Last week, CEO Tony Uphoff introduced Business.com's Small Business Pulse, a monthly, data-driven analysis of key issues related to small-to-medium businesses. As he mentioned, over 100,000 small to medium-sized business leaders use Business.com to discover, learn about and purchase the resources, products and services they need to run and grow their businesses. To promote the new report, we've created new landing pages, sent out press releases, and are continuously looking for new ways to distribute the information to audience's that will find it valuable. Creating content is the first step in a successful content marketing strategy. The next step is distribution. B2B (business-to-business) organizations can distribute their content, such as whitepapers and webinars in a number of ways.
There are posts all over the internet that talk about content creation. Without sounding like a broken record, let's take a look at some innovative ways B2B companies, even those on a budget, can create valuable content that draws in great attention, new eyes, and current customers for deeper engagement. As you begin creating content to distribute and share, focus on:
- Your Goals. Establish end goals and develop a strategy around those objectives. Without goals set in place, how can you be sure you'll see a positive ROI?
- Your Metrics. What metrics matter the most when it comes to your content strategy? Is it social shares, inbound links, page visits, unique visitors, or something else? Make sure you are measuring the success of each piece of content based on the metrics that help you meet your goals.
- Your Audience. Who is it you're producing each piece of content for and what type of content will that audience best respond to? Be aware of who your audience is, the type of content they find valuable and the places where they will find and share it.
- Your Teams. Who will be using the content? Sales, marketing, or an upsell team? Make sure your content is being delivered in formats that your teams can use to grow your business and positively enhance customer relationships.
As mentioned, creating content isn't enough. Sure, a witty blog post or funny video could lead to a spike in attention, but it would only be temporary. For something to go viral, or even just gain some solid traction, it needs to be distributed properly and on more than one occassion. This could mean you share your videos or whitepapers through a partner network or it could mean posting an infographic on visual content sharing sites, such as Behance and Visual.ly.
The right partnerships can drive a greater content development ROI. A whitepaper distribution company or a solid affiliate marketing network can distribute your content to the right eyes, at the right time, and with the right ROI. Take a look at your current business connections and see who might be interested in sharing your content with their audience. Even a small fee initially could prove a valuable investment and lead to more email subscribers or prospects.
This may seem like a given, but many B2B businesses are still neglecting the potential social media promotion offers. Sending out your piece of content in a Tweet with a title and the link can be a bit boring. Spice things up on social networks with an unknown stat, inspirational quote or quirky fact to catch the attention of your followers. That being said, don't be afraid to share the same piece of content more than once and across multiple channels. Change up what other information is included the post and space the sharing updates appropriately.
We've written a lot about email marketing and newsletter distribution. One of the best ways to distribute your content is through your email newsletter. Just make sure you're delivering the right content to the right people and are making the most of your email segments. Segmentation is a must and you can segment your email audience using their behaviors on your site, past content engagement, stage in the marketing funnel, and demographics.
In its most simplistic form, a successful content strategy has two components: creation and distribution. Your creation and distribution are dependent on your business objectives, your audience, your teams that will be using the content, and, often times, your budget. However, a lack of budget shouldn't mean there is no content strategy. The above mentioned distribution channels can lend a hand in a low budget, cost-effective content marketing strategy.