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A stronger B2B content marketing strategy begins with a solid content calendar.

For some of you, your company may just now be embracing the digital world through content marketing. According to Write2Market’s survey on B2B marketing trends, content has emerged as a proxy and pathway for culture and social proof with customers. One of the first steps towards an effective content strategy is to create a content calendar that defines what your company will post, where and how often. But with your customers and prospects existing across so many marketing channels, how do you ensure the content you’re churning out provides the actual value needed for them to tune in? Here are 4 tips to consider when building your company’s content calendar:

Incorporate SEO Keywords

Keywords matter. It’s how your customers find you on search engines. It’s what determines if your articles, blog posts and tweets are actually read. It’s important to conduct keyword research in order to reveal what your target audience thinks about you and your industry. Consider the words that your existing and potential customers use and incorporate them strategically into your content. According to Search Engine Watch, Google breaks your site down into key areas: meta information and headers are the top priority, with body copy coming in second. It’s not just enough to pilfer your body copy with relevant keywords – your blog titles and website headers have to include them as well.

Consult with Your Employees

The best kind of content comes from your own culture i.e. your employees and your customers. Our founder Lisa Calhoun says “The common mistake most companies make is that they don’t understand content marketing is a cultural conversation happening in real time.” Consult with your internal teams – they are the direct connection you have to your customers. Think about the concerns that your customers may be having. Those are probably the issues your sales team is constantly having to rectify. What questions are customer service representatives being asked over and over again by your customers? These are the kind of topics you want to address within your content calendar.

Consider the Time of Year

Chances are your executive team will be attending a lot of events in the calendar year. One easy way to gather content for your calendar is to look at the editorial calendars of conferences in your industry and see what topics seem to be resonating with your target audience. Another idea is to write a recap post detailing your experiences and key takeaways from the event your company attended. For fun, light-hearted content, plan a themed blog post around each major holiday, especially if it’s relevant to what your company does. If your company specializes in technology recycling, plan a fun post around Earth Day. If you have a CSR initiative in the works, write about the charity you’ve been working with in honor of Thanksgiving. Get creative!

Look at Your Competitors

If you’re still stuck trying to fill your content calendar, look at the topics your major competitors in the space are writing about and take a page from their book. If your competitors have been in the game for a while, they’ll have likely figured out the best kind of posts that lead to greater user interaction and sales. Also think about the different forms of content they’re putting out, such as podcasts, videos, presentations, infographics and more. Look at the success metrics of these forms of content and determine if it’s worth your time and investment based on your target audience.

A successful B2B content marketing strategy starts with a strategically crafted content calendar. Here at Write2Market, we thoughtfully plan out topics that we know will hit our client’s target audience in order to garner website traffic, awards, media and speaking opportunities. Still feeling overwhelmed by your lack of content? Check out our latest Content Marketing Field Guide chapters on how to pick topics for successful B2B content marketing and how to master editorial calendaring for more information.