The Ultimate List of B2B Content Marketing Guides for 2020

On Tech Qualified, our podcast dedicated to helping B2B technology marketers, we have interviewed many CMOs and marketing leaders about their marketing objectives in 2020. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve had guests discuss initiatives around some of these key topics:

  • Account Based Marketing for Tech Companies
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Content Marketing Strategies for Tech Companies
  • Marketing Automation for B2B Tech Companies 

Since these topics are certainly top of mind for both our guests and listeners, we wanted to venture out and pull together a list of valuable articles, ebooks and guides to help with these marketing objectives. 

In the sections below, we have curated some of the most valuable resources from around the web on your “hot button” topics. So rather than scouring the internet yourself, perhaps you can start here and reference these guides when looking to build out your B2B marketing strategies in 2020.

Account based marketing

According to a post by Wordstream, 70% of B2B marketers are ramping up ABM specific programs and 2020 might be one of the biggest years yet with a focus on highly targeted marketing. As traditional inbound marketing strategies become even more intense, B2B technology companies are now looking to take a different approach and tailor messaging specifically towards individual companies…and even individual prospects. 

If you’re looking to refine or even launch ABM strategies in 2020, then take a look at some of the best resources we’ve gathered. In the section below, you’ll find content that helps you build a foundation for implementing ABM and then assists with adding layers throughout the year.

  • The Definitive Guide to Account Based Marketing – Since Marketo is one of the more robust marketing automation platforms out there for B2B companies, this can be a valuable resource to reference if you’re mixing in some automation within your ABM strategy. In fact, there’s a section that discusses engagement at scale…which would be perfect to reference. The guide is behind a form, but we’ve already downloaded it, read through it and feel it’d be a good use of your time.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Account Based Marketing – Hubspot states that 60% of companies plan to launch an ABM-based campaign in the next year (which would mean 2019 in this case). I wonder if 60% of the companies surveyed did carry out those objectives? Not sure. But, if you’re looking to make a push this year, then check out this long-form blog post. One of the key notes in here is where it discusses “where account-based marketing & inbound marketing meet.” 
  • Beginner’s Guide to Account Based Marketing – When just launching an ABM strategy, there are a lot of things to get in order. In this post, Wordstream provides a breakdown on how to get started with “personalized marketing on steroids.”
  • The Complete ABM Guide – I’m a big fan of Drift’s marketing….much more so than their actual product (for our needs). We tried Drift here at Motion and it didn’t quite make sense (below is a screenshot where their chatbot is referencing “Capital One” when I arrive on their site – doesn’t seem to be too personal since I certainly don’t work there). Anyhow, this ABM guide that their team put together is full of some great tips and sample campaigns – the slide presentation that describes ABM is also a great primer. 
  • The Clear & Complete Guide to ABM – A lot of things claim to be the “ultimate” (including this blog post!), but this guide from Engagio seems to be worthy of the title “Clear & Complete.” The guide, which does require you to fill out a form, contains 175 pages of information on how to get going with ABM at your technology company. Whether you’re looking to collaborate more between marketing & sales or determine how to develop content at various stages of a customer’s journey…this is a great place to start. 
  • A Guide to Account Based Marketing – Do you want to know how ABM sits within your current marketing strategy? Well, this guide from Leadfeeder actually has a section that outlines ABM vs. inbound marketing. The guide helps you understand the difference between focusing on high volumes of traffic (a traditional funnel with a wide net) versus a custom approach with accounts (flipping the sales funnel upside down).
  • Guide to Account Based Marketing – This guide comes from Salesforce/Pardot and is actually one of the thinner pieces of content I reference. Despite it’s lack of overall length, there’s a great section in the beginning that discusses how to construct an ABM team – which bridges stakeholders from Marketing, Sales and IT (operations/product/customer success). 
  • The Account Based Marketing Mega Guide – The folks at Single Grain are content monsters – they put out a bunch of great resources…many over 2,000 words per post (in fact, I had the opportunity to provide a guest post on their site that identifies 8 videos you can generate from one interview with your CEO). In this “mega guide”, they provide a comprehensive look into ABM. One of the helpful pieces I found in the post is the reference to an ABM marketing funnel which consists of 1) Identify, 2) Personalize, 3) Engage and 4) Advocate.
  • Getting Started with ABM – One of the first steps to ABM is identifying the target list (just mentioned above). In this guide provided by Demandbase, they have a section on how to create your target list. 
  • The Blueprint to Account Based Marketing – We use a lot of worksheets and templates to facilitate marketing initiatives here at Motion and with clients. So, I’m a sucker when it comes to valuable tools to help with ABM. In this resource, Terminus provides over ten pages of worksheets and checklists to help you develop a plan for your 2020 ABM strategy.

“I would encourage folks to think of Account Based Marketing as a very ‘white glove’ experience…”

Mariya Finkelshteyn

VP of Marketing

Sapling

Reporting & analytics

 

Some of the most consistent challenges marketers face is with analyzing the impact of marketing efforts, analyzing trends and making adjustments throughout the year. So naturally, reporting and analytics are a major component to data-driven marketing. If you’re looking to become a revenue hero and measure the impact of marketing performance, then these are some great resources to reference as you set up your marketing scorecard for the year.

  • B2B Marketing Attribution – Often, marketers get stuck on reporting with activity-based metrics (things like number of blog posts published, webinars launched, etc.). However, one of the biggest areas to note are engagement metrics (numbers focused on the success of activities completed by the marketing team). In this guide, Bizible discusses how to become a revenue hero within your organization.
  • The Essential Google Analytics Guide for B2B Marketers – Another great resource from the folks at Leadfeeder, this blog post helps you navigate Google Analytics and answer specific questions. If you’re wondering how to determine where traffic is coming from or how many visitors are coming, this is a good first take. The post also helps you take a deeper look into these basic reports by adding a secondary dimension. If you’re a Google Analytics nerd, then this post is probably a bit too elementary…but if you’re looking to get moving with some basic parameters, then take a look at this post.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics in 2020 – Let’s face it, Hubspot puts out some great content…especially for B2B marketers. In this lengthy post, the folks at Hubspot provide a great background on Google Analytics (including the hierarchy of your account structure, common terms and more). 
  • Marketing Reporting: The Ultimate Guide for Digital Marketers – Supermetrics put together this guide to help you build a foundation of marketing reports. The guide helps you with the basics and gets into topics such as creating dashboards, best practices and more. Since this company integrates with products like Google Data Studio and Hubspot, they’re a great resource to follow.
  • The B2B Guide to Google Analytics – A lot of reporting resources out there reference B2C strategies when it comes to Google Analytics. However, in this guide, DevriX has focused purely on B2B strategies. Take a look beyond traditional metrics and learn more about your website visitors – using things like Audience Interests.  
  • How to Set Up Google Analytics in 30 Minutes – We are all pressed for time aren’t we? Well, if you can spare 30-minutes, then the folks at Altitude Marketing can help you get your Google Analytics set up. Now, this isn’t a deep-dive into analytics by any stretch, but it’ll at least get you started and ensuring you’re capturing data on your website.

B2B content marketing strategy

Tactics are all well and good, but it’s really important to have a strategy in place…especially when it comes to producing content for B2B technology companies. And, since the beginning of the year is often the time folks roll out their plans, now is a good time to ensure you’ve checked all the boxes for an effective 2020 B2B content marketing strategy.

Check out the resources listed below and cross reference with the strategy you’ve built for this year. And, if you haven’t refined your strategy yet, then these resources will be a great place to start.

  • Backlinko Content Marketing Hub – What can I say here, Brian Dean is one of the best at creating long-form content. He launched the skyscraper technique and has a range of resources on his site – I’m a subscriber to his email list and love it. A few weeks ago, Brian launched this resource (it apparently took him four months to put together). So, if you’re looking for information on topics such as copywriting, content strategy, blog post templates, content design, blog SEO, content promotion, and more…then this is a wonderful place to reference (picture included below).

 

  • The Seriously Complete Guide to B2B Content Marketing – As stated in the article, there is a lot of junk content out there about launching a content marketing strategy…this is not one of them. In this long-form blog post, the folks at Wordstream take you through an entire process to use the art of content to expand your business’s audience and overall reach on the web.
  • How to Build a Comprehensive B2B Content Marketing Strategy – It might seem crazy, but 16% of B2B marketers do not have a strategy. And, for those that do have a strategy, only 32% have it documented. In this guide from ContentStudio, take a trip down a path to drafting your very own strategy. 
  • The Complete Guide to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy – A content marketing strategy is much more than just great content for SEO; however, it’s still important to consider key elements of effective search engine optimization. In this post from SEOClarity, get a sense of some of the key aspects of SEO KPIs and how to measure success.
  • A Simple Three-Point Checklist for Documenting Your B2B Content Strategy Right Now – In this spirit of New Year’s resolutions, this post from TopRankBlog focuses on a 3-point process to getting a strategy written down for your technology company.
  • How to Develop a B2B Content Marketing Plan – In 2018, most successful B2B marketers reported that they spent up to 40% of their budget on content. So, how do you plan this out for 2020? Take a look at this long post from Brightly…which also comes with a Content Marketing Plan template.
  • How to Build a B2B Content Marketing Strategy in 2019 – In this post from G2.com, the author focuses on not only creating content for your own company – but also how it’s important to keep an eye on competitors. 
  • How To Develop a B2B Content Marketing Plan That Converts – Ultimately, we want content to lead prospects through a journey and ultimately convert…right? In this post, Powerpost discusses how to tackle distribution and even build a content production workflow.
  • How to Create a Comprehensive B2B Content Calendar – One of the biggest challenges B2B marketers face is consistency – in both production and in promotion/distribution. In this post from ZoomInfo, you’ll get a complete step-by-step guide to creating the ultimate content calendar for your B2B tech company.
  • The Napkin Content Strategy – I have no idea who Kimberly Ann Jimenez is…but I found this nice little article on the web. In this post, Ann provides a way to establish a super-effective content marketing strategy in less than 20-minutes. And…no messy spreadsheets or expensive software – just put it on a napkin!
  • 11 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy – If you’re the type that prefers a clear cut process, then this post from OptinMonster is a great step-by-step approach. In this blog post, you’ll be presented with a specific 11-step process to creating your 2020 content marketing strategy.
  • Your Ultimate Guide to Productive and Informed Content Marketing Planning – In this post by Ann Smarty on BuzzSumo’s blog, you’ll learn a lot about how to involve your team within the content generation process. If you want to resonate a bit more with your customers this year, then take a look at this guide.
  • Create a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy from Scratch – If you’re one of the folks that doesn’t have much written down on your strategy, then this post is a helpful way to create some of the most important resources: Content calendar, content production process and more. From Clickminded, this post even covers how to use Trello (which is what we use here) to facilitate the planning process. 
  • Content marketing plan: how to build the perfect content calendar for 2020 – If you need to organize your content in a more structured way, then this post helps you create a content calendar for this year. There are certainly a lot of templates out there, but this article from Quuu takes you through the entire process.
  • Content Distribution – The Essential Guide – Planning and production are certainly important to your content marketing strategy…but so is distribution. Recently, the Content Marketing Institute published this article to help B2B marketers create a better distribution plan for their content.
  • How to Create a Content Marketing Plan for 2020 – How do you run a content marketing initiative when the competition is more fierce now than ever? Well, the folks at Smart Insights developed a post that helps you create a content marketing plan designed to cut through the noise in the next year.

 

The Tech Qualified podcast provides B2B technology marketers with access to real world case studies and best practices. We interview industry leaders to uncover what is working in the world of B2B technology marketing.

Marketing automation for B2B companies

 

We’re at an interesting time with B2B technology marketing – in many ways, we’re seeing how companies are abandoning the “scalable” techniques offered with basic marketing automation. With a focus on hyper-personalization, companies are not focused on sending out communications to prospects that are tailored to their specific needs. 

Despite a shift to personalization, marketing automation is still very important to the overall B2B marketing strategy. In fact, the data that resides within these platforms can help you craft custom experiences for your prospects and customers. Take a look at the resources below if you’re looking to focus on your marketing automation in 2020.

  • B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide – In this 48-page report by the Digital Marketing Depot, you’ll uncover how to approach the selection process for a marketing automation platform. So, if you’re looking to make a switch or are just launching automation – this is a great place to reference.
  • Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for B2B Marketing Automation Providers – There’s a lot to consider with setting up a marketing automation platform or even refining your approach to using it within your marketing strategy. Gartner issued this guide which helps analyze the primary players in the space and can help you surface any key requirements you may not even be considering.
  • The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation – As the landing page itself states, if you’re looking to expand how you use marketing automation…then this is a good guide for you. Marketo helps outline best practices with marketing automation and helps you get past the technology and focusing on actually adding value for your database of prospects and customers.
  • What is Marketing Automation – the Complete Guide – Are you wondering how you can get marketing automation to work for you? Then, check out this guide from Drift. 
  • What is Marketing Automation? – Are you looking to build a business case for implementing a marketing automation platform? Or, perhaps you’re looking to invest and get a bit more functionality out of your platform? Then, check out this piece from GetResponse which dives into some of the things to think about.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation Software – Is marketing automation really worth the price tag? In this guide from SmartBug Media, they dive into why it’s worth it and also break down the three main competitors in the space: Marketo, Pardot and Hubspot.
  • 6 Steps to Selecting a B2B Marketing Automation Platform – If you’re looking to make a selection this upcoming year, then take note of this quick guide…which provides 6 steps to jump through before finalizing your selection. In addition, this post also provides reference to a B2B Marketing Automation Best Practices Guide which is a great companion.

Content marketing templates and checklists

As I said earlier in the article, I’m a sucker for templates and checklists. I think these types of tools help you ensure consistency across your marketing efforts. Here’s a list of some of the best we found to support your content marketing strategy for 2020:

  • Content Marketing Planning Template – This set of templates is a result of a collaboration between Hubspot and Smart Insights. It includes tools for conducting a SWOT analysis, brainstorming content ideas, defining KPIs and developing a production schedule. 
  • The Ultimate Collection of Free Content Marketing Templates – Perhaps related to the set of templates above, Hubspot repurposes their templates into a comprehensive guide where you can download the templates individually – this might be a little more efficient if you’re just looking for something specific to help you out in 2020. 
  • How to Build a Content Calendar – We referenced a guide about building a calendar above…but this particular resource includes video content and a clear 3-step process. Be sure to check out this process from the folks at Convince and Convert.
  • The 2020 Content Calendar Template – Looking for the best resource to develop a content calendar? Then, I’m not sure you’re going to find something that’ll beat this resource put together by CoSchedule. In this post, you can see how a robust calendar is created and you can get inspired to develop your very own.
CoSchedule Content Calendar
  • Must-Have Checklist for Creating Valuable Content – Who doesn’t want to create more valuable content? As you look to be more helpful to your customers…think about this checklist before you draft your next post or create your next video. According to the Content Marketing Institute, there are five benchmarks to consider when attempting to create valuable content: 1) Findable, 2) Readable, 3) Understandable, 4) Actionable and 5) Shareable. Read through this checklist and perhaps put it into place when drafting some content in 2020.
  • 2019 Content Marketing Checklist – Yeah, we’re headed into 2020. But, take a look at this checklist drafted for 2019 by the folks at Content Monsta – it still holds weight when considering the types of content for this upcoming year. 
  • Content Marketing Checklist – 25 Things that You Really Should Try in 2019 SEMRush is one of my all-time favorite tools (I recently wrote a post outlining how to use it within a website content audit) and the platform is a great resource for supporting content marketing efforts. However, they also produce amazing content, too. Here’s a list of 25 “things” you can try in 2019…but also still highly relevant for 2020.
  • 29 Digital Marketing Checklists & Cheat Sheets to Make Marketers’ Lives Easier – Want to make your life easier? Who doesn’t?! Well, here’s a nice roundup of a set of checklists and resources to use to support your overall digital marketing efforts. It references everything from social media image sizes to content promotion checklists.
  • A to Z of Content Marketing: A 40 Point Content Marketing Checklist! – Looking for an easily digestible checklist to support your content marketing? Then, check out this infographic developed by the folks at Page Traffic. The graphic creatively takes you through the entire alphabet and references some cool tactics to use when creating your valuable content in 2020.

Written by Tristan Pelligrino

Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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