There are billions of stars in the night sky. If you’re camping away from a big city, you can see them, a map of ancient light spread against the darkness. But if you live in New York City –like I do– the city’s lights reflect on itself, polluting the sky, nullifying the starlight that has spent trillions of years traveling to earth. You’re lucky if you see one or two stars at best.
Content marketers face a similar challenge. Their content might be brilliant, the exact thing that a B2B marketer may need. But –often– nobody’s finding it. The digital realm is equally as infinite as space, but our corner of it is still crowded, our competitors equally eager to get their content in front of their prospects. It’s not enough just to be a star in a light polluted sky, we want to be one of those that is seen.
In my previous post, How to Listen to Your B2B Prospects, I discussed how B2B marketers should make use of data to create the best content for their prospects. In this post, I’ll talk about how to get it in front of them. The important thing to realize at the outset is that you can’t use just one of them; to win, you must use all of them.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re creating content by following the guidelines I laid out in How to Listen to Your B2B Prospects, you’re already half-way there. “You can’t go wrong [with SEO] if you follow this golden rule,” says Michelle Linn of the Content Marketing Institute, “write compelling content about the things your target audience would be most interested in.”
The technical aspects of SEO are beyond the range of this blog post. You need well-crafted landing pages driven by smart behind-the-scenes code. A true SEO strategy will involve both your marketing and IT teams.
Social tools like LinkedIn are also useful for B2B marketers. Content promoted through a LinkedIn allows you to target your prospect with filters including job title, company industry, and company name. You can even go so far as to include company name, degrees held, member age, and gender.
Done right, a LinkedIn sponsored post is a sort of ad-hoc account based marketing campaign. For example, if you’re targeting technology pros, you can aim at a wide range of titles: CIO, CTO, Director of IT, Director of Technology, etc. A LinkedIn sponsored post is casting a wide net, but at least you can define the sort of fish that are in that net. If you do it wrong, you’ll filter your content right out of visibility.
Email is the old reliable. It’s been around longer than SEO and Social, and it’s not going away any time soon. Every content marketing program should have an email component. Your blog should fuel a regular newsletter. Whitepapers should get dedicated email blasts. Don’t even think about doing a webinar without email.
Of course, email only works for the prospects you already know. It’s an essential part of your lead nurturing strategy, not necessarily a lead generation strategy.
Lead Generation and Display Advertising
At Madison Logic, we find that our clients have the best success getting their message in front of prospects with a combination of lead generation and targeted display advertising.
As we discussed in our prior post, data-driven listening can help you determine the exact accounts that are “surging” on specific topics. With this data in hand, you can create hyper-relevant content exactly for them. And now, you can use that exact same surging data to target and deliver your content and messaging to those same accounts.
This not only works for your named account list, helping you sort out the wheat (surging accounts: those engaged in research) from the chaff (neutral accounts: not currently engaged), it can point to accounts you didn’t even know about that are also engaged in similar research, allowing you to target them as well.
Targeted advertising works in tandem with lead gen, getting your message in front of your prospects on industry-relevant sites wherever they are, no matter what device they’re using. While this isn’t a lead driver, per se, Madison Logic has seen that the longer a prospect account is exposed to your ad, the more likely they are to visit your site.
The Stars Look Very Different Today
The thing about the stars is, they don’t know that they’re light isn’t hitting New York City, and they don’t care either way. As B2B marketers, however, we care when our content isn’t shining as brightly as it possibly can.
To stand out, the first step is to listen to our customers and create the most relevant content that we can. The second is to get it in front of them. Remember, no one method stands completely alone. To truly succeed you should be using all of them.
Photo Courtesy: Sergejf
To learn more about how you can target surging accounts, download our whitepaper, How to Get Started with Account Based Marketing.