No matter how much time your B2B business spends writing optimized content, recording videos and podcasts or creating graphics, your efforts are wasted if the content isn’t being seen by your target audience. With countless other businesses vying for attention on social media channels, email subscriptions and earned media coverage, how your company shares and publicizes its content is an integral part of your strategy. Rather than just publishing your content anywhere and everywhere, having a specific plan in place can help your B2B company generate brand awareness, website traffic and valuable new business leads. Here are some tips on how to build a distribution and promotion plan for your content.
Research Your Target Audience
Before you can start reaching your target audience with blog posts, social media messages and earned media placements, you must first determine who they are and what they need. Marketers and advertisers alike understand the value of tailoring promotional content for its intended audience. Think of the loud and exciting commercials for popular toys and video games you saw as a child. Chances are those same toys and games were at the top of many Christmas lists that year, because those commercials were created specifically for that audience.
Customer research is your B2B company’s tool for studying the individuals that make up your target audience, the services they want and where they are currently getting those services. Through the use of surveys, direct interviews and social listening, you will gain insight into the needs of your audience and how to reach them. Since the target audience for B2B companies will include people of all ages, genders and professions, building customer personas as part of your customer research allows you to create personalized content for anyone and everyone.
Conduct A Content Audit To Discover Your Own Gold Mine
One of the most common misconceptions about content marketing is that it requires you to devote significant time to creating a library of new content to share. Of course, a well-published blog or eNewsletter makes a valuable addition to any strategy, but that doesn’t mean all of your efforts should be spent writing tirelessly. In fact, even B2B businesses that have never formally implemented a defined strategy have ample content readily available to be shared with members of their target audience.
A content audit is your B2B company’s ticket to knowing what you have and how to share it. Whether you realize it or not, just your business’s website is a gold mine of content that can be utilized in your marketing efforts. Everything from descriptions of your B2B services and past case studies to employee bios and your company’s core values are forms of content that can and should be shared with your audience.
Select The Right Digital Distribution Channels
There was a time when the only way for businesses to reach prospective customers with promotional content was through newspaper, magazine and TV advertisements. While those options remain and can still be valuable, the opportunities for your B2B company to share content are seemingly endless now. Between your website, newsletters and social media accounts as well as earned and paid media opportunities, there’s no shortage of potential digital distribution channels for your business to choose.
However, just because you can post content on a variety of different platforms doesn’t mean that you should every time. The goal is to have your content reach those that have a genuine need or desire for your services. Since each channel comes with its own unique audience and communication style, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the different platforms and how they align with your B2B business’s target audience, brand voice and goals.
Measure Results To Guide Your Next Move
After you’ve determined the most effective distribution channels for your company, it’s time to start pushing out content. Content marketing requires organization and consistency to achieve the results you crave, so it’s important to build an editorial calendar to map out your posts on a weekly or monthly basis. That includes any new content that needs to be created, as well as repurposed content from the past.
It’s also important to measure the results of your content marketing efforts to determine what is resonating with your target audience and what is being ignored or overlooked. If your B2B company is seeing high engagement and traffic from a certain channel, pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work. If you find your content is missing the mark on a channel, it may be time to go back to the drawing board to find a new approach, but don’t get discouraged. Trial and error is a continuous part of the content marketing process.