In the 1850s, John Deere launched The Furrow, an agriculture brand magazine that provided useful content to readers long before “content marketing” was part of the marketing lexicon.

While the idea of content marketing isn’t anything new, the tactics marketers use to create and distribute content are increasingly sophisticated.

On this week’s episode of the Marketing Cloudcast  —  the marketing podcast from Salesforce  —  we’re discussing how to up the ante on your B2B content marketing practice. We interviewed Shana Pearlman, Content Marketing Manager at integration platform Mulesoft, on her most successful programs and tactics.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, check out the Marketing Cloudcast on iTunesGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher.

Take a listen here:

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here five ways to get more from your B2B content from our conversation with Shana.

1. Take a step back and remember your audience.

“The cornerstone of any successful content marketing program is understanding your audience. That is absolutely the first thing you must do,” says Shana.

This means hooking your audience from the get-go. To make this happen, Shana says, “You need to have a key understanding of marketing fundamentals. You need to have a good story. You need to understand who your audience is and where they are."

2. Be strategic about your delivery format.

“Whenever I’m planning any new piece of content, the important thing to think about is where it’s going to go. Where is it going to live and how is it going to be sent to our audiences?” shares Shana.

With the advent of digital, distribution platforms have multiplied. It’s crucial that marketers understand how those channels will reach their audience. “You do this by looking at the data and how people are getting to your content, how they’re reading it, and how you’re accessing them. Then you can choose which channels are the right ones,” she says.

3. Don’t build your house on rented land.

There are lots of free channels, but in order to use them effectively, you need to pay. “A lot of our budget goes into bringing those people in via social media. Social is the second most effective way to bring people into your database. The first is SEO,” says Shana.

However, as Shana points out, “in order to understand how to make those work, you have to understand past behavior. Then you take this into consideration when creating new content.”

4. Realize that marketing without sales is just another expense.

“As a content marketer, if you’re not going out and talking to other people in your company, you’re not doing your job,” says Shana. You can’t sit alone in your marketing department and create content efficiently. Instead, “you need to go out and find stories and see what people are doing. It’s the very best thing you can do,” she says.

She encourages content marketers to start by speaking to their sales team, engineering team, and customer success team to garner information and data. As Shana advises, “once you have that data you can create insights that will make your marketing and content efforts so much better.”

5. Fine-tune content and channels for different stages of the buyer journey.

“If we’re creating too much content at any stage of the buyer journey, we’re going to find that those leads convert less than if we had the right amount of content for each stage,” says Shana.

People’s lives and attention spans are fragmented. Content marketers need to know how each of the channels work together. “Our attention is being captured by so many different things, so we have to understand how to grab those pieces of the attention pie and get our message in each one,” says Shana.

Wise words for B2B content marketers at companies of all sizes. And that’s just scratching the surface of our conversation with Shana Pearlman (@ShanaBP). Get the complete scoop on content marketing in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

Join the thousands of smart marketers who already subscribe on iTunesGoogle Play Music, and Stitcher.

New to podcast subscriptions in iTunes? Search for “Marketing Cloudcast” in the iTunes Store and hit Subscribe, as shown below.

Tweet @youngheike with marketing questions or topics you’d like to see covered next on the Marketing Cloudcast.