B2B Content Marketing: How To Reach Your Target Market
Your content marketing plan is finally ready. You articles have been written, proof-read, fine-tuned and the finished products are exquisite. You are ready to launch your business-to-business content marketing campaign.
But . . . exactly how are you going to reach your target market?
You need to determine where online your target prospects spend their time. For contacts you already have, you can simply ask. Request they fill out a survey telling you which websites they visit, which blogs or forums they read, which associations do they follow, do they spend time on Twitter or LinkedIn or other social sites? Offer a free whitepaper in exchange for their completed survey.
For reaching new prospects you will need to take additional steps to help you determine what your market prospects find interesting and relevant and where they look for it. With this information, you can customize your messages, focus your marketing, and target your ideal market.
Step One: Focus on thinking like your target prospect. What do they want? What do they need? What are they interested in? Traditional marketing is focused on what you are offering and why the consumer needs it. With content marketing the focus changes to what the consumer is in need of, and how you can provide a solution to that need.
Step Two: While thinking like your prospect, brainstorm keywords. What words might a potential customer type into a search engine? Think of industry terms, descriptions, products, uses, materials, and services; anything you can imagine a customer might use to find your company or what you have to offer.
Look at websites belonging to competitors and study their keywords. On their home page, go to the browser toolbar, then click on “view > source” or “tools > page info” and look at the keywords listed there. Make note of keywords that are repeated on several sites. Incorporate these keywords into your content and your sites. You can test these keywords for how often they are “searched” on either Google AdWords Keyword Tool or Free Keywords.
Also brainstorm for the names of experts, speakers, authors and other presenters connected with your product or service. Search their names to find out where they are appearing and read the descriptions of their presentations. This will provide more keyword ideas.
Step Three: Take all of your brainstormed keywords and start searching. Don’t only use online search engines, but also search on message boards, forums, LinkedIn groups, blog sites, social media sites. For searching message boards you can use BoardTracker; for LinkedIn change the search parameter to groups; for blogs you can use ReadWriteWeb; for Twitter you can use TwitterSearch or TweetDeck to monitor keywords.
Step Four: Find online publications that relate to your business or product. Search for publications that focus on specific fields; following these publications will keep you informed on new issues. Watch the editorial calendars and when a topic is related to your product, offer to submit an informational article. Pay attention to who is writing articles for these publications. Follow them on Twitter or on their blogs and comment on their articles; share your ideas or perspective. You can set up GoogleAlerts for your keywords. You will find blogs and publications you probably hadn’t considered as possibilities.
Go back to the websites of your top competitors. What topics are they writing about and where are these articles being published? Your competition may not necessarily be doing their content marketing correctly, but it may give you some insight or what to do or what not to do. Look at their resource section; make note of who the people are who write their articles or whitepapers. These might be experts you want to “follow.” Additionally, the source lists might provide you with additional keywords and/or publications to use.
Step Five: Once you have your keywords and determined where your target market can be reached, it is time to incorporate this information into your content marketing plan. You want to establish your business as “the expert” in your field. You can do this by making sure you appear everywhere a potential consumer searches or browses or joins a discussion related to your product. Include as many avenues of contact as possible; not only online but mobile media and traditional print media. Your marketing campaign should never be limited to just one method or one technique. In today’s market your content marketing plan is essential to the success of your business; this free content marketing playbook might help you reach your goals.