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7 strategies used by highly effective B2B marketers

Only 38 percent of B2B marketers feel their content marketing strategy is effective, according to research conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute (1).

At the same time, the "B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends" study showed 83 percent of marketers use content for B2B lead generation as well as B2B lead nurturing.

While it can be easy to get caught up and, frankly, lost given all the industry insight that exists, the truth is the bulk of successful content marketing comes down to developing practical habits. Here are just seven of the strategies used by successful marketers and B2B marketing agencies as they attempt to navigate the content marketing waters:

1. Recording and evaluating strategies
The Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends study indicated only 35 percent of marketers document their content marketing process. Yet, as the report showed, the two components that set outstanding marketers apart were documenting and reviewing their strategy in great detail.

It's important to note this should be done continuously for maximum efficiency. If you update your process, update your records. Similarly, as you report results and measurements, take note of the successfulness of your company's content, online advertising and mobile advertising strategies to adapt future efforts.

2. Increasing visibility
Superior content marketers are keen to the fact that simply creating excellent content isn't enough. Great content means very little if no one is reading it; for that reason, markets should leverage email marketing, social media and search engine optimization to ensure their content is seen.

3. Encouraging involvement across the board
Many employees recognize the importance of working well with others, and fruitful content marketers are no exception. B2B strategists deliver when they count on customers, partners and expert employees to speak on their behalf. Business advocates can get involved in several ways when it comes to content marketing, including participating in its creation and sharing features after publication.

4. Listening
While listening may seem like a simple enough strategy, it is often easier said than done. Content marketers have an innate desire to share information. Though this urge comes from a helpful place, it can also lead marketers to ignore the needs of their customers and charge full speed ahead.

As B2B marketing agents develop their strategies, they should seek to create content that revolves around the wants and needs of their followers. If marketers are unsure what those relevant topics may be, they should gather feedback from their customers – whether in-person, via email or through online forums. From there, B2B marketers will be in a better position to solve problems for and cater to the needs of their audience members.

5. Using multi-faceted storytelling methods
In addition to knowing how to convey a story through intriguing language and word choice, superior marketers also realize the importance of adding dynamic, engaging visuals – such as video and infographics – into their content. Simultaneously, as Practical Ecommerce pointed out, marketers should avoid common storytelling bad practices – like telling tired, cliché tales or fabricating stories and attempting to pass them off as true (2).

6. Planning ahead
Consistently, successful marketers always look ahead. That can include not only preparing yourself for the upcoming week, but also thinking beyond to future content as opposed to focusing entirely on the tasks at hand. Ultimately, this tactic will help pave the way for successful campaigns in the future.

7. Never being truly satisfied with their strategy
While great marketers may realize they're generating results from their efforts, they are also constantly striving to improve upon their process. By continuously reading outside content, being attentive and listening to feedback, and trying new things to build their skill set, representatives at digital marketing departments everywhere can create more effective, further reaching content. 

(1). "2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends"

(2). 5 Storytelling Mistakes That Content Marketers Must Avoid

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.