When asked, 85% of savvy B2B marketers pointed to high-quality content as the most important success factor.
B2B marketers understand the need for informative authority building content. They can find a way to create it. Quality is the issue.
Today we’ll review 7 ways to improve your B2B content’s quality.
B2B High-Quality Content Ingredients
#1 A Clear Content Strategy
Content quality starts with knowing exactly what your content needs to achieve.
It helps to start slow so you can move fast, meaning careful upfront planning will allow you to execute quickly. A comprehensive content strategy will address the factors required for long term success.
Our 3-Step Content Strategy framework focuses on aligning objectives, understanding market needs, crafting a compelling story, creating the assets to support that story, tactic development and reporting. Your content strategy is the roadmap to your destination.
#2 An Adequate Budget
Content marketing works but it isn’t cheap. You will need to allocate a budget for:
Content creation: Depending on your strategy, you’ll need a combination of writers, graphic designers, videographers, equipment, and sound engineers to produce high-quality content.
Content promotion: Social media is a pay to play platform. The days of getting viral reach by just showing up were over in 2015. You will need a budget to jumpstart your content’s reach.
Content analysis: You’ll need a system for tracking how visitors use your content from the social platform through to your CRM system. Your options range from relatively simple software like HubSpot to sophisticated suites like Marketo. The bottom line is that you’ll need to pay for the accurately evaluate your content’s performance.
#3: Better Content Creators
It’s common sense that isn’t so common, but paying for premium quality content is the best first step.
Our team has ghostwritten over 2,200 articles for clients over the last two years. We’ve found that you get exactly what you pay for. The $25 per post writer will generate subpar content. The $100/post writer will do better with 1% of the writers at this level doing excellent work. Top-tier writers start at $200/post for national publication quality articles.
We’ve found a similar pay-for-quality dynamic among graphic designers and videographers as well.
#4: Content Creation Systems
Content Creation Systems create consistent quality over time.
A clearly documented system for transforming ideas into published content highlights strengths and areas for improvement. For example, a client discovered that they had a strong process for publishing and promoting content but couldn’t consistently brainstorm new content ideas. We immediately shifted our focus to the ideation phase where we worked closely with the writers to generate effective topics.
#5: Immediate Feedback
Content generates up to 60% of its visitors within 7-days of its publish date, which means that I can tell my content creator how they did within two weeks. Honest feedback is the best way to get better performance. We have a practice of publicly posting the page view performance of the content we produce. Over time we see the quality increase as writers learn from their mistakes and borrow successful tips from fellow writers.
#6: Optimization Process
What happens if an article bombs? We recommend having a “disaster checklist” prepared for this situation. Our blog disaster checklist includes:
- Brainstorm ten new headlines and immediately replace the existing one.
- Review the first paragraph and add a stronger benefit for reading the post
- Replace the featured photo or strengthen it with a benefit subheadline.
- Review and replace weak subheadlines.
Move quickly to correct posts that get off to a bad start. It helps if you know how your post should perform and can quickly spot weak performers. With one client we knew that a post should generate at least 200 pageviews within its first week. Posts that fail to meet this benchmark are put through the disaster checklist.
Yes, you can be impatient.
Once you have a plan, insist on immediate and consistent improvement. Each piece of content needs to perform, and you can’t afford to spend six-months funding a poor content producer’s learning curve. However, short timelines work only when you have an excellent plan, content creation systems, feedback mechanisms, and an optimization process in place. Your investment in the entire process will earn the respect and quality work needed to succeed.
Why Quality Content Always Wins
The debate used to be about the merits of quantity vs. quality content. You no longer have the option to select quantity or quality. You need both; quality content and lots of it. However, investing in quality content means that your content works harder, attracting more leads at a better cost.
It makes sense to focus on quality now so you can enjoy the rewards before your competition does.