In B2B SEO, the saying “content is king” has been taken to heart by many, but not always in the way it was intended. There’s still a prevalent but misguided belief that churning out content en masse is sufficient to “win” at SEO.
The reality is much more nuanced.
AI has democratized content creation. It made it more accessible and efficient. But it’s not a silver bullet. Think about it – if churning out AI, mass-produced content is easy and requires no more than an hour of your time, then what stops your competitors from doing the same?
The fixation on quantity over quality and getting hundreds of backlinks to rank on Google can be traced back to outdated SEO strategies from the 2010s (Google actually said the number of backlinks doesn’t matter). This, however, ignores the constant evolution of search engine algorithms, which seek to reward content that serves, engages, and satisfies. It’s a clear message: what matters is not how many people you can get to your site but rather how many you can meaningfully engage and for how long.
Here’s what you need to know about reaching the right audience at the right time to maximize your SEO for B2B strategy.
Part 1 – Reach the Right Audience
You probably already know you need to get to know your audience.
Well, yes – but understanding your ideal customer extends beyond demographics and superficial needs and wants. You should recognize the narrative of their professional lives and how your product fits into that story.
To fully understand who your best customer* is (*your best customer is that who spends the most on your product or signed up for the highest plan), collaborate with your sales team and send out questionnaires that explore the depths of a customer’s choice: why they picked your product, why they didn’t go with your competitors, and what features they use most. Also, use your competitors’ reviews and see what opportunities are there – what pain points your potential customers have and how you can solve them.
Packed with these insights, you need to pivot your keyword research process. Traditional SEO tactics would have you start with keywords and build topics around them. Instead, reverse the process.
Begin with the topics that emerged from your customer insights – their real pain points and dreams. Then, research keywords that align with this narrative. At this stage, don’t dwell on keyword volumes. Many keywords with lower search volume are loaded with intent and can represent genuine problems your audience struggles to solve. These keywords often represent specific, unaddressed problems that your audience is facing.
However, recognize the limitations of this approach. The insights from your sales team are incredibly valuable, but they represent a fraction of your potential market – the information almost certainly doesn’t take into consideration the broader market landscape. While the sales team’s input is a key starting point for discovering hidden opportunities (like highly relevant, zero-volume keywords), it should be complemented with broader market research; that is, an extensive keyword research process.
Part 2 – At the Right Time
Your customers are not always ready to hand you their wallets and buy your product. They usually move from one stage to another – from awareness to consideration and finally to decision.
Just as a sales funnel narrows down prospects at each stage, content created for each phase helps nurture leads more effectively.
Let’s get practical!
TOFU – Informational
A search like “improve sales performance” falls into this category. Here’s where potential customers seek more information to better understand and frame their problems. They seek knowledge, not immediate solutions – perhaps because they aren’t yet aware of their problem. Since tons of companies don’t have an established tone of voice or brand voice, 70% of TOFU content can be easily created with input from AI.
The types of content that work best at this stage include evergreen tips and tactics, how-to guides, or general overviews. An article like “10 Strategies to Improve Your Sales Performance” or a guide like “Beginner’s Guide to Enhancing Sales Efficiency” are just two examples.
Your audience is not yet looking to buy; they are in the process of learning more about their problems of interest. Nonetheless, subtly including the potential usefulness of a sales CRM can plant the seed for future stages of the funnel.
MOFU – Commercial
MOFU is just the sweet spot between curiosity and action.
Your potential customers have the knowledge to back their decision to actively buy your product.
The best content to create at this stage includes detailed best X products lists and tactical how-to guides. These are not just any lists or guides; they’re the ones with the juicy details, the pros and cons, the nitty-gritty. For example, content pieces like “Top 5 Sales CRM Solutions for Small Businesses” or “How to Increase Sales Using a CRM: A Step-by-Step Guide” are best.
Now, here’s where you need to get a bit “crafty.”
This stage’s content should subtly demonstrate why your product should be the go-to but also play fair and offer alternatives. Focus on adjusting the content to your ideal customer – what makes your CRM the perfect fit for them? Maybe it’s your user-friendly interface, unbeatable price point, or exceptional customer service.
80% content, 20% sales. Let that sink in. Your content should not feel like marketing.
BOFU – Transactional
During the BOFU stage, decisions get made, and deals are sealed. Your reader is ready to commit, armed with enough information, and looking to purchase a new product or switch from an existing one.
In B2B, content plays a huge role in shortening the sales cycle and addressing any objections or fears.
Here, you can use various types of content:
- Product alternatives;
- Detailed use cases;
- Case studies;
- Competitors overview;
- Pricing guides (e.g., “cheap alternatives to HubSpot”);
- Product types;
- Product names.
Your audience at this stage doesn’t need another overview or generic introductions. Don’t start your product alternative article with “CRMs are great at…”. They know what a CRM is good for; they’re just looking for alternatives to another product.
Be bold, direct, and fair, and remember not to trash your competitors but rather paint a clear picture of why your product is superior in terms of specific features or benefits.
Why This Strategy Works Every Time
… if you start with BOFU content first.
Commonly, there’s this tendency to start with TOFU content due to the fear of tackling more complex content or getting it wrong. There’s also a deceptive simplicity to TOFU content – it often involves repackaging basic info readily available on Google, leading to an echo chamber of copy-paste content that rarely converts.
Starting with BOFU flips the script. It focuses your efforts on creating content that is more likely to lead to conversions right off the bat.
This funnel approach works every time because it’s like constructing a building, starting with the foundational blocks, covering everything from the broad ‘what is’ questions to the specific ‘how can this solve my problem’ queries.
Another advantage of this SEO for B2B strategy is its versatility in content repurposing. Each piece of content you create – be it an informational blog post, a detailed comparison guide, or a compelling case study – holds the potential to be transformed and shared across different platforms.
Create Highly Shareable Content
TOFU and MOFU have their established place in your content strategy, even though you don’t necessarily need to start focusing on them from the get-go. They are broad, relatable topics and practical insights that can be used for content promotion and adapted to various formats, such as:
- Social media posts;
- Videos for TikTok, LinkedIn, or YouTube.
Boost Your Reputation
A full-funnel content strategy has a snowball effect on your reputation, making your name synonymous with your niche. You become more than just a brand; you transform into a trusted authority.
We’ve seen this work excellently for one of our clients, Urlbox, who saw an increase of 300% in branded searches after six months of publishing BOFU and MOFU content. This surge in searches directly indicates growing brand recognition and reputation. People begin to associate the brand with authoritative and useful content, turning to it as a primary source of information.
Help Your Sales Process
You can use the BOFU content to tackle objections during the sales cycle.
Share comparison articles, use cases, and case studies with prospects to shorten the conversion cycle.
Comparison articles are particularly effective as they lay out the advantages of your offering in relation to competitors. They provide a clear, unbiased view of how your product stacks up against others in the market.
Use cases, on the other hand, offer real-world examples of how your product or service has successfully resolved specific challenges. Combined with case studies, you can show prospects the benefits and applications of your product in their own context.