Content Marketing is a hot new topic because businesses have realized that customers run away when they sense traditional marketing techniques.

But now instead of competing on the sheer quantity of interruptions, businesses are competing on the quality of their content.

Change is coming for many B2B Marketers. But for some of us, it’s already here and we are lighting the path forward.

Velocity Partners is a UK-based B2B Marketing agency that has learned how to set itself apart with great content. Last year they wrote the B2B Marketing Manifesto, a dedicated rant and call-to-arms for marketers in Business-to-Business companies to wake up and start doing marketing that customers don’t hate.

Now, they’ve created the content marketing checklist (reg. required) and I will provide you with an overview of the key points here, with permission from Velocity’s co-founder and creative director Doug Kessler (@DougKessler).

Good content isn’t enough any more. You need insanely great content that’s on-strategy and incites action. And you need to deliver it in a consistent, ongoing program. ~ Velocity Partners B2B Content Marketing Strategy Checklist

According to the checklist, content is critical to your business for the main reason that your customers care more about their problems than they care about your products. Content strategy allows you to focus your company’s expertise to help your customers solve their problems instead of talking about yourself. Content allow you to get found, get shared and get leads.

The Content Marketing Checklist

  1. Identify the business goals content can help you achieve and which metrics you will track
  2. Visualize the audience you are targeting based on a combination of demographics and psychographics
  3. Identify the content that incites your buyers to move from one stage to the next
  4. Map out the events (new products, mergers, growth) that trigger interest in your solutions
  5. Map out the sweet spot where your company expertise uniquely matches your customer pain points
  6. Perform a content audit to identify gaps in the content you already have
  7. Map business themes to your sweet spot to prioritize focus
  8. Create a list of high-volume keywords for each theme for good search engine optimization (SEO)
  9. Define your editorial calendar with content production by themes, personas, and stages
  10. Create great content (there is a whole section on how to do it in another 9 steps!)

I was honored and privileged to have been consulted and mentioned in the “big fat checklist.” And I truly believe there is some great stuff in here, presented in a candid and simple way.

So check it out, download it and use it in your business so you can start earning new customers instead of buying them.

About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the Head of Strategy for the leading content marketing platform, NewsCred. He is also the author of B2B Marketing Insider, a contributor to Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to B2B Marketing Insider by Email

18 Comments

  1. Barbara Fowler said…

    These are good ideas. I just found you on triberr. I am new to it so don’t understand it all yet.

  2. deepti said…

    Michael, this is very insightful article but I would like to know if you are a medium sized company how much budget can be approx. allocated for all your content marketing activities? As usual your tips are great for the start!

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Hi Deepti, I cannot answer your question definitively but I will say that I think it is a myth that content creation is too expensive for smaller companies. Content is the fuel that feeds your marketing. So whatever the marketing budget is, some portion has to be spent on generating content. The other myth is that content is expensive. I’ve written about this in the past but interviewing customers and sales people, curating other experts content, re-using content and “atomizing it” as the check list recommends – all these are great strategies to start creating great content.

  3. Doug Kessler said…

    Thanks for the fantastic summary, Michael. Much appreciated.

  4. Tom DelMonte said…

    Great stuff here Michael, both here and from Velocity. Thank you for posting. I’m doing some coaching / consulting for a friend’s home theater installation company, and between your site and Marcus Sheridan’s The Sales Lion info, I hope to help them start nurturing business more intelligently.

    Big thanks!
    Tom D

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Oh thanks Tom, and make sure you throw in Duct Tape Marketing advice. There is no better source of leads for a small business than a formal referral engine. The no one gets this better than John and Duct Tape.

  5. MBR said…

    Nice job of marketing. I thought this was about a hot new topic and then signed up for the manifesto – only to find out it’s two years old. So, kudos to you for reusing content and getting a lead :) I haven’t read the manifesto yet but still plan to, considering it really is a hot topic now. Got anything newer to promote?

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Thanks Mary Beth. The Manifesto is also what introduced me to these Velocity cats. Then they wrote about the barbarians at the gate of IT (you can see my overview of it here: http://www.b2bmarketinginsider.com/strategy/enterprise-it-marketers-left-behind).

      Then they did this checklist which is more concrete advice on content marketing than I’ve seen in one place yet. So I have tried to provide overviews of their content without breaking their copyrights but I would highly recommend checking out their blog if nothing else.

  6. Coach Kevette said…

    Love this article and all it calls to action. I still think it’s so amazing when something I read makes me do business better. Content marketing is definitely one of those #WinningHabits . Thanks Michael. #FF and looking forward to your tweets and future posts.

  7. Caroline said…

    Great article Michael! I always love to see a well-expressed content marketing guide. So many are unclear!

    I’m curious as to what exactly you mean by “Map business themes to your sweet spot to prioritize focus.” Are these the topic areas that you create content around?

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Hi Caroline, thanks for the positive feedback. I think what they mean is to take prioritized customer business issues and map them to the kind of topics your company can speak about with authority and credibility. Make sense?

  8. Nick Stamoulis said…

    This is a great checklist for those just getting started with content marketing, and a great reminder for those that have already started! You don’t want your content to go on auto-pilot. The strategy should be revised often based on what’s going on within the industry to meet the changing needs of target audience members.

  9. Caroline said…

    Got it! Thanks for responding!

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