Whether you had a great content marketing year or a let’s-not-talk-about-it year, it’s nice to know that a fresh start is around the corner. A new year brings more opportunities to experiment, refine, and improve your B2B marketing at every level, helping you get results you want to brag about. But how do you make that happen, especially if your marketing team has been struggling this year? Our advice to all B2B marketers is always the same: Just take it back to basics.
How B2B Marketers Can Be More Successful in 2023
A little work now saves you a lot of stress later, which is why we always recommend doing a little housekeeping and planning to make sure you start the new year on the right foot. Tackle these to-dos, and you’ll set your team up for success once you get back from your holiday break.
1) Tie up loose ends.
Just because the new year is coming doesn’t mean this one is done yet. As you wind down, now is the perfect time to check in with contacts, re-examine the tools you’re using, clean up your calendar, test for broken things on your site, and do all of those things that have been on your to-do list for weeks or even months (not that we’d know anything about that!).
Tip: Here are 10 things you should do now.
2) Focus on strategy.
Every successful B2B marketing team puts strategy first. That said, we’re always shocked to find out how few marketers actually have a strategy down on paper.
60% of B2B marketers don’t have a documented content strategy.
When you don’t have a strategy guiding you, or have strayed far from your strategy (which admittedly happens), it’s hard to keep yourself accountable, track your success, or identify what needs to change. If you want to outshine your competition in 2023, creating a strong strategy is the way to do it.
Tip: Use our content strategy toolkit to create a solid but flexible strategy that can grow with you throughout the year.
3) Revisit your brand story.
Good B2B content marketing tells a consistent brand story—at every stage of the buyer journey. When your messaging is aligned, your content resonates with your audience, and your content ecosystem reinforces that messaging, you can grab the right people’s attention, build stronger relationships, and move them down the path to purchase one piece of content at a time. But you can’t do this if you don’t know who you are or how to communicate who you are through your content.
Tip: Find out how to craft strong brand messaging and story pillars, ask these questions to vet your B2B marketing ideas, and find out how to build marketing campaigns around those stories.
4) Assess your budget.
Budget can always be a trigger for B2B marketers, and many marketers have had to make do with less in recent years. Luckily, it seems the majority of marketers are expecting a budget bump in the next year.
50% of marketers expect their budget to increase in 2023.
Whether you’re one of the lucky ones getting this bump or not, it’s important to spend your budget wisely, identify ways to get more value out of your spending, and think about how to allocate resources more efficiently.
5) Try something new.
It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone, creating the same type of content over and over. That doesn’t mean you should stop doing what works (especially if you’ve found a nice rhythm), but it also doesn’t mean you should be satisfied with the status quo. There are so many unique types of content that can connect with your audience across different platforms. If you’re not experimenting with different formats, you may be missing out on those opportunities. In fact, simply incorporating one or two different formats may give you surprising results.
Tip: Branch out and find out what 5 exciting content trends you might experiment with.
6) Look for ways to work smarter.
Not everyone is blessed with a bigger budget. In fact, some have faced shrinking budgets year after year. The key to maximizing your budget, time, and energy is making the content you do create multi-functional. That means spinning additional content out of existing content, bundling content into a single in-depth resource, creating templates, checklists, and other practical supplemental content, etc. This also means using tools to do some of this work for you.
7) Delegate tasks (if you need to).
Whether you have limited people power, knowledge, or resources, sometimes you just can’t do it all yourself. In that case, it’s important to bring in supplemental help to execute your content strategy. That may mean outsourcing a portion of content creation or relying on someone to guide your whole strategy.
We find that the most successful content marketing teams are built around roles vs. job titles, as one person can cover multiple roles—even if you only have a two-person team.
Tip: If you’re not sure what to outsource, here’s how to figure out if you need a freelancer or creative agency. And if you do need an agency, follow these tips to find one with your expertise (or find out what it’s like to work with us on a content strategy).
How to Keep Your Team on Track
While there’s always something refreshing about a new year, you might feel that excitement wane a quarter or two in. That’s why it’s important to stay energized, inspired, and up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. If you need some more inspiration to do that…
- See our prompts to come up with fresh stories.
- Try our tips to help your team brainstorm their best ideas.
- Find out how to master your conent creation process to work more efficiently.
In the meantime, we hope you get some rest this holiday season. You deserve it.