How to create a B2B content marketing machine is a great question. We’re living in times when B2B is still mystical. We see it as something that generic, unoriginal, slow, without personality. I guess that’s why it is mystical.
But things have changed. There are people behind every single company. We’re not working with objects (although we tend to forget that quite often). We’re working with and marketing to humans. To people.
In B2B, it takes longer than in B2C to sell something. There are multiple reasons for it. Longer implementation and onboarding time, expensive products or services, existing vendors, decision-making processes in companies.. It all affects the speed of the buyer’s journey. And not only that.
Companies create content for search engines, not for people. Content is not consumable. Sure, in time it will bring traffic, but will this be the right traffic? Will it bring decision-makers and people who can influence their decisions? Hardly.
That’s why we need to go fast. Speed is one advantage we can have over others.
So where does it takes us? To the moment where we realize that the distribution of content is more important than the content itself. More important than branding. In fact, it affects branding in a positive way.
From B2C, B2B needs to learn how to use branding and emotions to make their content more personal. And when you create a great content machine for distributing that content, you’ll see that, when you’re focused on the long-term goals, when you don’t measure each and every piece of content, you get the results even in the short-term.
I’ve always been a person that invested hard in brand and content. Also, I worked on the other side, in performance marketing, and this gave me a great overview and a unique perspective that I’ve used to create a content machine for Funky Marketing and to do the same for our clients. We help companies generate consistent revenue growth using cost-effective strategies.
Today, I want to share with you the way we manage content, distribute it, repurpose it, and optimize aka the way we create a B2B content marketing machine.
Before we start, I want to show you. This is the visualization of Funky Marketing’s distribution and repurposing process.
To get a closer look, click on the photo and watch the video where I zoomed in on all parts of the funnel.
In the middle are 4 main pillars of the content we’re creating, on the right side is distribution, and on the left side is repurposing.
But let’s start from the very beginning.
B2B Content marketing strategy
Before we get into creating content, we need to find out to whom we’re talking and for whom we’re creating this content. That’s why the first thing I had to do is determine the client’s personas and the stage of awareness they’re at.
I won’t get into this too much, but I’ll just explain that we need to see where different people are in their buyer’s journey so we can target them with the right topics and themes. Finding the right topics and themes we’re going to cover is extremely important.
With people that have no idea that they have a problem nor that they need a solution, we’re coming up drawing a different perspective, a dream, a bigger picture, just to get them to think about what do they need to do to get there – about a problem or frustration.
When they realize that they have a problem, then it’s time to talk about the solution to their problems, so we’re talking about the services that we’re providing that can help them solve their problems.
And, finally, when they know that they have a problem, and they know that I have a solution, I’m talking with them about details. People in this stage are ready to buy, they are just vagging between different options, so I need to tell them why they should hire me and not someone else.
For us, ideal clients are CEOs and executives of companies between 10 and 50 employees, old enough to have a good culture and a marketing team. In some cases, we’re ok to work with a company that doesn’t have a team (that’s where we’re jumping in to help), and sometimes we like to get on the train with a startup just to be able to see where things are going and stay in the dirt.
You see how we’re connecting goals, personas, and content here.
When we have a strategy, it’s time to come up with a plan.
Strategy without implementation doesn’t mean anything. For starters, we need to determine the communication channels we’re gonna use. I do that by overlooking the channels that best suit me plus the channels that best suit my potential clients. It’s great that I’m able to produce different content, from text to videos and audio, so I don’t have a restraint like that.
I’m going all-in on Linkedin, followed by Facebook, and then YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, when it comes to Social Media. Besides that, I’m using Medium and email. And that’s it!
Linkedin is where my ideal clients are. If you’re in B2B, or you’re a business professional, it’s a no brainer that Linkedin is a #1 place to be.
Facebook is another channel where I can reach ideal clients, mostly through ads.
Instagram and Twitter are less-strategic-more-relaxed kind of channels for me (I don’t get business from there).
YouTube and Medium are great for content distribution.
I don’t wanna forget to mention my website. I wrote a copy for the website on my own, and it’s optimized for conversions the way I wanted it to be. That’s the foundation, and before I distribute the content, my foundation needed to be in place.
Each channel needs a planned campaign, no matter if it is paid or organic, followed by the workflow and the calendar. We do that so we don’t get stuck. Doing a lot can often turn into doing nothing, and I’m trying to avoid that. You should do it, too.
When we have planing set up, it is time to get into the content creation phase.
In this phase, I consider research as the most important part. If we do the research right, all other steps in creating content are relatively easy. I do the detailed research and create the outlines of each piece of content I’m creating. Long-form videos, short-form videos, blog articles, text posts, visuals.. When you create templates, you shorten the time it takes to create the content in the future.
Having all this done, you can finally sit down and do the creative work aka write copy, record videos, or create visual solutions.
If someone from my team is doing it, it gets back to me to do a review. I’m not a person who’s micromanaging things, but I have a certain standard that separates Funky Marketing from others and that’s why I need to review it until people from my team are ready to produce content the way we standardized it.
So, What kind of content we’re creating? Let’s get into the 4 main pillars of our content.
Main pillars of content
When it comes to articles, I consider a good article the one that can present to you the current situation, the problem, and the solution. 3 minutes is the maximum decision-maker is gonna spend reading your article. I’m trying to follow this patent when creating case studies, researches, and short specific articles solving specific pain points.
I have nothing against long detailed articles, but I’m not focusing on SEO and waiting for someone to find us on Google. On the contrary. I find long-form articles as a great source for content when it comes to SM posts, infographics, videos, etc. For repurposing content.
But, a practice thought me that creating videos and podcasts takes less time and the effect is almost the same. Speed, remember?
B2B Weekly podcast is a series of Q&As that I’m hosting with Marti Sanchez created with a goal to be a sort of infinite stream of content for Marti’s and my Social Media channels. It is a great way to talk and share everything we know since we’re getting into details and specific examples. Besides that, we’re using it to create a sort of community of marketers, sales people, and executives so we can all get better at what we do.
Funky Marketing podcast has a purpose to educate me, my team, and listeners. I’m hosting guests with whom we’re getting deeper into business development.
Every 2 weeks I’m hosting an offline meetup here in Novi Sad. It helps create an offline community and gives us a chance to sit down and chat about possible opportunities, partnerships, as well as to learn new things. Webinars are events I’m organizing from time to time and using it to get more people on our email lists, as well as to educate people on specific topics and create original high-quality content for Funky Marketing. Sometimes, we’re even inviting my clients as guests, so we can have content for them as well, all with one webinar.
Both of those events have a goal of creating demand for business workshops we’ll start organizing soon.
This is the time when my content is ready for distribution.
I’ll’ get into details when it comes to content distribution and content repurposing.
Organic posts are the basics of content distribution. I schedule posts on Linkedin and on Facebook.
On Linkedin, we only do organic. Organic content is the most effective there.
We post at least 2 times per day on my personal profile (I try to keep 3-4 hours between 2 posts) and we’re going after 3 posts per day. We combine text, photos, videos, and visualized audio formats. Sometimes links.
Besides post on my personal profile, we use the Featured section on my profile to post the newest articles, relevant Linkedin posts, registration link for B2B Weekly podcast, and Contact Us page.
Actually, Contact Us page is the first one on the Featured section, and it gives people a chance to go to the Funky Marketing website and schedule a free 30-minutes consultation call with us. This is our main CTA. This section on Linkedin profiles allows us to send people from the post to check my profiles, and, at the same time, schedule a call.
We post on the Funky Marketing Linkedin page, too.
On Facebook, organic has the purpose of just showing that the company is active. Active engagement can be expected mostly in Facebook groups and on personal Facebook profiles.
I post long-form video recordings of webinars, B2B Weekly, and Funky Meetups. YouTube can be a very powerful channel if you’re building a brand.
We only advertise on Facebook and Instagram, with the aim to educate people. Nothing else. I advertise visualized audio, short-form videos cut from the long-form ones, case studies, research studies, and sometimes articles made for distribution and consumption (up to 3-minute read). The idea is to educate people so they can look for a solution when they’re ready to buy.
If they are ready to buy, they always have an option to schedule a call.
When we do webinars or meetups, we stream it on Facebook. They are being used as a separate piece of content.
I’m not using them often for Funky Marketing, but they can be used quite well to additional promote a piece of content.
We use email marketing to distribute the content to our email list and occasionally to share my thought aka pour my soul out. I have one email sequence in place – if somebody downloads a lead magnet or subscribes to my list. Nothing else.
We might need a few email sequences in the future to nurture leads, but for now, we nurture them with newsletters.
Direct outreach is something we don’t do much, except when we wanna contact a specific person or specific company. The best example is when we want to interview someone for a podcast. Here we’re creating a list of potential guests from our list and strangers and then reaching out to them.
We post articles on Linkedin, Medium, or in business magazines like BizLife. I used to do the same with Quora, but I don’t do it anymore.
We tent to republish certain pieces of content after optimizing it (based on the number of reads, CTR, etc. or other updates) and during a relevant campaign (when I can use some piece of content previously created for another purpose). This can also be called a content upgrade.
We’re using 4 main pillars of content to create more content out of it. Here’s the overview:
- When recording B2B Weekly podcast, we’re recording the video version, too, and uploading it on YouTube
- We get 4-5 short videos for Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram out of every webinar and meetup
- We get 4-5 pieces of visualized audio content for Linkedin and Facebook out of each episode of B2B Weekly and Funky Marketing podcasts.
- We use long-form articles, case studies, researches, and reformatting them as text posts for LinkedIn.
- We use long-form articles, case studies, researches, and reformatting them as visual posts for Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram.
Interested in more details? Here we go.
After we’re done with a webinar, meetup, or a podcast, we’re uploading audio recordings on Achor, a platform that distributes the episode to all other podcasting platforms, and we upload video recordings to YouTube.
Each YouTube post has a link to the website. We post long-form videos on YouTube and embed the link into an article on the website.
This is how we’re distributing it. Not as a YouTube link, but as a website article. It does good for our SEO, too.
Each website post with an embedded YouTube link has a CTA – contact us and schedule a call. It is there to give people a choice, not to make them do something they aren’t ready to do.
We’re then cutting short-form videos out of the webinar, meetups, and podcast recordings and uploading them on Linkedin and Facebook as separate pieces of content.
We’re using long, detailed articles to create Social Media posts and further promote the content.
From time to time, we’re re-promoting content that caused reactions and engagement, depending on the goal.
The most important thing here is – when you promote a piece of content once, you can do it again. You don’t always need another piece of content. This one has social proof and it will do better with your audience.
After we’re done with all that I mentioned, we break things down – single pieces of content into content series and content hubs, emails into email sequences.. You get the point.
At the end comes the most important things long term – optimization.
When the content is out, we watch reactions and optimize to make it better. I don’t advise you to measure every single piece of content. Just create it with a goal in mind and optimize accordingly.
So, what do we optimize?
- Intro and description
- Visual templates
- Internal links
We can optimize the whole bunch of other things, but there’s no need. At least for now.
I assume you’d like to know what was the result of it from the revenue perspective. This content management system has resulted in closing 39 clients and reaching $25K MRR in 18 months.
We could’ve had more clients, earn more, and grow faster, but Funky Marketing is not a classic agency. We’re a team that brings revenue to our clients with cost-effective strategies – fast, responsible, flexible, focused on results and we care. To be able to do that, we need to pay attention to every client and to look at our business as a client, too.
If you need help with your content, your inbound pipeline, and overall growth, or you have a team that needs guidelines, contact us. Schedule a 30-minutes consultation and let’s see if we can help you.
Keep it funky! Nemanja