SMART Content Creation Goals for B2B Content Marketing
Once we are convinced that we should have a documented strategy, the next step would be to set the content goal. Strategy means analyzing the current state, envisioning the future state and setting smart goals. Content must have a strategic approach.
Marketers must set very specific goals for each content. For some Marketers, the goal can be brand awareness. For some, it can just be the pure lead generation. For some, it could be educating prospects. Marketers targeting brand awareness, for example, should not aim lead generation from the same content. Any lead coming from such content should be considered a bonus. By looking at the statistics of B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report by BrightTalk, it seems that most B2B Marketers adopt content marketing with an ultimate goal of lead generation. The BrighTalk report says that 59% of the B2B Marketers cite lead generation as their top content marketing goal. But this also means that 39% of the marketers do not consider content marketing as their number one tool for lead generation. It completely depends on the business you are in and the growth phase of business you are at. What is important is that you must have a well-documented goal for your content marketing efforts.
Anything that cannot be measured cannot go through A/B test. Marketers should be able to know how prospects engage with each piece of content. If a digital asset is not performing as good as others, Marketers should review the content, make changes and resend for distribution. It is also possible that the content should work well with a certain target audience and not with others. In this case, instead of changing the content, the distribution plan should be reviewed.
Often B2B Marketers set unrealistic goals for their content and end up in despair. Some of them claim that content marketing doesn’t work for them. It is important to set achievable content marketing goals. Like every strategy to show results, there is a gestation period. Content, too, has a gestation period. Some pieces of content, here and there, may go viral and may fetch several qualified leads but quality content over a period of time to produce the result. The more the content is read and shared, more it helps in improving search results on the SERP. Pushing content mindlessly to an undefined target audience may even have an adverse impact. Instead of pushing content, it would be a much better idea to produce genuinely relevant content that can pull prospects.
Relevance has always been important for businesses. You may have a great piece of content but if your content is not relevant to your target audience, it would not yield the desired result. Certain content that may be useful for a CMO may not be relevant for a Marketing Manager and vice versa.
Whereas the Manager would prefer to read content that may help him in achieving operational efficiency by addressing tactical needs, a CMO might be interested in the more strategic content. Marketers, very often, distribute the same content to the CMO down to the Marketing Executives. A wrong interpretation of the engagement analytics is this case might give a skewed result.
If you bombard your subscribers with content every day or worst a couple of times a day, you will certainly end up overdoing. You must time your content judiciously. One quality content per week is good enough to keep your subscribers engaged. If you are able to produce really good content, you will be able to build a better than average top-of-the-mind recall. Similarly, if you are too sluggish with your content, no one would take you too seriously. And, certainly, there won’t be any anticipation of your content amidst your subscribers. If you are able to time your content to the level of hours, it will be even effective. For example, if you send an article every Friday between 7 pm and 9 pm, subscribers will start anticipating your content around that time every week. Broadly, you should keep your content available on your website and all your digital properties so that when your prospect begins his or her research, he finds your content.