Any time we bring on a new team member here at KoMarketing, one of the first things we do is get them up to speed on our clients, their products/services, industries, and much more. As a content marketer, fully understanding the ins-and-outs of these organizations and the industries they’re a part of is an essential step to take before the content strategy can take shape.
To assist with this process and give our content strategy a solid foundation to be built upon, we ask our clients to fill out a brief questionnaire that provides critical information pertaining to their organization and industry. The responses we gather from the client questionnaire serve as my sidekick not only when a content program is being initiated, but throughout its duration. Let’s take a look at ten of the most vital questions to ask when creating a B2B content marketing questionnaire and how each assists the content marketing process!
Important note: Asking these questions of your own organization should not be overlooked, especially if the content team has a number of contributors. Ensuring each member of the team is writing with the same strategy in mind will keep the message clear throughout the process and across channels.
1. Can you please provide a succinct overview of your business?
Value to B2B content marketers: The overview portion of the questionnaire should provide a high-level look at the company or organization that’s implementing the content strategy (number of employees, scale of reach, etc.). It’s important to gather the messaging keys of the organization and what makes their product unique from the rest of the industry’s offerings. By doing so, the content team can then create a strategy that aligns with the strengths of the organization.
2. What are your organization’s primary industry targets?
Value to B2B content marketers: Understanding the product or message of the organization is not enough to start a content strategy. Learning what industries the organization caters towards will allow the strategy to identify target markets to keep in mind. For example, does the organization offer a content delivery network (CDN) solution that focuses on retail? If so, pieces of content such as industry news and blog posts should focus on the retail industry and the impact a CDN could have on reaching global visitors of these websites.
3. Who is the target buyer of your organization’s solution offerings?
Value to B2B content marketers: The goal of any organization is to drive leads that turn into sales. Content can be used to make an immediate call to action (whitepapers, email campaigns, etc.) or simply pique the interest of someone that wants to learn more about a product or industry (blog posts, industry news, social interaction, etc.). The answer to this question allows the content team to place its content in front of the correct set of eyes. If the target audience is a tech lead with 10+ years of experience, it probably doesn’t make sense to serve up “what is” content as they probably already know the answer. Identify the audience and write to their needs.
4. What is your current keyword strategy and what are your core focus terms?
Value to B2B content marketers: A strong core set of keywords should shape the content strategy. Aligning content towards keyword strategies will keep the content focused, build a reputation around those terms (for readers and search engines alike), and will hopefully drive organic visibility to the pages that correlate to the identified terms. For more information on building out a strong keyword strategy and its importance in search marketing, take a look at these posts:
- SEO Keyword Research Tutorial for the B2B Online Marketer
- 12 Questions to Ask When Performing SEO Keyword Research
- The Importance of Keyword Specificity in SEO Keyword Research
5. What are some of the leading publications in the industry?
Value to B2B content marketers: Thought-leading publications within the industry are an invaluable tool when starting a content process. Frequenting these sites allows the content team to understand what types of content and topics are of interest to readers in the space. Continually monitoring these sites throughout the process can lead to new content ideas or simply keep the content team informed of what’s truly buzzing in the industry at a certain point in time.
6. What are some of the leading social media resources in the industry?
Value to B2B content marketers: Much like keeping a pulse on industry happenings with help from leading publications, social media can be a great place to not only learn more, but also become involved to increase the reach and engagement of content. LinkedIn Groups, Facebook or Google+ Communities, Twitter, and online forums or other discussion groups are an excellent way to interact with others in the space and learn what types of content they’re looking for and sharing. Once you’ve solidified your spot in a group or social media community, chances are engagement rates and shares of content will increase.
7. Who are some of your top competitors?
Value to B2B content marketers: As we recently learned from my colleague Kristen’s blog post, B2B marketers should always be paying attention to what their competitors are doing or saying. While Kristen focused on competitors’ Twitter profiles, executing a competitive analysis and evaluating the SEO competition will allow the content team to learn from the successes and failures of others,a valuable tactic to help steer the content strategy.
8. What are some of the primary tactics used for lead generation today?
Value to B2B content marketers: As mentioned earlier in this post, generating high-quality leads are at the foundation of many business’ list of goals. Understanding the tactics used to drive these leads will allow content marketers to align collateral with these channels. For example, if we know a certain whitepaper drives a significant amount of leads for a client, it’s a good idea to include a call to action (or link) in the content to it. The more people that land on a lead-driving page the better!
9. What type of CMS or site building system do you use for management of the website?
Value to B2B content marketers: As a writer in every sense of the word, I often find myself doing a lot of my work on Microsoft Word. However, it’s important to learn upfront what type of CMS is being used to power a website. Understanding the ins-and-outs of the CMS is critical for SEO purposes, as well as aesthetics when trying to create eye-catching content.
10. What web reporting tools and programs are currently in place on the website?
Value to B2B content marketers: Last but not least, it’s essential to gather information regarding what reporting tools are currently in place for a content strategy (Raven Tools, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, etc.). Much like competitive analysis, reporting tools will allow content marketers to track the successes and failures of their own material, which will hopefully shape the direction of the content in the future.
These are by no means the only questions that should be/need to be gathered when putting together a B2B content marketing questionnaire, but we hope some of these questions lend some helpful advice and sparked some questions of your own to ask. If you think we missed an important question or simply want to add some others, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section!