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[TEMPLATES] B2B Content Mapping Example for Digital Strategy

TEMPLATE - B2B Content Mapping Example for Digital Strategy - planning calendar on deskWhat’s the most common cause of failure for a B2B digital marketing campaign? Most often, it’s either poor understanding of how inbound marketing works, or lack of commitment to a plan.

The first point is a monthlong course in itself, so today’ let’s tackle the latter: bad planning (or good planning with poor follow-through).

While only you or your boss can 100% fix your issues with follow-through, we can provide content planning tools to save you time.

Companies that rely on a SMART marketing goals template –are more likely to see inbound marketing ROI. Companies that strategize and develop content ideas off-the-cuff almost always see slower and inferior traffic and lead generation vs. competitors.

Creating your next digital marketing plan? Use the (two!) content mapping templates below. These are shining examples of being organized, efficient, and capable of easily tracking progress. Customize yours based on your company goals and buyer persona:

In a hurry or viewing on mobile? Grab a free, editable content plan/calendar template here:

Get PDF Version Instead

 

How to Use Your Content Mapping Templates

You can skip ahead to the digital marketing plan templates by clicking here. If you're a novice, review these inbound marketing best practices before starting a B2B content calendar:

  1. Persona rules all
  2. Keep 12-month goals in mind …
  3. … But limit planning to 3-month blocks
  4. Leave wiggle room
  5. Be able to explain the “why”

“Content calendar” is a bit misleading, as you should leave time each month for SEO (search engine optimization) checkups, strategy reviews, and other tasks unrelated to actual content creation.

What to Expect: Inbound Marketing - Download PDF Here

1. Persona Rules Everything

Welcome to the golden rule of how to create a content map.

A huge reason why traditional marketing has lost effectiveness – and old-school marketers struggle with inbound marketing – is the continued overreliance on “me” messaging.

The “always be selling/closing” mindset tends to turn away B2B buyers who are now more interested in self-educating through internet research. Today, an “always be helping” approach is more likely to build trust and authority during the long B2B sales cycle.

Since effective B2B inbound marketing strategy leans so much on educating the prospect, you’ve got to know:

  • Who needs the information
  • What information they need
  • Why they need it
  • How they want to receive it
  • Where they’ll see it
  • When they want it

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to research the answers:

  • Buyer persona workshop with internal stakeholders (exec, marketing, sales, & customer service)
  • Buyer journey workshop with internal stakeholders 
  • Interviews with great-fit customers (past or present)
  • Audit of past content & keyword performance
  • Analysis competitors who use inbound marketing

The answers you get will influence the keywords you want to rank for, and the topics you want to include in your content strategy map.

2. Keep the Next Year in Mind

Have your “where you’d like to be in a year” goals in mind while creating. Working backwards can be incredibly helpful for figuring out where to begin. 

For example, if you’re on the hook to increase your website’s lead conversion rate by 85% in the next year, invest extra time in:

  • Adding more “premium” offers (i.e. e-books) to the site
  • UX – simpler menu navigation, and linking relevant pages to each other
  • Making sure every page has a conversion opportunity

Harken back to your company’s long-term marketing, sales, and overall business goals frequently and make sure your road map matches those objectives.
 

TEMPLATE - B2B Content Mapping Example for Digital Strategy - pink brand calendar3. … But Limit Yourself to 3 Months’ Advance Planning

There’s a 1% chance that your yearly marketing calendar will go 100% as planned. If this is your first year of trying an SEO or content marketing plan, the odds are more like 0.1%.

A smaller road map keeps you organized and efficient while allowing you to measure success and adjust tactics without having to wait a whole year. Keep your annual marketing plan handy for reference, but only lay out your execution schedule 3 months at a time.

4. Leave Room for Flexibility

Depending on how often your industry shifts (and how much your exec team meddles in marketing affairs), consider leaving at least 10% of your monthly capacity open. This allows wiggle room for unplanned work (i.e. an article that addresses breaking industry news) and miscellaneous requests (i.e. your boss wants a target industry highlighted more on the website).

Don’t leave too much room for flexibility, and don’t constantly rework your quarterly plan. You still have previous, mutually agreed-upon goals to meet. Inefficient planning and interruptions will delay you meeting your set digital marketing goals and metrics.

5. Be Able to Explain the ‘Why’

Bake an “explainer” section into each strategic move and tactic. This has two benefits:

  • Shows stakeholders why the task is important
  • Helps the “doer” (the writer, designer, or SEO staffer handling the task) how to approach it

Here’s an example:

  • To-Do: New Blog Site Creation

  • Activities: Create a subdomain for the blog and add it to the
    main navigation of the site.

  • Impact (Analytics): Creating a subdomain allows us to grab analytics quickly for individual blog posts, and more easily adapt our strategy based on the data.

  • Impact (Efficiency): Our content team will be able to easily publish and edit approved blog posts, without the overhead of getting the web developer involved. 

If you’re constantly feeling in “prove-it” mode with stakeholders, call back to the big-picture goals frequently. Remind them as clearly as possible of how each marketing asset will help meet those goals.

For your content-creation team, give examples where pertinent. The team will work more quickly and effectively if it has successful examples of the assets you want created. Take an extra moment to find that great example of a Services webpage, e-book design, etc. – it’ll save rework time later.

B2B Content Mapping Templates

With that out of the way, here are two free-to-use templates. The first is a strategy/execution road map, and the second is an editorial content calendar example.

For the examples, we’ll pretend to be a metal fabrication company called MFG that serves industrial customers America-wide:

Marketing/Sales Strategy Road Map

Use strategy road maps as guideline to what you’ll complete each month, who will be involved, and how much effort you’ll invest in each aspect of inbound marketing:

Month 1

Service

Summary

Who?

Effort

SEO

Use November SEO audit to work through list of technical issues

Todd/Agency

8

SEO

Research and write all page titles & meta descriptions

Agency (Dan)

4

SEO

Add titles and meta descriptions to site

Todd/Agency

2

SEO

Discuss moving PPC maintenance duties to agency

All

1

PPC

Research keywords re: military use for sheet metal

Agency (Dan)

1

Website

Starting w/ most popular pages, add copywriting based on new research

Todd

4

Website

Research for creating OEM Solutions Hub

Agency (Mel)

2

Website

Outline creation and initial draft - OEM Solutions Hub

Agency (Mel)

4

Blog

Reoptimize 2 existing blog posts

Agency (Mel)

2

Blog

Copywrite 2 blog posts for OEM persona

Agency (Mel)

8

Blog

Publish 2 new blogs on website

Todd/Agency

2

Video

Compile “wish list” for facility tour promo

Todd

1

Social Media

Promote new blog posts and third-party content on existing social channels

Todd

3

Email

Promote 2 new blog posts in newsletter

Todd

2

ABM

Contact identification & sourcing – who should first outreach be to?

MFG Sales Team

4

ABM

Strategize campaign #1

MFG Team /Agency

8

Reporting

Create monthly report of KPI progress

Agency (Barry)

2

Meetings

Weekly content meeting x4

All

4

TOTAL

   

62

 

Month 2

Service

Summary

Who?

Effort

Website

Add new copy to remaining pages

Todd

4

Website

Place new copy on site

Todd/Agency

2

Website

Wireframe build for OEM Solutions hub

Agency

2

Website

CTA, graphic design - OEM Solutions Hub

Agency (Jen)

2

Website

Build on site, launch - OEM Solutions Hub

Todd/Agency

1

Blog

Reoptimize 2 existing blog posts

Agency (Mel)

4

Blog

Copywrite 2 blog posts for OEM persona

Agency (Mel)

8

Blog

Publish 2 new blogs on website

Todd/Agency

2

Video

Keyword research and title creation for 3 existing videos

Agency (Dan)

3

Video

Write descriptions for 3 existing videos

Agency (Dan)

4

ABM

Create goal, outline for each touchpoint

Agency (Mel)

2

ABM

Copywriting & asset creation

Agency (Mel)

6

Social Media

Promote new blog posts & third-party content on existing social channels

Todd

3

Email

Promote 2 new blog posts in newsletter

Todd

2

Reporting

Create monthly report of KPI progress

Agency (Barry)

2

Meetings

Weekly content meeting x4

All

4

Misc.

Hold for miscellaneous/unplanned needs

All

4

TOTAL

   

55

 

Month 3

Service

Summary

Who?

Effort

SEO

Monthly SEO audit

Agency (Dan)

1

SEO

Make SEO changes based on audit

Agency (Dan)

2

Website

Add to OEM Solutions Hub as related blog posts & assets are produced

Agency

2

Blog

Reoptimize 2 existing blog posts

Agency (Mel)

4

Blog

Copywrite 2 blog posts for OEM persona

Agency (Mel)

8

Blog

Publish 2 new blogs on website

Todd/Agency

2

Video

Keyword research and title creation for 3 existing videos

Agency (Dan)

3

Video

Write descriptions for 3 existing videos

Agency (Dan)

4

ABM

Launch first touchpoint and stay on top of drip flow

MFG Sales Team

1

Social media

Promote new blog posts & third-party content on existing social channels

Todd

3

Email

Promote 2 new blog posts in newsletter

Todd

2

Strategy

Q2 strategy road map: Discuss PPC, ABM efforts; discuss case study viability

All

4

Strategy

Q2 content map - generate new topics and keywords based off research

Agency (Mel, Barry)

8

Reporting

Create monthly report of KPI progress

Agency (Barry)

2

Meetings

Weekly content meeting x4

All

4

Misc.

Hold for miscellaneous/unplanned needs

All

4

TOTAL

   

54

 

A few notes about what you see above:

  • Including a “Who?” section ensures it’s clear early on who’s responsible for what.

  • The “Effort” helps keep expectations in check and ensures you’re not overextending your team. In our example, “1” = an estimated 1 hour of effort.

  • We excluded it for the sake of space, but you may want to add a “Notes” column for leaving special instructions and resources.

Blog Content Calendar Example

This calendar is where you get specific about the topics and keywords you’ll use to reach potential customers. For simplicity’s sake, this will be a blogging-only calendar (with exceptions for when supporting content is necessary):

January

DUE

JOURNEY STAGE

TOPIC

PRIMARY KEYWORD

SECONDARY KEYWORDS

WHO?

1-7

Awareness

How much porosity in welding Is acceptable?

Porosity in welding

How much porosity is acceptable in a weld, types of welding defects, how to prevent porosity in welding, what causes porosity in a weld, MIG welding defects, TIG welding defects

Mel

1-14

Consideration

Laser vs. plasma cutting for sheet metal design

Laser cutting vs plasma cutting

Sheet metal design guide, sheet metal design tips, sheet metal laser cutting, laser cutting precision tolerances, sheet metal tolerances, laser cutting materials, what materials can a plasma cutter cut

Mel

1-21

Awareness

Precision machining tolerances: When to stop

Precision machining tolerances

High tolerance machining, high precision machining tolerances, standard machining tolerances, zero tolerance machining, machining tolerances, CNC milling tolerances

Todd

1-28

Decision

Does your supplier have on-site inspection?

Certified welding inspection services

Metal fabrication shop, CWI certified welding inspector, certified welding services, welding sheet metal, sheet metal fabrication services

Mel

           

February

DUE

STAGE

TOPIC

PRIMARY KEYWORD

SECONDARY KEYWORDS

WHO?

1-7

Awareness

The difference between ISO & AWS weld symbols

Difference between ISO and AWS weld symbols

Weld symbols explained, weld callouts, sheet metal welding, weld symbol guide, common weld symbols, how to read weld symbols, learning welding symbols

Mel

1-14

Consideration

INFOGRAPHIC: Hot vs. cold rolling pros and cons

Hot vs cold rolling

Cold roll forming, cold rolling defects and remedies, steel rolling defects, sheet metal design

Mel/Jen

1-21

Consideration

Accounting for springback in sheet metal bending

Springback in sheet metal bending 

Springback in sheet metal forming, sheet metal bending springback calculation, sheet metal design considerations, sheet metal design guide, sheet metal tolerances

Todd

1-28

Decision

How inventory management saves money, space  

Sheet metal inventory management

Vendor managed inventory VMI, sheet metal manufacturer, metal fabrication companies, supplier managed inventory, sheet metal bending services, precision machining services

Mel

           

March

DUE

STAGE

TOPIC

PRIMARY KEYWORD

SECONDARY KEYWORDS

WHO?

1-7

Consideration

Reduce costs of CNC machining projects: X tips

CNC machining design

Metal fabrication process, metal fabrication design, precision metal products, design for manufacturability guidelines, CNC machine shop, 

Mel

1-14

Awareness

VIDEO: HSLA steel alternative for structural applications

Sheet metal material grades

Structural steel grades explained, high strength low alloy steel, HSLA 80 steel, sheet metal applications, structural steel sheet

Mel/Jen

1-21

Decision

How design of sheet metal components affects price

Design of sheet metal components

Custom sheet metal fabrication, complex sheet metal parts, sheet metal design guide, sheet metal design considerations, metal fabrication company

Todd

1-28

Decision

7 considerations for ITAR machine shops

ITAR machining

Precision machining shop, CNC machining services, CNC machining for military, ITAR regulations, ITAR certification

Mel

 

A few notes about the calendar:

  • Make sure everyone responsible for content has access to the document to ensure there’s no confusion over who’s doing what.

  • If you want to record/analyze the different content types you use (i.e. infographic, “how-to” article, video-based post), add a “Type” column.

  • The “Stage” column helps you keep track of how much content you’re creating for each step of the buyer’s journey.

Supplement Your Content Mapping Template With This:

With a documented plan in place, you’ll be more prepared to stay organized and on-time, and hold all parties accountable.

Remember: The examples above are just that – examples. There‘s no one-size-fits-all approach you can copy for your inbound/content marketing plan template

If a tactic doesn’t feel right for your company, don’t do it! If you’re not sure, refer to your buyer persona and company goals as your guiding light. Or, if you lack the time or experience to build a B2B content marketing plan, consider outsourcing strategy and/or execution to a full-service inbound marketing agency.

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