[VIDEO] How to Build a B2B Content Marketing Strategy That Resonates

In this video, I talk about using data & analytics to inform a B2B content strategy that breaks through the clutter and reaches audiences.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Influencer Marketing

In this video, I talk about the necessary ingredients to build a smart and successful B2B content marketing strategy that breaks through the noise and reaches target audiences.

What to Know About Your B2B Content Strategy

The most important question that you have to ask yourself is “Does my B2B content strategy break through the clutter and actually reach my audience?” In this case, audience relevance informs all things content creation–blogs, social, web, and even earned media.

To recap from a previous post, we built an audience of about 53K developers. We segmented them into smaller audiences based on unique interests, characteristic and demographics.

From there we looked at one specific engineering group–the Python & Machine Learning segment. And we examined the data to see if we can extract any specific business insights that might help inform our B2B content strategy.

We explored the buying mindset to see how the B2B buyer is influenced across the purchase funnel. We looked at influencers – not your topical based influencers but other developers that are influencers this specific group of developers.

B2B Content Strategy

We looked at unique media affinities. What are they reading and what types of content are they sharing?

Now all that data from last week was based on follower relationships. In other words, high percentages of the audience that follow specific brands/media represents higher affinity levels.

Now today we are going to take a slight pivot and examine conversations. We are still looking at our developer audience, but we want to uncover the topics and content that’s trending among this group. It’s important to reiterate here that a successful B2B content strategy will spend a significant amount of time, effort, and investment in audience research. This cannot be forgotten.

So the great thing about building these audiences panels, is that you can search the panel to see what they are saying about any keyword that you want to monitor.

So I was doing this research and I came across an article about the top trends in 2020 for software developers. And one trend that was interest was about Python becoming the preferred language of developers and that JavaScript was slowly declining.

Now I wanted to see what these developers were talking to see if I can find just a small nugget of information that might be able to help build out a B2B content strategy.

The below conversation analysis reveals some interesting insights.

Now the way to read this data is based on colors. So looking at the Python grid, you can see that there are 5 main topics within the conversation – programming, data science, machine learning, Linux, and Python 3.

The size of these different shades of red represent volume, so the larger the shaded box, the larger volume of conversation. In this case, programming is the most talked about topic from developers and within the context of python.

Now if you dig a little deeper within that programming topic, you ‘ll see keywords like learning, beginners, project and tutorial. So what that tells me is that these conversations are being had by developers trying to learn Python as a new skill.

B2B Content Strategy Example

So these are the keywords, phrases, language and hashtags that developers are using specifically when they are conversing on social media. This is a major insight for B2B marketers because it’s this type of information that can inform a B2B content strategy.

I extracted all the search terms and volume related to Python to see how large or small the ecosystem is in Google.

Now below this you’ll see some examples of long form blog headlines, social content, paid search and SEO and media.

These are all sample headlines but they keywords and phrases are taken directly from the data we just looked at. Remember, if you want to be relevant to an audience you need to speak to them in a way that they can relate, using the same language and nomenclature they use.

Same thing with the social content. These are the keywords and hashtags that developers are using when they talk about Python.

And lastly, the platform media buys represent the same data that we looked at last week where we looked at follower relationships to see what percent of the developers are following certain media publications.

How Audience Data Can Inform a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

For the purposes of this post, I want to share an audience analysis example of engineers.

There are several different ways to use B2B audience research. In this case, we used bio searches with self-identifying key phrases like developer, programmer, and software engineer. Remember though that there are several ways to build a content marketing strategy for B2B companies.

From there we found 9 sub-audiences or segments and you can see here on the right how large or small these segments are. For these purposes of this post, we are only going to look at one of these segments – the audience titled Python/Machine learning.

And this is what I would refer to as an audience persona. Now again, this data does not consider all developers, in fact, it’s not until you compare one segment to another that you realize how different they are.

We use a platform called Audiense which uses AI and Machine Learning to segment audiences and find the interests and characteristics that make the unique. They also have a pretty tight integration with IBM Watson which produces some pretty amazing insights.

I am not going to talk to each data point on this slide but I will cover a few that I believe are 100% actionable in this B2B content marketing strategy example. Now this data is based on follower relationships and then calculated against a general population. It’s not conversational data. We’ll talk about that next week.

  1. Buying mindset: What this tells me is that the top 2 characteristics that drive purchase are the utility of a product and word of mouth. Product utility can help you formulate a narrative that positions how useful your product is to the software development process. The second point tells me that if your customers are python developers, it might make sense to formalize an influencer and/or employee program.
  2. Top channels is pretty self-explanatory but it’s important to know.
  3. Influencers: These are not topical based influencers. These are people who are extremely influential to the Python developers in this audience.
  4. Top Communities & Conferences: This is less important to a content strategy but can certainly be used by your event marketing team or your developer ambassador program leads if you have one.
  5. The unique media affinities tell us which technology publications are most followed by this audience. This data here is all about your distribution strategy. PR should be using this data to inform their media relations, and your digital marketing team can potentially buy media on these publications through the Google Display Network and/or through a direct media buy or sponsorship.

What Types of Technology Can Be Used for B2B Content

There are several tools that you can use for your B2B content. Buzzsumo is a software tool that provides content ideas for marketers. It showcases how long form content performs based on sharing and engagement. Here’s a Buzzsumo alternative in case you’re interested.

I really hope you enjoyed this video. I do my best to create content that’s actionable and provides value to the work you do.

Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel; and be sure to hit the notification button so you can be notified when new videos are uploaded. You can also connect on Michael Brito’s social media channels if you like.

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