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3 tips to improve content marketing

Content marketing is nearly essential for B2B companies to generate leads and build relationships with potential customers. While firms race to outdo each other with content, some may not be providing a good experience to leads. Content needs be informative, easy to read and engaging for website visitors. Otherwise it could have a detrimental effect on search engine optimization. B2B marketing professionals need to communicate the benefits to readers while staying brief and incorporating relevant keywords to ensure the post is found in a search engine (1). Here are some tips for hitting the mark with content:

1. Focus on keyword placement rather than density
It's no secret that content marketing and SEO are closely linked. While it's more important to provide valuable content, users may not find it unless you incorporate keywords that increase organic traffic. In the past, the sheer number of keywords could impact results, but most search engines are gradually moving away from this model. Including a diverse range of keywords can be effective, but only if these terms are as specific as possible (1). It's also important to avoid including the same term six times in one paragraph, for example. Keywords deliver the intended result when they are used intuitively in the text. This provides more value to readers than clogging a paragraph with a repetitive phrase.

2. Diversify types of content
It's hard to capture the attention span of business buyers and even harder to hold it over time. There are a multitude of content types out there, but it's essential to consider which are the most relevant to your audience (2). Videos won't perform very well if your target audience would prefer to read a white paper. In general, a B2B content marketing strategy includes various types of content for the different phases in the sales cycle. Blogs, press releases, webinars, case studies and buyer-specific landing pages are all commonly used. However, more visual sources like video and infographics are starting to make a larger impact in B2B marketing because they are highly effective for condensing complex information into a more digestible format. Companies should always be mindful of their customers' particular interests to select the right types of content to engage their audience.

3. Always keep your target audience in mind
To expand on the second point, content always needs to speak to buyers' business needs, goals and main challenges. One of the main reasons why content marketing efforts fall flat is because marketers get so wrapped up in trying to promote their products that they miss the point in explaining how the service could help potential customers. Making content easy to find in a search engine is only one piece of the puzzle. Marketers need to ensure content is easy for their ideal customers to read because this increases the odds of them returning to the website (1). Content should always speak to the particular challenges in a buyer's industry. During the later stages of the sales cycle, content needs to address how a particular solution can alleviate some of these issues. Marketing materials always should focus on buyers' top concerns to maintain effectiveness.

One of the ways marketers can overcome this challenge is by defining buyer personas. These fictional representations of a target audience can help B2B firms keep their content marketing efforts on point to ensure readers keep coming back. Businesses that do a good job of this typically have better lead generation campaigns and close more deals. 

1. "Why Your Web Copy Is Missing the Mark (and How You Can Fix It)"
2. "How To Create A First-Rate Content Marketing Strategy"

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.