CEO of Letterdrop, former Product Manager on Google Search
Content marketing is essential for B2B companies as it can drive inbound leads, educate prospects, build trust, and lower CAC.
To develop an effective B2B marketing content strategy, gain a deep understanding of your ICP, understand your product positioning, brainstorm content ideas for each buyer journey stage, prioritize ideas, and create a content roadmap.
Choose the right format and channel for your content, plan your content calendar for consistency and efficiency, execute your strategy, measure and analyze your results, and improve and repeat what works.
So, you're considering investing in content as a Head of Marketing.Your CAC is through the roof, and your Sales Team has told you that customers aren't educated enough on your product.
Going with content is a great addition to (unsustainable) short-term plays like investing in ad campaigns. It's also a way to educate and build trust with prospects so that they choose you over your competitors.
How to Develop an Effective B2B Marketing Content Strategy
Use the nine-step process outlined in this guide for insight into the best practices you should be following. But remember, it's just that: a guide. It covers your 80% for content marketing — but the remaining 20% should be you undertaking wild experiments.
We're talking wacky video series like Corporate Bro on YouTube, making your own calculator, and writing about crazy experiments like ours on what happens if you generate thousands of web pages with AI.
Why? Marketing is all about standing out. Think of becoming Seth Godlin's purple cow: memorable because you were different from the sea of sameness.
You can't do the same thing as your competition and expect to win. Whoever has the biggest budget triumphs in that scenario — so you need to be different.
Step #1: Gain a Deep Understanding of Your ICP
This may seem obvious, but you'll be surprised how often marketers get burned for neglecting their audience. You can't create content that customers value without understanding them on a deeper level.
Define them — their job role, company size, tech stack, industry, and team size.
Participate in sales calls whenever you can. And if you're looking to interview customers like a pro, you should read The Mom Test.
Here's what you need to learn from the customer in your interviews:
What they do at work.
Where they get information from. Learn what social media platforms they use, who they follow, the newsletters they're subscribed to, and recent work-related searches.
Their top priorities for that quarter, such as the KPI they own at the company.
The challenges or stresses they face at work and what's causing them.
Now you know:
What they care about getting information on. It shows you what types of content to prioritize.
Where they get this information from. This tells you the channels you need to focus on and which influencers or companies you need to emulate.
You also know how to avoid wasting time and resources on channels your buyers don't care about.
Step #2: Understand Your Product Positioning
Remember what I said about marketers getting burned because of neglecting to understand their ICP? Not knowing how to position their product is also a scorcher. Many marketers create content blindly without thinking about whether it will help the buyer along their purchase journey.
As a B2B company, you're NOT trying to create a media company. Creating content that people consume is great, but you're wasting your time if it doesn't help you sell your product.
Here's an example:
Suppose you sell to sales teams, and your buyer is the VP of Sales.
But you spend a year and many hundreds of thousands of dollars creating content targeted at new grad SDRs.
Junior people are now aware of you but don't have the power to buy from you. It's been a waste of content.
Now you have two options:
a) Create a mechanism to get your SDR audience to bubble your product up the chain — this is very difficult.
b) Start from scratch and target the VP of Sales — which you should have done in the first place.
To save yourself time, money, and your job, you should work with your founder or product marketer to figure out exactly how to position your product for your buyer. And a good understanding of product positioning lays the foundation for compelling product-led content.
Step #3: Brainstorm Content Ideas for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey
Getting inspiration for content is tough. Aligning different parts of the funnel to the four stages of the buyer journey can fast-track content ideas that assist your customers at every step.
The four stages of the buyer journey are:
Here's how to ideate at every level of the funnel and their corresponding buyer stages.
Top of Funnel (TOFU): Generating Ideas for the Unaware and Problem-Aware Phases
Customers aren't aware of your product yet and are looking to educate themselves on the space. You can get ideas for content from:
Search terms prospects have put into your blog search bar.
Using tools like Semrush, ahrefs, or Letterdrop to perform keyword research. You'll find what prospects are searching for and how you can answer their questions.
By now, prospects are aware of a problem that you could solve. You'll find ideas from:
Online review sites like G2 and Capterra.
Online communities and forums like Reddit. Here, prospects give candid and unprompted insight into their challenges and are asking for solutions.
Bottom of Funnel (BOFU): Generating Ideas for the Solution-Aware and Product-Aware Phases
At this stage, prospects are aware of solutions and are weighing up their options. You can pick up ideas from sales calls, so be sure to have a notebook handy.
Or your could use the Letterdrop Gong integration to get content ideas based on insights from sales conversations.
At this stage in the buyer journey, prospects choose their solution and become customers.
Where do you get ideas now? From customer success calls and support tickets, which will give you insight into their onboarding or post-buying experience.
Step #4: Prioritize Your Ideas and Create a Content Roadmap
The part of the funnel you choose to focus on depends on what you need and where in the funnel you're churning the most.
My general recommendation? Start with things that bring revenue today, not a year from now.
That means starting with Bottom of the Funnel content, such as:
Case studies. They're a fantastic way to show prospects how your team helped a similar company go from zero to hero using your product. A good case study should show the tangible KPIs you've helped move, which makes adopting your product look like a no-brainer to prospects.
Comparison pieces. At this stage, customers are weighing up the options available to them. They're making branded searches and are close to converting. Writing a comparison or aggregation article can drive them to take action in favor of your product.
Your Sales Team will be able to use this content to move deals forward, such as by offering something valuable to prospects in cold emails before asking for anything in return.
We do this at Letterdrop. We offer helpful Webflow guides to companies that host websites on the platform, since our software brings it to parity with WordPress. Our response rates have increased by 4%.
You can also distribute it through your social media channels.
If you already have your BOFU content figured out, then focus on Top of Funnel to get leads through the door.
Most people start here, but it's pointless if you bring people in and they just churn through.
For example, a car insurance company ranks for "fast and furious." It's a high-traffic keyword, but there's 0% chance of conversion once people click since people are clearly looking for info on the movie, not to buy insurance. Don't do this.
Step #5: Choose the Right Format and Channel for Your Content
It's generally best to have one core channel and then repurpose to others once your foundation is built. Trying to manage too many channels at once leads to distracted content and poor distribution.
Building owned media is important. A blog is a safe bet as a core for hosting written and video content since you can always branch out from there. You don't want to be channel reliant.
Pick distribution channels according to where they live online.
Suppose you're targeting engineers. If they follow Jord Walke on Twitter and read Hashnode, reformat your content for both places.
If you sell to Sales Teams who subscribe to the 30mpc.com newsletter and follow Chris Orlob on Linkedin, make sure you're on LinkedIn and have a newsletter.
If you're selling to mom-and-pop restaurant owners who don't read that much, turn your blog posts into videos and post on Instagram and Facebook.
You get the idea. Don't go posting on TikTok if you're selling to 50-year-old Fortune 500 execs who don't have TikTok.
Posting and repurposing content for all these channels can seem like a lot to handle. You'll probably want to set up a spreadsheet to track what's going out where and in what format.
In Letterdrop, you can schedule and send out content directly to dozens of platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Hashnode, and dev.to. It's also possible to repurpose content in seconds, like in this example, where a YouTube video is auto-generated into a LinkedIn draft.
Step #6: Plan Your Content Calendar for Consistency and Efficiency
Managing multiple channels, projects, and team members can be overwhelming. You need a spreadsheet or project management tool to simplify and coordinate your content ops.
Lots of marketers use Notion and Airtable, especially if they manage a smaller team. Letterdrop also features a content calendar that syncs with your content.
A comprehensive content management platform eliminates the stress of missed deadlines, and the hassle of having to jump between third-party apps.
Step #7: Execute Your Strategy
Now, it's time to allocate time and resources.
When Hiring: Tips for Building a Strong Content Marketing Team
Recommend in-house writers. You can get one or two people to understand your business really well, and they can dedicate time to fewer customers.
Consider freelancers once you have in-house writers.
Agencies are the least preferable option. They don't have the time to understand your business as well as your own writers, and they're spread thin with projects and other clients.
When Creating: Best Practices for Developing High-Quality Content
Don't cut corners. Make sure all your evergreen content — blogs posts, videos, and webinars — offer real value. No low-grade, AI-generated content here, please.
You can be more "spray and pray" on ephemeral platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Experiment and see what resonates with your following.
When Distributing: Strategies for Maximizing Your Content's Reach
Your publishing schedule needs to be as reliable as your content is trustworthy. Make sure you have a sustainable cadence.
Step #8: Measure Your Results and Analyze Them Over Time
It's important to realize that you're not going to see immediate results. You can't post four blog posts and be like, "Where are my leads?!"
Establish a realistic timeline, and set up tracking with GA4 and Google Search Console. Track metrics like engagement, traffic, and conversions.
You can also get an overview of domain and page performance with Letterdrop, which integrates directly with Google Search Console.
Step #9: Improve and Repeat What Works
All that's left now is to see what's working and to do regular housekeeping.
Track your chosen KPIs using GA4. See what content and channels are generating the most engagement and conversions.
Switch focus if it's necessary. Change up your publishing channels if LinkedIn generates more engagement than Twitter. Switch to posting in the mornings if afternoon posts get less engagement. You get the idea.
Examples of Companies Who Excel at B2B Content Marketing
Census: How Truly Knowing Your ICP Sells
Census has developer marketing all figured out, and that's because they've dedicated the time to really getting to know their ICP.
They know where their customers live online, distributing to platforms like Hashnode and dev.to, and have an active Slack community of 3,000 members. They also host meet-ups, with their grassroots conference bringing in 2,700 new leads in four days.
Their developer-focused blog, "The Operator," features tutorials, product news, and guides.
Ahrefs: Using the Subtle Art of Product-Led Content
Ahrefs nails product positioning with several product-led blog posts.
In this example titled "Top-of-the-Funnel Marketing Explained: How to Attract Customers," writer Bill Widmer suggests to the reader that setting up a blog is the way to go.
He subtly and cleverly plugs Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer to find high-volume topics to write on.
Metadata: Case Studies That Sell Success
A good case study can convince prospects that they can go from zero to hero with your product and is a great BOFU content strategy. You have to prove how you've helped a similar company with tangible improvements to KPIs and quotes from real-life customers.
Metadata nail their case studies and presents key information in a quick and punchy overview. It's easy to see who they helped and how they helped them.
Hockeystack: Expertise On Tap
The Hockeystack blog is a TOFU goldmine. From podcasts to expert articles, the company is an excellent resource for prospects searching anything remotely related to B2B growth.
Lavender: It Pays to be Different (And Consistent)
Lavender have over 34,000 followers on their company LinkedIn page and generate tons of engagement with their posts — unusual for a corporate account.
Funny brand messaging and excellent employee advocacy aside, Lavender consistently posts from its corporate and employee accounts. And this combo clearly pays off.
Why Choosing the Right B2B Content Marketing Strategy Pays Off in the Long Run
You're looking to lower your CAC, and customers are looking for brands they can trust in the sea of sameness — content is the answer. It's durable and can feed your top line.
Hopefully, this guide has been helpful to you and can get you on the right track with your B2B content strategy.
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