B2B Articles - August 05, 2021
By Ross Lancaster, Content Specialist
In 2021, there’s an abundance of content available in pretty much every form of media and outlet imaginable. That means attention spans are minimal, and any effective content strategy has to connect with its intended audience instantly.
But a lot of content doesn’t break through. Then, it sits on the website in a blog post, e-book, or content offer to pick up what amounts to digital dust on a virtual bookshelf. Companies and content teams move on to the next deliverable with minimal or no leads to pursue and a campaign that isn’t working.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and companies who aren’t responding to how content drives the buying process are missing out on a key element of a successful content strategy -- iteration. B2B companies can constantly iterate their content based on whether it's resonating with buyers. If it is, B2B professionals can build upon what’s producing leads. If not, they can make changes to drive conversions.
One big way a strategy that includes a lot of iteration can be an asset for B2B companies is with possible longer-form content, such as whitepapers.
For example, imagine a company specializing in cybersecurity for utilities releases a 35-page whitepaper to market. It’s spent many hours researching and writing the copy, but once it sees the light of day, the content offer and whitepaper aren’t reaching the desired target audience in the broad field of cybersecurity.
The company can go back and change messaging to target their desired buyers better, but think about if it had originally released a two- or three-page document. This company likely would have known that its messaging wasn’t reaching the ideal customer profile -- and therefore getting bad or no leads -- before spending all that time and energy on a longer whitepaper.
Given that many lead-generating opportunities stem from content offers, landing page optimization is another ideal way B2B companies can iterate content.
A company can have the greatest e-book or guide possible, but if a landing page doesn’t capture the attention of qualified potential buyers, it won’t be seen.
Landing page issues can appear in various ways: cluttered design, images, or links that distract from the main message; unclear messaging that doesn’t speak to a buying group’s pain points; fluffy, autobiographical copy about the business or products; or uncompelling technical language. Thankfully, these can all be iterated upon to produce more leads.
Iterating content doesn’t only mean releasing deliverables to market in smaller pieces and modifying landing pages, though. Repurposing existing content is another way to iterate for leads.
Similar to how landing pages can be optimized in a variety of ways, repurposing existing content can also take myriad forms.
Let’s say a B2B company has sales content featuring tons of statistics relating to an ideal customer profile that a content marketing team needs to target better. That content can be repurposed and iterated to become an infographic and/or a blog post.
Suppose a company has various well-performing blog content centered on a single topic that could be grouped with some light- or medium-touch editing or updates. In that case, those blogs could become the basis for a guide or e-book. But if that content doesn’t perform or generate leads, it can be reevaluated and adjusted to drive impact.
In the thought leadership realm, a company or agency may have conducted a series of interviews with C-suite executives at a particular organization for various pieces of content. Those interviews could be repurposed or reiterated into longer-form content, podcasts, or a video series as long as they convey value to buyers.
Saving perhaps the simplest for last, updating content for search engine optimization is a type of iteration that can drive traffic to blogs and landing pages, potentially producing more qualified leads.
SEO can be a tricky game as Google may punish a site if it goes too far and deems a landing page, blog post, or other site to be guilty of keyword stuffing. A company should be very strategic about what old content it wishes to adjust.
For example, content that isn’t evergreen or has some important time-sensitive element probably shouldn’t be updated because new keywords are ranking higher in a given B2B industry. Additionally, if the content due to be updated isn’t especially relevant to buyers or ICPs any longer, it probably shouldn’t be updated.
While this piece has been about iterating for the purpose of generating leads, B2B marketers don’t have to stop there. Iteration can also be a great strategy for nurturing leads once qualified.
Convince & Convert, 6 Types of Iteration Every Content Strategy Needs.
WordStream, 11 Genius Ways to Repurpose Content, March 3, 2021.
Torque, Updating Old Content: The Secret SEO Weapon You Are Not Using, December 19, 2019.
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