has, that your product addresses (work with your sales team as needed to define these.) Make sure to create high-quality content that addresses this need, and positions your products/services as the solution.
  • Experiment with different messaging on your website and content to see what topics or tone convert the most leads. 
  • Show Google and your customers that you are a premier solution by improving your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust). Over the long term, this means building site visitor trust and positioning your brand as an expert in your industry through helpful content and thought leadership. 
  • Use data from your PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to figure out which of your CTAs, keywords, and landing pages perform the best. 
  • Try link building. Link building is the process of adding hyperlinks for your website to other sites to rank higher in search. You can partner with brands to feature each other’s links, use third party ads, or guest post content on compatible websites. 
  • Use visual data such as infographics to prove domain authority and take advantage of discoverability in Google image search and Pinterest. 
  • Third, make sure to continue testing and improving your strategy over time. Layer in new channels such as PR, local SEO, and even event marketing to see what your audience responds to. Be honest about what is or is not working then set goals that strike a balance between aggressive yet realistic based on your past performance. After you discover what works best for your brand, look for ways to automate and outsource routine tasks so your team can relocate their energies elsewhere. 

Supercharge Leads and Conversions with a B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Framework  

By now you’ve learned everything you need to know about what a B2B search engine marketing strategy is and how to create your own personalized action plan. To recap, here’s what you need to succeed:  

  • In-depth target market and competitor research that defines your messaging
  • A collaborative relationship with sales to ground your plan and see real results
  • A strong digital content roadmap  - with high-quality content - that streamlines your resources and maximizes impact
  • A well-oiled sales funnel that nurtures leads long-term
  • Marketing analytics tools to help capture, organize, and monitor progress
  • A review system in place for continued improvement using real data to drive decision making

Don’t forget to read “Part 1: What Exactly is a B2B Digital Marketing & SEO Strategy Framework?” here

Contact us for help building and executing your B2B SEO content marketing strategy today! 

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