B2B Content marketing without goals is just content. When you don’t know what you expect from it, you simply create stuff and hope for the best.
This lack of sense of direction and purpose is why many B2B companies give up on content entirely. And lose leads looking for a solution like theirs.
In this article, we’ll show you a tried and tested system we use to set realistic B2B content goals and achieve them.
Setting SMART B2B Content Marketing Goals
For your B2B Content Marketing to work, you need a solid set of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals, such as:
- We will publish 52 blog posts in 1 year by writing one article a week.
- We will create 3 LinkedIn posts a week by creating content in batches for the week in advance every Monday.
- We will repurpose every blog post to a short-form video by identifying the most valuable, attention-grabbing pieces and writing a video script based on them.
Notice how none of those goals focus on the outcomes but on outputs. It’s more realistic to focus on things you can control in content – and your output is exactly that.
How to Set B2B Content Marketing KPIs
For outcomes, we’ll use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) based on average growth rates for the specific format.
How to Find a Platform’s Growth Rate
To find them, Google things like:
- “podcast” + average growth rate
- “how fast can I grow on YouTube”
- “how long to grow a blog”
Each platform has its own set of metrics you can track. Usually, there are so many of them within each channel that many creators and businesses get confused about which one is actually important.
After working on multiple content marketing campaigns, we identified those metrics to be the most relevant for the specific channel:
- LinkedIn: Engagement Rate (the number of engagements / number of impressions * 100%)
- 𝕏 (formerly Twitter): Engagement Rate (the number of engagements / number of impressions * 100%)
- Instagram: Engagement per follower (the number of engagements / number of followers * 100%)
- YouTube: Subscribers over time
- Podcast: Downloads
- Blogging: Time on page
- Newsletter: Open rates
- TikTok: Engagement rate (the sum of video views, profile views, likes, comments, and shares)
You may ask: “Why are those more important than [insert a metric here]?”
We found those metrics to be the least affected by accidents, such as viral posts or total flops. Building an online presence is a roller coaster in and of itself. There’s no need to add yet another spin to it by tracking every single metric possible.
Building Your Growth Routine
Once you find the average growth rate for the platforms you plan to use, dig a little deeper to identify the conditions you have to meet to achieve such a growth rate. Each channel has its own set of rules and best practices you should follow.
Luckily, there are plenty of resources and accounts guiding new users on them. You can find them by searching:
- [platform] + growth, e.g. LinkedIn growth
- “how to grow on [platform],” e.g. how to grow on Instagram
- [platform] + best practices, e.g YouTube best practices
Say you want to establish a strong presence on Instagram. You might find that publishing 4 Instagram Reels (short-form videos) per week + 30 minutes of daily engagement is the output you should aim for to gain 100 followers a month.
If this routine sounds easy and you have time to do more than that, you may crank up the monthly growth rate a bit.
Say, you feel perfectly comfortable with publishing 6 Reels a week + 45-minute engagement a day. Because the output is bigger, the outcome should also increase.
From StoryAngled’s experience working with tens of accounts from different niches, a safe growth rate stretch is 20-30% more than the average growth rate.
So, if you feel like doing more to achieve results faster, you should aim for around 120-130 new followers a month.
This rate may also differ for accounts in specific industries. A B2B SaaS product for a very defined niche won’t grow as fast as a B2C product that appeals to a wide, general audience.
A quick disclaimer: You might have seen social media gurus claiming to have grown their accounts at massive speeds without any additional work. Many of them use engagement groups and automated engagement to achieve such results.
From what we’ve seen, those practices almost always end up with tons of inactive, fake followers. Big following shouldn’t happen overnight. It should be a steady process driven by delivering value to your target audience.
Testing and Iterating Your B2B Content Strategy
Organic growth has many unpredictable factors, but one thing’s for sure:
Each content piece you publish is a test. It’s a test of your ability to engage with your audience, convey information effectively, and drive desired actions. The more you create, the more you learn and improve.
This is why getting a habit of regularly checking your analytics is crucial for effective B2B content growth. Monitor which pieces attracted the most engagement and understand the elements that made it happen.
For example, many B2B companies see an increase in engagement when they show human faces in their content:
Every piece of information like that can fine-tune your content strategy over time. Monitor formats, messaging, and styles your audience resonates most with and adjust your strategy accordingly.
What If You Don’t Meet the Goals
It will happen. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, social media algorithms just don’t work in your favor.
But, instead of worrying and overthinking it, ask yourself:
- Did I meet the output goals for my content?
- Was my content helpful to my audience at all times?
- Did I engage with other people and build my online presence?
If the answer is “3x yes!” – you have nothing to worry about. These things take patience and practice. But even when you don’t see the results immediately, your efforts are compounding over time.
Good B2B content marketing is all about setting good goals. And good goals are the ones you can control and adapt to fit your needs. So, while planning your content strategy, focus on growth rate metrics and KPIs that are achievable and relevant to your business objectives.
If you need help with setting your goals, let’s grab a coffee and discuss them during a free content strategy session with one of the StoryAngled’s experts: