If we follow the traditional approach towards content marketing outlined by Google, marketers must rely on search trends as a guide to the topics. Depending on the weight of the issue, and how well it ties down with the brand strategy of the intended product or service for sale, the content is bucketed into Hero, Hub, and Help content. And this approach has led to many success cases, both in the form of industry awards and in the form of results on the bottom line. Last year, we sought to employ B2B content marketing to grow awareness of our business, but more importantly our perspectives. And that is where a brand journalist was hired in October 2016 to lead Insights by Centric DXB.
Given the big picture perspectives we aspired to align ourselves with and that no publication in the Middle East region dives into the complexities of marketing and tech at the depth we intended, we chose to devise a content strategy that gradually matured with the knowledge of our readers. We also used C2 to help us distribute the content in an email newsletter across our partners, clients, and alumni. And with that, here are the five stages of the content we set out to create.
We looked at search trends from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. We poured over emails with clients to find the most common concerns, concerns and misconceptions. We then created a series of “Help” content oriented articles to simplify the most frequently asked questions. This was the starting point before diving full on into the B2B content marketing strategy we had devised, as a gauge for interests.
We looked at the response on the Reactive content, the emails of the readers that wrote into the respective authors, and incorporated that feedback into the follow-up stories so that the readers owned the narrative as much as we did.
We started creating B2B content marketing stories that spoke to various reasons a site visitor would want to be part of our organisation – partner, client, and even employee. In doing so, an article on career mistakes to avoid continues to attract.
We started creating stories that were more localised and spoke to the native’s of the Middle East, addressing their concerns around future events.
This is the highest level of any content strategy, regardless of B2B or B2C. With this strategy, the entire team of editors and writer need to think like journalists. This can mean looking at trends and deciphering the third or fourth series of events that will follow. In our case, following a score of reports around ad fraud, we created a detailed article on how to battle ad fraud. To date, it is the most read, most shared, and most linked article from our site. There were no data points on search engine’s that suggested that marketers on the brand or agency side were looking for it. But we knew from content succession inferences that they eventually would and by having our story indexed ahead of time, it not only ranks better but is also appreciated more. Similarly, when there was hype building on artificial intelligence, pushed by vendors of products around AI and by lobbyists that represented companies that compete against AI, we took the middle ground and had the CTO pen a story about the common misconceptions around AI. So by the time mainstream media addressed the topic, we had already ranked by far and large in the niche discussion as a subject matter expert. This story too, like countless others, continues to rank high in our monthly traffic regardless of how dated it may appear to be. When Google updated its algorithm and the parameters for ranking in local based search, we did a story ahead of the market on misconception around SEO, because we thought like journalists.
There is always time to replicate this gradual B2B content marketing model. For help in mapping out the particulars, reach me on [email protected] today.
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Usman Khalid is the founder & CEO of Centric DXB. He excels in taking the point of view of both our clients and our internal teams - expressing those perspectives, concerns and requirements to the other side. Aspiring clients & partners can reach him on [email protected]