how to make a content marketing strategy

How to Build an Effective Content Strategy for Your B2B Tech Company

Struggling to know where to begin when it comes to creating a content marketing strategy for your B2B tech company? Constantly coming up with new and innovative content marketing ideas but finding it difficult to link them together into a cohesive plan?

Putting together an effective content strategy can definitely be challenging, especially for tech companies.

There’s so much to explain and teach about each product, and it’s important to keep the jargon to a minimum for the best transparency while you do so. Not to mention one of the hardest parts of the job: finding the right channel to communicate with your target audience.

No matter your niche, good content should be at the heart of your strategy. It has the power to attract new visitors to your website, convert them into leads, and build a stable business relationship with your partners in the long run. Better yet, excellent content positions you as an authority in your industry and an expert on the topics you post about.

However, the way you deliver the information is equally or more important than the information itself. That means you need to work toward two main goals with your content strategy:

  • Producing high-quality content on a regular basis
  • Promoting your content effectively to reach the right audiences

Even the best articles, ebooks, and white papers will remain unnoticed without promotion, so to get your brand and products in front of the right people you’ll need to put in some work.

With that in mind, this comprehensive guide will teach you how to make a content marketing strategy for your B2B tech company.

Identify your target audience

how to make a content marketing strategy

Here’s the thing: you can’t craft a compelling message without knowing who you’re talking to.

You need to create one or several buyer personas—realistic profiles of fictional people with characteristics that match your ideal customers. Buyer personas give you a starting point for creating targeted messages that draw attention and generate engagement from the right potential customers.

For example, while your B2B tech company should be targeting IT managers, information system managers, CEOs, and perhaps CFOs as well, depending on your product, a job title alone does not a buyer persona make. You’re going to need more information to create a truly compelling message.

So when you build your buyer personas, consider the following questions:

  • What type of companies could have an interest in your product?
  • What roles do the decision-makers at these companies have?
  • What goals can you help them achieve?
  • What are the challenges the decision-makers have to handle on a daily basis?
  • How can you reach these people without being intrusive?
  • What are the buying preferences of your prospects?

Knowing the reasons behind the choices and behaviors of your ideal customers will help you better understand what they’re looking for in a tech product. The more you know about your audience, the higher the chances to reach decision-makers at the right time, with the most effective message.

Set SMART goals

how to make a content marketing strategy SMART goals

Your content strategy doesn’t have to be set in stone. It can be a little different for each new piece of content you create, depending on what you want to achieve with it.

The key is to set your goal and then write the blog, article, or eBook, and not the other way around. When you know what you want to accomplish with each piece, you’re more likely to choose the right approach. If you want to build awareness, you’ll write a white paper, for example. On the other hand, if you want to improve conversions, you’ll want to craft a killer landing page to add to your website.

Goals make your content strategy efficient because they point you in the right direction for reaching the people that are most likely to engage with your content. To get the best results, your goals should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Let’s say you want to reach a broader public. While it’s something you can certainly work toward, it’s not a SMART goal yet. On the other hand, say you decide to work toward getting 1,000 new website visitors per month by the end of the year—this is specific, measurable, timely, and, depending on your current traffic, could likely also be realistic and achievable.

With a SMART goal in mind and detailed buyer personas on deck, planning your content strategy becomes a lot easier. You can now put together a content calendar where you plan out articles, guest posts, landing pages, and other content along with what you expect to achieve from each piece. Keeping tabs on your content in this format lets you easily measure whether your efforts are bringing you closer to your goals.

Choose the right content types

how to make a content marketing strategy

Tech content is hard to create, especially when you need to promote your business to people who don’t understand your technical terminology. If you’re too technical, your audience is more likely to get distracted and abandon your website. But if you’re too general, visitors won’t find the specific answers they were looking for, and you risk losing significant business opportunities.

As a B2B tech company, you do have a bit of a leg up. You’re dealing with an educated audience that has previous knowledge on the topics you discuss. Even so, they’re probably not experts, so you’ll still have to highlight the features that differentiate your products from the competition.

Your readers are interested in numbers and facts, as they’re looking for business and growth opportunities. They want to know everything about the impact your product could have on their company: economically, financially, and so on.

Since you can’t build a robust content strategy with only general articles and light social media messages, you have to figure out a way to integrate fresh B2B content marketing ideas to attract and retain the right audience.

Build your content with your customers in mind. Try to identify trends in the industry as well as hot, searchable topics that can help you to attract more people to your website and business blog. In your content, provide accurate answers that can satisfy your audience and convince them of your authority in the industry.

Go on forums, participate in industry events, read relevant publications in your niche, and take a look at what your competitors are doing with their content. These are all relevant sources for topics that have the potential to attract a larger audience to your website and convert visitors into leads and customers.

Identify pain points and gaps in your industry and discuss them with authority. They say “two heads are better than one”, so ask colleagues to contribute tips and topic ideas to increase the value of each article or blog post you publish.

Innovate by introducing other types of content besides just blogs, articles, and downloadable guides. Think videos, infographics, and podcasts—these can all help you provide helpful information but in chunks that are easy to follow and understand.

Start with a content audit

Remember, you don’t have to create all your content from scratch. Every piece of content you already have can be put to good use. Think of past press releases, brochures, and PowerPoint presentations—can you repurpose the information they contain to create fresh content? Creating content this way cuts costs and reduces the time it takes to publish something new.

To start, organize all your existing content in a spreadsheet or a content management system. Analyze what you already have and try to identify what just needs a minor facelift, what should be reworked entirely, and whether there are content gaps you can fill with fresh pieces.

Optimize your content for search

how to make a content marketing strategy SEO

Search engine optimization needs to be at the foundation of your content strategy. SEO helps you plan and create content that has the potential to get organic reach and drive traffic to your website.

Google’s three most important ranking factors are content, backlinks, and RankBrain, according to Search Engine Land. How can you use this information to optimize your content strategy? Let’s take a closer look!

1. Content

It’s been years since Google, closely followed by other search engines, started to implement smart algorithms that crawl websites looking for relevant content that delivers accurate information and adds value to readers.

Creating high-quality content is the most effective SEO technique you can use to attract more visitors to your site and increase conversions. Good content engages readers and makes them want to consume more information. It’s what brings people to your website and keeps them connected with your brand.

Your content should be:

    • Simple and coherent. The ins and outs of the tech industry will be too difficult for many of your prospects to understand. Make things simple for them to understand, and they’ll come back for more.
    • Relevant and informative. No one likes to read out-of-date information. In your niche especially, fresh content is vital to holding on to your audience and keeping them interested in what you have to say.
    • Inspiring. Show decision-makers how your product can change the way they do business for good. Focus on results and use successful case studies to promote the effectiveness of your products.
    • Entertaining. Use technology to create interactive content—videos, animations, simulations, anything that can make your content more shareable and easier to follow.
    • Educational. Write for humans, not search engines or AI algorithms. Teach your prospects about the industry and give them the tools to understand your product and make educated buying decisions.
    • Practical. Show, rather than tell. Write “how-to” guides, create video tutorials, and give solutions that are easy for anyone to implement, regardless of their technical knowledge.
    • Free. It won’t harm your business to give away helpful content for free. In fact, the opposite! Allow people to download free content like white papers, guides, and ebooks in exchange for their email address and a small amount of other personal information. Be sure you have an email sequence set up to greet and engage new subscribers.

Making sure to use these best practices as you create content helps you build trust with your audience and guide new website visitors smoothly through the buying journey. You’ll be watching them turn from complete strangers into delighted customers in no time.

2. Backlinks

Links to your website from other high quality sites give you authority and show Google’s algorithms that your content is trustworthy. The more good backlinks you get, the better your chances to appear higher in search results.

The best way to get quality links is to create high-quality content like:

  • Whitepapers
  • Reports
  • Ebooks
  • In-depth articles and blog posts

It does take time and resources to produce these types of material, but your investment will pay off when it gets shared and earns you valuable exposure.

However, even if you invest thousands of dollars in research and professional technical writing, you won’t get the links you want overnight. You still need to redouble your efforts with link building.

As part of your content strategy, you should focus on getting quality links from authoritative websites in your industry. The most effective way to achieve this goal is through guest blogging. Look for trustworthy sites in your niche and see if they accept guest blog posts. Then, based on their existing content and the industry trends, make a list of topics that could add value to each website and its audience. All that’s left to do after that is to contact each site and pitch your ideas.

Within your guest blogs, include links to your own website, but do it naturally. Use relevant anchor text to link your article to an existing piece of content, relevant page, or offer landing page. Remember, the purpose of a guest post is to reach a broader audience, not to be a sales pitch.

3. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that Google uses to identify the intent behind queries. Why is this necessary? Because most people these days search for topics rather than keywords. Google’s algorithm now uses AI to analyze content and make sure searches get accurate results, even when the most relevant content doesn’t contain the exact wording typed in the search bar.

This doesn’t mean keywords are no longer necessary for SEO. As long as people continue to use Google to search, it will remain important to strategically use keywords to increase traffic on your website.

An effective content strategy starts with consistent keyword research. When you know what words and phrases people use to search for your products online, you’re more able to create content that answers their question.

You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the most relevant keywords in your niche. Once you have a list of keywords to target, you can plan your content calendar accordingly, integrating each one naturally.

To make your website more appealing to search engines, you also need to structure it in a way that shows crawlers the connections between various pages. For example, topic clusters are a somewhat new SEO tool that allows you to organize your content more efficiently and improve the user experience. When you create a topic cluster, you put all the information about a topic in a single place: a central piece, called a pillar, that links to a series of additional articles meant to provide in-depth details on specific subtopics. When one page ranks high in search results, the entire topic cluster performs better and drives more organic traffic.

SEO recap

As I mentioned above, it’s crucial to consider SEO right from the start when planning your content strategy. Good SEO practices help you create high-quality content and make your articles appealing to search engines so you can capture more organic traffic.

When it comes to improving SEO for your B2B tech company, here are the most important elements to consider:

  • Keyword research
  • Relevant, valuable content
  • External links from authoritative websites in your industry
  • Internal links between pages on your site
  • A logical structure of your website and blog

Be smart about social content

how to make a content marketing strategy

Your presence on various social media channels should be well-integrated with the rest of your content strategy. Every tweet, status update, or image that you publish online should bring you closer to your goals.

Social media is a great way to promote technical content and make it more appealing to your target audience. It also enables you to build a community around your brand by providing an open platform for conversation.

There are two major elements to consider when optimizing your social content strategy: the platforms that you use and the type of content that performs best on each one.

1. Choosing the right platforms

You need to publish your social content where your target audience is looking. Research the social networks your ideal customers are using and make sure you’ve built an online presence on each one. As a guideline, a B2B tech company should have a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, a substantial presence on LinkedIn, and a YouTube channel if what you do is communicable through video content.

Depending on your industry, you may decide to add more social accounts to your list, but keep in mind that managing too many platforms can be time-consuming and less efficient than focusing on the top three or four.

2. Adapting social content to each platform

Each social media platform serves a different audience with specific content consumption habits. This means that you’ll need to create custom content for each platform, even if you’re sharing the same message on each one.

For example, brief copy should go on Twitter, short videos perform well on Facebook, and long videos are more suitable for LinkedIn. You can share photos on your Facebook page, while links to your podcasts are more likely to be opened on Twitter.

Measure and improve regularly

how to make a content marketing strategy

Tech companies live in the future, and their marketing strategy should reflect that in all possible ways. In an industry that is synonymous with innovation, you should always be thinking about what tomorrow will bring.

That means your B2B technology marketing strategy has to be dynamic—what worked yesterday may not bring results even next week. You’ll need to stay on top of trends in the industry so you can be the first to provide an answer when new challenges appear.

Don’t forget to study your own data, measuring your efforts against your results regularly. Use insights and analytics to build better profiles for your buyer personas. See how people’s needs change when a new technology enters the market and try to use this information to bridge the communication gap with your prospects. Armed with this information, you can create a B2B content strategy that soars.

Julie Ewald

Julie Ewald thought she was going to be a poet and professor. Instead Julie is a driven digital marketer who specializes in content strategy and creation for personal brands, consultancies, and unique tech companies. She is also the digital nomad at the helm of Impressa Solutions, the all-remote marketing agency she founded in 2012.

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