“Content marketing doesn’t get us any tangible results”
“It’s just too hard to scale with content marketing”
“Content marketing doesn’t drive us traffic or conversions!”
Does any of these sound familiar?
I’ll show you a B2B business today that’s getting impressive ROI from content marketing.
And more importantly, how they’re doing it.
The company? Instapage.
When it comes to doing B2B content marketing, Instapage is highly successful.
Their content marketing strategy is something every B2B marketer should pay close attention to.
With their powerful content marketing strategy, Instapage is achieving the following:
Now here’s how Instapage is achieving each of these milestones one-by-one:
Instapage currently ranks for many (maybe even most) of their industry’s highest volume keywords.
Their primary customers are landing page users — marketers (or anyone really) who needs landing pages to grow their business.
And this set of customers has several questions about landing pages.
They want to know how to create a landing page, improve their conversions on it, retarget visitors from Facebook, Google and other platforms to their landing pages, see landing page examples, and a host of other things landing-page related.
So Instapage creates in-depth content about these topics around high-volume industry keywords, and they rank like crazy for it.
At the time of writing this, they rank #1 for landing page examples, #4 for retargeting and so on — keywords with 3,600 and 14,800 search volumes respectively.
So when you search retargeting on Google right now, you’ll see their blog post sitting in the fourth position of the first page of results:
Not bad for a keyword that gets almost 15,000 searches every month.
That can amount to a whole lot of traffic for Instapage and leads — since they also have a great conversion strategy (we’ll get to that in a bit).
Now let’s look into how Instapage creates B2B blog posts that drive search traffic.
What are the SEO practices that make Instapage blog posts rank on Google?
Or, why is their retargeting post (above) ranking for such a competitive search term?
Here are their on-page SEO hacks for the article:
- The keyword retargeting appears in eleven headings in the post.
- The Instapage team also have the keyword in their article’s URL.
- The keyword is mentioned 62 times in the post.
- Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords — retargeting platform and retargeting ads — were mentioned 13 times in the post.
All these communicate to Google the article is strongly about the keyword, retargeting.
Now you may be asking, what about backlinks?
The post — according to SEMrush analytics — has only two backlinks:
Yet, with just two backlinks, this Instapage post ranks for a highly competitive keyword.
Does this mean you shouldn’t get backlinks? No.
But my point here is this: While backlinks are important, on-page SEO is also critical for any B2B content marketing strategy.While backlinks are important, on-page SEO is also critical for any B2B content marketing strategy. Click To Tweet
Also, Instapage.com is a strong domain, and that may have contributed to the article’s ranking.
However, what’s central to using high-volume keywords that attract your target clients is customer research — the factor that ensures your B2B content marketing is reaching the right audience.
In a recent newsletter, veteran email copywriter Ben Settle spells out what customer research does for businesses:
“You’ll know exactly what they want.
“Exactly what to say to them.
“And, exactly how to deliver your message in the most ‘sales friendly’ way.”
Somehow, Instapage has been able to “get” their customers. Their understanding of what their customers want and need is right on. And it is obvious in the content pieces they put out.
Their B2B content marketing makes it seem they have answers to everything their primary users want to know about landing pages.
And for the most part, they do.
Instapage, as I’ve mentioned before, has one (or more) content piece(s) on every speck of information their potential buyers need.
And having all the answers makes buyers see you as a thought leader and go-to solution for a specific need.
Your potential buyers have a lot of questions about your product or service, and that creates a huge opportunity for your B2B content marketing.
They’ll go on different platforms — Google, Twitter, Forums, etc. — searching for answers to those questions, and you need to have content ready for them to consume. Every scrap of content they see from your brand is an opportunity for you to convert them into customers.
Instapage — through in-depth customer research — know who their customers are and know what exactly to say to them.
For example, Instapage knows their landing page customers want to know how the latest GDPR guidelines might affect their conversions, so they create an FAQ page to answer their questions on the topic:
The landing page software brand provides answers like this for their potential buyers and as a result, they get recognized for it.
It’s now almost as if the brand is synonymous with the term landing page.
That is solid content marketing right there.
Customer stories are often underutilized in many B2B companies.
Yet, they’re the second most effective content type — according to the latest B2B content marketing report.
It’s not enough to compile customer stories and simply stack them up on your resources page; you need to get more eyes on them.
And Instapage understands and acts on this.
They have a page for their customer stories in written format, but they don’t stop there. They repurpose those stories in video formats, too:
With the level of attraction customers have towards video, this is a smart B2B content marketing tactic.
So when you go on YouTube and search something like how to boost advertising ROI, Instapage’s customer story shows up:
This is a prime example of B2B content marketing done right.
But videos are just one way of promoting your customer case studies. Promote them via other channels like:
- Guest posts on larger publications
- Industry communities
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups
- Paid Ads
- Influencer marketing
Besides promoting customer stories on their YouTube, Instapage publishes other quality videos, and they have reached over six thousand subscribers on the platform.
YouTube gets over 1.8 billion users every month.
Netflix, 1.9 billion.
If it’s not the time to start taking video marketing seriously for B2B content marketing, then that time will never come for some people — and they will be the losers.
And if you think B2B customers — professionals — don’t watch videos, you want to think again; Instapage gets thousands of views on their YouTube videos, which are mostly watched by landing page users — professionals, marketers.
Written content is great, no doubt about that. In fact, many B2B brands have grown and are still thriving from the written content they create.
But don’t miss out on all the attention your potential buyers are giving videos these days. They are streaming videos as if Internet service providers don’t cost them a thing.
Instapage creates videos that educate their customers about landing pages and how to best use them.
They even have a marketing dictionary funnel — which gets them top of the funnel (TOFU) viewers and customers:
Long gone are the days when your customers only searched Google; these days they’re searching YouTube.
No wonder YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook.
That means customers are searching YouTube for content more than Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
And even when they don’t actively search YouTube for your B2B industry-related videos, Google now shows YouTube videos in search results. In other words, when your buyers are searching for blog posts, Google includes videos in the results they see:
In the same incisive way you write blog posts and ebooks, you want to create YouTube videos addressing your customers’ pain points and promise them a solution.
Do your customer research, know what they want to know, understand their questions relating to your product, and provide answers in your videos.
Your primary reason for engaging content marketing is conversions.
There’s no point investing time and money in B2B content marketing if you’re not getting reasonable conversion rates from it.
It’s possible to rank for the best industry keywords, get lots of search traffic, and still not convert potential customers.
But with a good conversion strategy, you can implement a B2B content marketing strategy that works.
Almost every post on the Instapage blog has a relevant content upgrade where users can sign up and dig deeper into a topic they just read.
Unless lead gen isn’t a priority for you, which is rare, each blog post you publish should have a conversion strategy like this.
Every reader should be presented with a highly relevant CTA, not a generic one that suggests “subscribe for more of our content.”
This vastly improves your chances to systematically convert every single person that comes in contact with your content.
But many times I meet clients who want just content and without a conversion plan. They seem to have the common idea some marketers have that content can’t convert users.
But that’s not true, my last content marketing campaign on this blog had about 4% conversion rate.
Alex Birkett also once shared the same story on the OpenView blog:Content marketing is often seen as a way to bring eyeballs to a webpage, but most of the time, we think that it stops short of actually converting visitors into buyers. However, in my experience, this isn’t the case. Content can… Click To Tweet
And below every content upgrade on Instapage’s posts, you’ll also find a free trial CTA.
This means that once readers have read a post and they know they have enough information to start using Instapage’s landing pages, they have the chance to go ahead and launch a free trial right away.
You should never deploy content marketing projects without a conversion plan.
This blog post you’re reading would have been buried if I didn’t have a content promotion plan.
Only by sheer luck would you have found it.
It’s not rocket science. Google won’t just start ranking it, nor will your target customers just find it — if you have no promotion plan in place.
You probably know by now, but there are several content promotion strategies you can use to amplify the reach of your content:
Instapage, for instance, uses Facebook Ads to promote some of their blog posts:
You know about Facebook ads and other content advertising mediums. Also consider these channels to promote content:
- Instagram stories (if you have up to 10,000 followers)
- Community outreach
- Influencer/blogger outreach. (And a tool like Mailshake will make your outreach easier)
If you want to avoid doing content marketing like you’re chasing shadows and getting no traffic or conversions, you need a content marketing strategy.
How do you create one that drives traffic and conversions?