30 questions to ask before creating B2B content
To work out the best approach, at the start of each content programme, I ask a set of tried-and-tested questions. Here are some of the key issues to consider.
- Think of an individual client who is typical of those you work with. How would you describe him/her (e.g. time poor, risk averse, careful, innovative, professional, commercial, apathetic, amusing)?
- What are the business issues they worry about? You could do a PESTLE here.
- What are the professional issues they worry about (e.g ‘they want a promotion’, ‘they want to work fewer hours’)?
- What big events/changes are taking place this year/next year that they will be/should be considering?
- How do they find out about products/services (e.g. word of mouth, personal contact, PR, social)?
- Thinking more widely….what industries do your customers/clients work in?
- What do their job titles tend to be?
- Who is the ultimate decision maker who signs-off the purchase of your product/service?
This will help you decide: the tone and type of content to produce, the topics to cover and the platforms you will use to get your content out into the world.
- What are your growth/sales plans for the next year/beyond?
- How many new leads do you need each year?
- How many new clients do you need each year?
- What do you want to achieve with your marketing/this piece of content?
- Where in the buying cycle is the content aimed?
- What content has worked well? Why? What could you improve?
- What other in-house resources can you use that you aren’t already (e.g. audio equipment, data, models of doing business)?
This will help you decide: if you need to shout far and wide or target your content at a handful of companies that you really want to work with.
- Who are your direct competitors?
- Who are your indirect competitors (e.g. companies who are bigger or smaller but offer an overlapping service, or talk about the same topics)?
- When it comes to their marketing, which are you most impressed with? Why?
- Are there any businesses you take inspiration from that are not in your industry (most people say Apple here so let’s take that as a given)?
This will help you decide: what you can learn from others – and what you intend to improve.
- What service/product do you offer? Describe it in as few words as possible.
- What problem/s does it solve for clients?
- Why was your business started – what was the opportunity?
- Why do/should clients buy your service/product?
- What is unique/different about what you’re offering?
- What is the overall story you want to be telling about your business?
- Why might they not buy you?
This will help you decide: what questions your content should answer – what would your prospect be searching for when they find you and how can you convince them that you are the company for them?
With all this answered, you should be able to decide:
- What do you need to achieve and how are you going to achieve it?
- What do you need to measure and how will you measure it?
What would you add? What do you always consider when you’re developing your content? Let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.