30.09.13 | Posted by Greg Dorban in Content Marketing

Recently, the prominence of Content Marketing has risen for all business to business marketers. Google updates, changing buyer behaviour and marketing owning more of the buyer cycle have all led to greater emphasis on inbound techniques. Content sits at the centre of effective Inbound marketing activity, not to mention driving improved Demand Generation performance and conversion.

These 10 steps provide a framework to help you plan, implement and succeed in a Content Marketing strategy for your organisation.


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Download A3 Infographic: Content Marketing: 10 Steps to success

1. Aim

Set your goals and objectives. Without these, you do not know where you are going and what defines success. They should be SMART: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Above all, objectives should support business goals to avoid creating content for content’s sake.

75% of CEOs think Marketers misuse the ‘real business’ definition of ‘ROI’. source: The Fournaise (2012)


2. Understand

Who are you talking to? What are their pain points, channels of consumption and areas of interest? One method is developing persona of your ideal customers. From first touchpoint to purchase to support, you should understand what information customers want, and how they consume it.

90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. source: DemandGen Reports (2012)


3. Decide

This is the crucial part – the strategy. It stops content being churned and gives clear orientation like a roadmap on how you will reach your goals. What is your key proposition, your differentiator and what does this mean to your customers?

Content is at the heart of B2B marketers’ top 3 goals – lead generation, market education and brand awareness. source: B2B content marketing Trends (2012)


4. Review

The next step is to see what existing content you have that matches their needs and address pain points along the buyer journey. Where is your content daylight? Consider if there is any way you can repurpose content to make it more engaging and digestible.

Only 39% of respondents align content with the buying cycle. source: MarketingProfs (2011)


5. Plan

Look at the gaps in your content and develop an editorial calendar to help you prioritise focuses. This helps to clarify activity, timelines and responsibilities of stakeholders. Use this as a tool to maintain alignment with your objectives and as a framework to structure activity into smaller, manageable sections.

On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics. source:Content Marketing Institute (2011)


6. Communicate

Senior buy-in and alignment is key in the success of your content initiative. Colleagues also play a role in developing the content. Communicating internally engages and mobilises resources as you may require specific input from different departments and personnel so the earlier they buy-in, the better.

Of best-in-class content marketers, only 8% cite Exec Buy-in as a challenge. source: Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (2011)


7. Produce

Content should always give value to the reader – it is not advertising. Tone, context and content should reflect this. Think informal storytelling that has a beginning to entice, middle full of value and an end to provoke next action. Your reward comes in the form of thought leadership, increased credibility, enhanced brand equity and touchpoint creation.

41% of B2B marketers report the greatest challenge is ‘producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers’. source: Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (2011)


8. Amplify

Once your content is created you now need to amplify your story. Promote, publicise and socialise across all selected channels. As a rule of thumb, at least the same amount of time should be spent on this aspect as the actual production of content.

Social media (79%) and article posting (78%) are the most used tactics for content usage. source: Marketo (2012)


9. Measure

Reporting performance is vital. What content items are key, what channels were these consumed on, did prospects move along the buying cycle? This knowledge helps to improve future activity, performance and ROI.

74% of B2B CEOs want Marketers to become 100% ROI-focused. source: The Fournaise (2012)


10. Learn

This is key in closing the loop. In analysing past activity and performance, decisions can be enhanced based upon better insight and understanding of your audience. Resource and effort can be focused on generation of this content for these channels, helping you to increase efficiency, effectiveness and ROI.

Inbound marketing organisations achieve a 61% lower cost per lead. source: Hubspot (2012)