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An engaging content marketing plan is a great starting point for people who want their company to become a trusted B2B brand, expand their customer base, and earn more business. Achieving all those goals is made possible with a well-constructed, well-implemented content marketing plan.

Nonetheless, your plan has to be engaging, organized, and highly targeted to your audience. With good content, it allows for more touchpoints that help you build brand recognition, showcase your expertise, and aid you in becoming part of your audience’s online community. So, whether you’re thriving in a current market or expanding into a new one, below are the three essential ingredients your content marketing plan needs:

1. An effective B2B blog

Blogs provide several benefits such as driving traffic to your site, promoting your thought leadership content, and providing you content to share on social media. And because of this, more than 80% of B2B companies have decided to create their blog. A good blog is something that emphasizes the needs of your audience and presents that information in a relatable, non-promotional voice. 

The main purpose of your blog is for customers to see your brand as an expert resource. In other words, regardless of the form of blog content you publish, every post should resonate with one or more of your brand’s buyer personas. These buyer personas are built according to the characteristics of your best customers. Furthermore, when creating a blog post, make sure that you include relevant keywords, metadata, and references to support your claims. To take things up a notch, you may want to include visual elements like video clips, images, and infographics. 

2. A thought leadership content

Brands often fail to recognize the value of thought leadership content. This kind of content is a must-have because it shows that your company takes its missions seriously. Similar to blogs, thought leadership articles should concentrate on the audience, and not the brand itself. Also, keep in mind that most publications only accept non-self-promotional articles. 

When brainstorming for your thought leadership articles, consider also your buyer personas. Write about topics that are relevant to your prospects and current customers such as market conditions, best marketing practices, and industry trends. 

Helping readers solve their pain points and improve their company will make them trust you and refer to you for insight. Furthermore, as you develop article ideas, think about where you’d want to publish your finished articles. "In most cases, online trade publications that your clients read are the best place to display your articles" suggests Bobs SEO - a Las Vegas digital marketing consultant

3. B2B social media decision-makers 

Social media is known for its great prowess, particularly in the content marketing field as it is capable of reaching a massive audience base that not even your company blog and thought leadership articles can do. With thorough research, greatly written posts and a consistent schedule, you can use your content on social media to boost brand awareness, share your brand’s voice within your niche, capture more website traffic, and establish an online community around topics that are relevant to your audience. 

As for which platforms to use, it should depend mostly on three things: 1) your audience’s preferences and behaviors, 2) the type of content you make, and 3) the time you have to craft your content for posts on various outlets. That said, LinkedIn is like the universal social media outlet for B2B marketing since it’s the source of 80% B2B leads and around 40% social media traffic to business websites. 

Twitter posts can also help you drive traffic to your content and improve your brand awareness. Meanwhile, Facebook is a great medium to share your blog articles and create polls and discussions. Another popular social media platform is Instagram, which is more geared towards visual content and short videos.