In the craze to create content that converts, B2B organizations often neglect the most important part: delivering key information using a clear, organized, and repeatable distribution strategy.
Between massive amounts of content created, along with more marketing channels to manage than ever before, organizations are facing a double-sided challenge. How can internal teams find key content to share with customers, and how can customers find what they need through the content channels they use?
The answer? Crafting a full funnel content distribution strategy that can push all the right buttons for both internal and external audiences.
Think of it this way. One of the biggest reasons Google is so successful is because it enables users to search and find the exact information they need at the exact moment they’re looking for it. A scenario like this is opportunity marketing—connecting with customers at just the right time so need meets opportunity.
Without a clear understanding of the content needs at each stage in the sales funnel—top, middle, and bottom—it’s super challenging to pinpoint what exactly about your content does or doesn’t resonates with customers, or how your internal teams can get it to them in a timely way. In other words, it’s unclear where need is meeting opportunity, or where it falls short.
So let’s all be like Google. Creating an effective full funnel content strategy takes some digging and discovering, and we have the tips to explain how you can best leverage your content every step of the way.
Fine Tuning the Content Marketing Distribution for B2B
Based on recent research from SiriusDecisions, “two-thirds of the buyer journey is now done digitally, rather than in-person or over the phone.”
As more and more B2B customers lean towards completing a good portion of the purchase process online, a well-designed, personalized, and scalable full funnel content distribution strategy is key.
For starters, check out these commons challenges that are side-effects of a poor, confusing, or disjointed B2B content distribution strategy:
- Lots of interest at the top of the funnel that never turns into a lead
- Potential buyers stalling half-way through a purchase process
- No clear way for customers to join into the buyer’s journey without starting from the beginning
- Customers consistently confused at the same point in the sales journey process
- Internal teams confused about where to find the most recently updated content to share with customers
These challenges indicate an upgrade is in order. Many of these roadblocks can be cleared if a B2B organization defines what they need to create at each stage in the sales funnel. To do so, here’s the inside-scoop of what content should be used throughout:
Top of Funnel (TOFU): Outreach to potential customers that piques interest and shares helpful solutions to interested customers, as well as those who have not shared specific interest or are actively looking. This could include paid social media, organic traffic, or in-house promotion.
Middle of Funnel (MOFU): Customers in the funnel who have visited your site or a product page, and are deciding how your solution may or may not work for them. How are you targeting sales enablement here? How is content prompting them to take the next step?
Bottom of Funnel (BOFU): Leads are hot and customers have checked out the pricing page, but are looking for the right mix of products and services compared to the price point. What promotions are relevant that might pique their interest? How can you give them a limited time discount to entice them?
Remember, while focusing on and pursing hot leads is a great strategy, B2B organizations need to leverage the big picture. Without creating content that attracts new buyers at the TOFU level, the pipeline dries up. Focusing on repeat customers at the MOFU can work, but it’s limited. This is why a full funnel content strategy is so important.
One way to connect with customers using a full-funnel approach is to provide access to all types of content from the get-go. Then, when they progress through the stages, you can match content to their specific point along their unique buyer’s journey.
Simple Practices to Build a Full Funnel Distribution Strategy
Distribution can be significantly enhanced with a streamlined internal publishing process. The key is internal documentation mapped to each of the three funnel stages. B2B organizations will benefit from relying on a content repository for internal users to reach this level of complex coordination. It enhances content quality and delivery through organization, and improves clear communication between a variety of teams. When all teams have access to the most recent versions of content, it’s easy to get the right information out to influence customers at any stage.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that when content is accessible, relevant, and trackable, it’s much more effective.
Here are some simple best practices:
- Document key content types and associated channels ahead of time, including what stage in the sales funnel it’s meant to serve. This helps internal stakeholders get clear on what they are responsible for activating (think: marketing automation related to specific marketing campaigns) and ensures they have access to the finalized content they need to promote across channels,
- Create clear labels for key content types, and assign a publishing destination. When this is clearly laid out, teams know what’s needed without confusion.
- Get clear on how internal teams use and search for content, and build a system around how they work most logically.
- Automate distribution, so content can be working for your B2B organization 24 hours a day.
As B2B marketers, it’s crucial we understand our customer’s needs, and how they want to interact with content. Is there something specific they would like to see added or eliminated in your content base? How can you get more feedback from them to incorporate it into your content strategy? And as with any content development, always check to see how it’s mapped to sales goals for your team and the organization as a whole. This way a full funnel content distribution strategy is truly doing its job.