One of the common concerns B2B marketers have with a content marketing-focused SEO program is whether the content will align with target audiences and prospective buyers.
While increasing search engine traffic is an exciting premise, B2B marketers know that traffic improvements have to be realized with accurate content, ultimately driving high-quality leads and inquiries.
Thus, B2B SEO programs can fail when keyword-specific content marketing efforts miss the mark in connecting with broader marketing requirements.
Keyword research is only the start for content marketers tasked with supporting SEO.
In addition to keyword research, here are six critical areas of focus content marketing professionals need to consider when aligning SEO, content development, and applicable B2B target audiences.
Strategic Marketing Deliverables
One of the first questions we ask when onboarding a new client is access to strategic marketing information.
What type of information am I referencing? Here are few examples:
- Strategic marketing overview material – including branding guidelines, target audiences, points of differentiation, etc.
- Buyer personas / any information on target buying profiles
- Product marketing collateral and sales presentations
This information, used in conjunction with developing keyword research, helps our entire team understand the client’s marketing objectives while preparing a content marketing plan designed to improve SEO.
Interviews with an organization’s subject matter experts (SMEs) have become even more important in matching keyword strategy with B2B products and solutions.
While a marketing overview provides the foundation, SME interviews allow content marketers to immerse themselves in material necessary for writing SEO-specific material related to complex solutions.
The key is for content marketers to pay attention to how keyword targets can be applied to material SMEs require and expect in communicating to target audiences.
We make competitive assessments during the pre-sales process, with client discovery, and on a regular ongoing basis throughout an SEO program.
As detailed in a previous post, elements of competitive analysis include:
- Competitive keyword visibility (keyword ranking, position, search volume, etc.)
- Competitive brand visibility (inbound links, social shares, etc.)
- Content marketing (content types, social media tactics, etc.)
- Site architecture (SEO properties and best practices like tagging, URLs, etc.)
This analysis helps content marketers understand how the our client’s competitive market associates keyword strategy with targeted content, site architecture, the ability to acquire links and social media activity.
Industry analysis helps shape an even broader understanding of the terminology, challenges, and key content opportunities related to our client’s target audiences.
When onboarding new client programs, some of the key industry information we want to review includes:
- Key conferences and events, particularly those our client participates in, sponsors, exhibits, or has team members engaged in speaking opportunities.
- Blogs and third-party publications which are often critical for link building outreach as well.
- Analysts and research firms, particularly when working with B2B technology and software organizations.
- Influencers in social media communities or associated with industry-related organizations and third-party publications.
Industry analysis provides more than just the broader perspective in how SEO-related keywords can be used for B2B client content. It also provides an opportunity to better understand and discuss important trends and priorities our clients currently have in focus, beyond SEO performance.
PR and Marketing Communications
It’s becoming more common for SEO programs to work in collaboration with PR and marketing communications teams. This coordinated effort can have a positive impact in link building acquisition and generating additional visibility for SEO-centric content marketing assets in particular.
A PR discovery deliverable is one of the first assets content marketers writing for SEO should obtain.
PR teams are at the forefront of a B2B client’s brand communication strategy. As such, the review of their program priorities can add tremendous value when determining how to write SEO-focused material for defined target audiences.
Ongoing Client Communications
Lastly, the ongoing meetings, status updates, and review of deliverables with clients provides invaluable opportunities for content marketers to learn and improve when writing on the organization’s behalf.
Many of our SEO content marketing programs require extensive review and approval across the deliverable process, from concept and outline to final revisions and production ready copy.
In addition to direct feedback, content marketers should pay attention for information on upcoming conferences and events, product/software developments, and key organizational initiatives.
For content marketers writing for SEO, there are a series of resources critical for aligning keyword strategy to B2B organizational objectives and target audiences. This includes an organization’s strategic marketing plan, competitive and industry analysis, and the evaluation of PR and ongoing client communications.
Interested in learning more?
A recent Whiteboard Friday from Moz discusses a more SEO-centric perspective on how to “Write for SEO”, taking into account tagging and the writing process. And a recent article from CMI tackles the broader content marketing process five different brands have successfully undertaken.
Here are a few additional KoMarketing posts that may also assist in the SEO content development process:
- A 5-Point Checklist for Writing SEO Content
- What Is Content Marketing Development?
- Your Complete B2B Content Strategy Checklist
What steps have your organization taken to align SEO and content marketing efforts? I’d love to read your perspective via comments below.