Creating an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy

Creating an integrated content marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task even for companies with a robust marketing department. When you add the need to promote a trusted vendor brand and products, the task can seem even more challenging. A well-thought-out approach can make the path clearer and have a significant impact on your overall marketing goals.

Why you Need Integrated Content Marketing

With new influencers entering the buying process and the entire buyer’s journey changing with the proliferation of content available online, integrated content marketing is more important than ever. However, simply creating a high volume of content isn’t enough—your company needs a strategy. According to Megan Casey in her article “Why You Need Content Strategy before Editorial Planning,” “Content strategy helps organizations provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons.” Without a strategy, you can waste a lot of time and energy creating content that does not work together to help you achieve your goals.”


Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy

According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 35 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Without a strategy, creating content can become a drain on your marketing resources that produces little to no results. Successful marketing starts with answering these four simple questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Who is your desired audience?
  • Where can you reach them?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?

These four questions will help you define your goals and outline your approach. And these answers, as the backbone for your integrated approach, allow you to get the right messages out on the right channels at the right times and to the right audiences. During the process, you may find you need to create different messages for different audiences in order to meet your goals. This is fine as long as you remember the key is to provide a consistent message to each audience.

You can lay the groundwork for success by developing a broad, integrated view of both your content creation and distribution. You will need to understand where your target audience is going for information about the solutions you provide. It is your job to not only create relevant content but also to make sure you audience can easily find it. Make sure to distribute content across multiple relevant channels for maximum reach. And make sure your individual pieces of content work together to tell a cohesive story. Remember, your prospects often conduct more than 70 percent of the buyer’s journey before they will talk to your sales team. Convincing them you are the right provider means creating compelling content that positions your company above the competition.

Don’t forget that buyers, decision-makers and influencers spend time on multiple content channels—social media, blogs and websites. Sharing the same content, modified for each, can help make sure you reach your full potential audience. Be careful not to duplicate exact content across your channels to keep in line with SEO best practices.

Once you have a solid understanding of what content you need and where you need to make it available, you should construct a solid editorial calendar. Plan at least three to six months out, but be flexible as changes in the industry demand attention.


Leverage Different Content Formats to Engage Your Audience Along the Buyer’s Journey

The most effective, integrated B2B content marketing strategy is one that provides content relevant to every stage of the buyer’s journey. You should provide awareness content in the form of videos, blogs, analyst reports and direct mail for the beginning of the journey. In addition, you must provide related content for prospects further along in the journey. More detailed white papers, software trials and offers of solution demos can help advance the journey at this stage.

Don’t be afraid to explore new formats.  As your prospects’ need for content increases and their time to consume it continues to decrease, you need to consider the power of infographics and video and explore how they can round out your integrated marketing strategy.

According to Forbes, 59 percent of executives would rather watch a video than read text. Try including vlogging (video blogging) or adding short information videos to your website to reach your busy target audience. But while video is the new wave, don’t forget the power of traditional marketing. Direct mail marketing could be considered the old world of marketing making a resurgence. Since fewer companies use direct mail nowadays, it has once again become a great way to stand out and get your name in front of potential customers. Through direct mail, you can avoid the heavy competition online while reusing online content in a new way. Variety in your content format and in your distribution outlets is the key to reaching your prospects throughout the buying process.

An integrated content marketing strategy is the key to success in today’s competitive environment. Your prospects don’t want to talk with you until they know what they want and they are sure you can provide it better than anyone else. This means you must be communicating with prospects before you actually talk with them.

With a solid understanding of your audience and your goals and some preplanning, you can create an integrated content marketing strategy that helps fill your pipeline and generates demand for your solutions.


To talk to Partner Demand about creating a content strategy please connect with us.