5 Questions Marketers Should Answer When Planning B2B Content Marketing Campaigns

High-tech marketing is picking up steam given the level of engagement activity we experienced in the first month of the year. Interestingly enough, the most common tactics that our clients open discussions with are SEO Strategies and CIO Roundtables.

Of the many questions we have the opportunity to ask during engagements, 5 related to B2B Content Marketing seem to often give clients pause. These 5 are:

1. Target Audience: Do they understand and have they performed an audience analysis?
2. Content Strategy: What existing assets can they leverage from last year, and what new content assets do they need to succeed for this year – articles, whitepapers, video case studies etc.?
3. Keyword Research: Have they identified search result opportunities that could be improved through new content development?
4. Syndication Network: What are the key media outlets & publications that influences their audience most?
5. Support the Field: Does marketing support sales with building fact-based intimacy via thought leadership content that is relevant to prospects?

In a November 2012 survey report by the ITSMA, it was revealing that IT Buyers want to be educated by sales reps, not sold to. Contrary to conventional wisdom, 70% of B2B solutions buyers really do want to engage with sales reps before they identify their shortlist of vendors. And for many, sales provides significant value at every stage of the buying process, not just the negotiation and close.

By developing a content strategy that educates the buyer during every step of the sales cycle, marketers will inherently support sales with the ammo they need to deepen relationships with their most valuable prospects. Furthermore, this strategy should continue well beyond the close, as an integral part of a client retention program.

- Carl Cooper