Are you overwhelmed by the number of touch points you have with customers? The marketing mix for many B2B companies today looks like a recipe with an ever-increasing number of ingredients. Imagine the pot is your company. The protein for your recipe is your website and without it, your marketing lacks power. Trade magazines, trade shows and traditional public relations form a base; add blogs; mix in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and You Tube; sprinkle in custom events, networking, webinars, and mobile. It’s either a recipe for success or a recipe for disaster.
Before the Internet, you knew the recipe for B2B marketing success fairly well. Now the recipe has become far more complicated. You can’t just throw in more ingredients and expect it to taste good. You need to think about what each element of the marketing mix can contribute because time and money are limited. You need to think about what customers are looking for and how they engage in each of the platforms.
In the old days a prospect may have picked up the phone and called a vendor to help him in the buying process. Today buyers conduct much of their preliminary research online. Your customers are going to find the information they need from someone. How will you help them? What can you provide that will be useful? How will you stand out in the crowd? How will you build trust? Where will they look for this information?
Here’s a way to simplify the process:
1) Determine Who
Who do you want to reach? If there are multiple audiences you’ll need separate strategies. Learn as much about them as you can.
2) Determine Your Objectives
Are you after sales leads or brand awareness? Are you trying to establish credibility or educate customers? Choose the “ingredients” of your marketing mix based on your objectives.
3) Determine What
Content should also be aligned with objectives. What can you show, what can you say, what have you done, that will help you accomplish your objectives? How will you show it, how will you say it, how will you communicate it on each of your selected channels? This is content strategy.
Some B2B marketers are probably moving too quickly into new media, while others aren’t moving quickly enough. But whether you are just beginning to embrace it, or have already jumped in, taking the time to develop a content strategy will help ensure your success.
Coming soon… Content for Biz will offer a complimentary B2B content strategy worksheet for all our subscribers. Sign up today be sure you don’t miss it.