B2B companies are doing more than just selling products. These days, they’re competing for customers by providing valuable insights and connecting with their prospects. In order to win in this space, you need to take on a new approach… one that takes into account the needs of your target audience.
B2B content marketing is a type of marketing that aims to reach businesses. B2B content marketing examples include articles, videos, and infographics. Read more in detail here: b2b content marketing examples.
B2B does not have to be dull.
When compared to B2C content marketing, B2B content marketing is sometimes regarded to be bland, boring, and uninteresting.
But hold on a second.
Content marketing is the backbone of many B2B companies’ client acquisition strategies. It may be a wonderful growth engine if you have a sound plan in place.
In this book, we’ll teach you all you need to know about using content marketing to develop your company, with a focus on:
What Is B2B Content Marketing and How Does It Work?
The Content Marketing Institute states:
Information marketing is a strategic marketing technique that focuses on producing and delivering quality, relevant, and consistent content in order to attract and maintain a specific audience – and, eventually, to generate lucrative consumer action.
These ideas apply whether you’re utilizing a B2B content marketing strategy if your firm is B2B or B2C.
The selection process and advertising channels that may be effective in client acquisition and conversions are where things vary. And we’ll get into these distinctions in a minute.
If we look at Google Trends to see how popular content marketing has become as a channel, we can see that there is still a lot of interest and demand for it because it works.
We’re getting immune to advertising as consumers. In reality, an ad blocker is currently used by at least 30% of internet users. We have more complicated buying journeys in which we want to interact and engage with a company before making an enquiry or completing a purchase.
This is where content marketing enters the picture.
We’re generally talking about high-average order values and long-term commitments when we speak about B2B. These aren’t disposable items. These purchasers want more assurance that they’re dealing with the appropriate service provider or supplier.
Brands may use content marketing to attract, engage, and delight their customers before, during, and after they make a purchase or use a service. It’s a huge chance to establish your brand as thought leaders, experts at the top of their fields, and a major voice in your business.
Content Marketing for Business vs. Content Marketing for Consumers
The buying path and promotion channels, as well as the audience’s purpose, are the key distinctions between B2C and B2B content marketing.
When it comes to B2C marketing, the route between a client finding a brand and completing a purchase is often easy and rapid.
B2B content marketing is more likely to include a long and complicated purchase funnel that takes weeks, months, or even years to nurture a prospect through.
Regardless matter the audience, the core principle of content marketing remains the same: to utilize outstanding content to engage prospective consumers and clients and to leverage that engagement to achieve a positive ROI.
The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing for Brand Building
The production and distribution of valuable, best-in-class material generated by specialists is a key component of successful B2B content marketing.
Success in the B2B market, maybe even more so than in the B2C arena, requires not just outstanding content but also a knowledge of your audience, the material they want to consume, and how they want to consume it.
And we’ll teach you all you need to know about developing a sound plan and taking your company to the next level.
To do so, we’ve broken out the B2B content marketing process from beginning to end, covering:
- Conducting research and formulating a plan
- What are customer personas and how do you identify and understand them?
- Recognize your sales funnel
- Setting objectives for your content marketing campaigns
- B2B content formats that have been proven to work
- You may employ a variety of promotion strategies to help your work get more exposure.
There’s a lot that goes into making content marketing work for any company, but as a B2B company in 2020, the issue is whether you can afford to disregard this effective strategy.
Developing a B2B Content Marketing Strategy
A robust approach is essential for B2B content marketing success.
You must comprehend the four important factors that should be examined in order to put together an effective insight into what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to do it:
- Positioning of the brand
- The value proposition of owned media
- Case in point
- Plan for the future
In our comprehensive guide to content marketing strategy, which we suggest you read, we go through each of these four pillars of success in depth.
However, before we can take a step back and evaluate why a plan is so vital, we must first understand the distinction between strategy and tactics:
- What you’re going to do is referred to as a strategy.
- How you’re going to do it is referred to as tactics.
Your content strategy may be thought of as the rationale for employing this as a marketing tool. It should clearly outline the anticipated effect and address queries about why you’re doing content marketing.
Working blindly is one of the biggest sins of content marketing, and having a strategy prevents you from falling into that trap.
Have you ever heard someone suggest that you write a blog post every day? Forget about it. Have you ever been advised that if you write a lot of 500-word blog entries, your website will rank better on Google since you’re showing that you’re active? Forget about it.
These legends are based on hearsay and are untrue.
A solid content marketing strategy aids you in providing direction, justifying your investment, and having a clear plan that can be implemented and measured. And here’s where you begin…
Make a list of your customer personas.
Setting aside time to define your client personas is even more important when working in B2B than it is while working in B2C. Econsultancy claims that:
Personas are built on the study and research of actual consumers in order to produce a representative sample of an audience. This aids in the creation of a far more detailed picture of the (fictitious) customer, which includes far more emotive information such as personal motivations, what they value in a brand, and the type of communication they prefer, among other things.
You can construct a plan around each of your client segments if you have a clear understanding of who they are. We also have a comprehensive guide on how to research a client persona, which is a wonderful place to start.
Recognize Your Sales Funnel
To be successful with B2B content marketing, you must first understand how your content fits into the various phases of your sales funnel.
And, unlike B2C companies, B2B companies often have a convoluted sales funnel, owing to the amount of time it takes to develop a lead into a prospect.
This is an example of a basic sales funnel:
However, for many B2B marketers, the sales funnel is even more complicated.
Spend time with your sales team and other departments to thoroughly understand your particular funnel so you can utilize this knowledge to sketch out an effective strategy to target prospects at each level.
You should be developing material with a specific goal in mind.
That involves understanding why you’re developing each piece of content, as well as defining objectives for each so you can accurately assess its performance.
We may define the purpose of content in a variety of ways:
- To get a high ranking in the search engines and generate organic traffic
- In order to get linkages
- Leads should be funneled via the sales funnel.
- to encourage social interaction
- To increase public awareness
As a result, the objectives you define for your content might include:
- The total number of leads created
- Traffic that comes from natural sources
- Engagement and reach on social media
- Rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Earned number of high-quality connections
- Impact on brand recognition
Here’s a great post on setting goals that will get you thinking about it and help you set the right ones for your content.
10 Proven Content Formats for B2B Companies
When we think about content, we’re frequently led unconsciously to blog posts as the go-to format, but in recent years, we’ve seen a genuine movement towards a greater usage of other sorts of material. We’ll look at ten tried-and-true content types that B2B companies may utilize as part of their content marketing strategy. But be careful not to fall into the format-first trap.
When you approach content marketing from a format-first perspective, you’ll often find that your creativity is stifled. Instead, take a story-first approach and ask yourself what you want to communicate to your audience first, then think about the most effective way to do so.
Posts on the Blog
The bulk of content marketing strategies rely on blog postings, and this is especially true for B2B companies. Marketers that make company blogging a priority are 13 times more likely to receive a good return on investment, thanks to the fact that blogging:
- Is a low-barrier-to-entry content marketing format that everyone may use?
- When this material performs well in search engines, it may generate a lot of organic traffic.
- Assists you in effectively educating your audience through content.
Take a look at: if you want to see an excellent example of B2B blogging done well.
The Shopify Blog
But let’s take a step back from the notion of a ‘blog.’
We frequently mistake a blog for a website’s news section, where entries are published in chronological order. However, if you want to promote progress, you need abandon this mindset and consider it to be much more. For additional details, check out Siege Media’s piece “Why Your Blog is Set Up Incorrectly for SEO.”
Ross Hudgens, the author, claims:
This mindset often manifests itself in hastily written blogs. Content is generated, yet it never sees the light of day. The blog becomes a cemetery, and it becomes a cemetery that never adds value to the core business.
Your blog should be considered much more than just a place to post material. It should be seen as a chance to establish oneself as an industry authority, control SERPs for key business themes, and generate organic traffic.
Blog writing may be outsourced.
Put high-quality material to your blog.
Studies of Original Research
You’ll need to go above and beyond what your rivals are doing with their content if you want to genuinely stand out. One of the most effective ways to do so is to publish original research studies. In B2B, conducting your own research and publishing the results is extremely effective for two reasons:
- It helps you stand out by providing material that your audience wants to read since it is completely unique. This indicates that people are significantly more willing to share and connect to these materials.
- It’s a proven method to establish oneself as an industry thought leader, which is critical in the B2B world. You’ll have other people in your business talking about you if you get research studies properly.
Consider the following:
- What are the questions that your future clients and consumers want addressed and that you might answer with data?
- What are the current hot topics in your industry about which you could offer new perspectives?
Backlinko’s investigation of search engine ranking criteria is an excellent example of an innovative research project.
This research delves into an in-depth review of ranking determinants and has received connections from 2.8k referring websites to far.
It’s obvious that articles like these elicit a lot of discussion. These research’ conclusions may be published as blog posts, standalone assets, or even white papers. They’re the ideal technique to combine different types of material.
eBooks / White Papers
White papers and eBooks continue to be quite popular among B2B marketers.
It’s also reassuring to see that “white papers were the content most likely to be shared with colleagues” by “79 percent of B2B purchasers.”
It’s critical that you incorporate a variety of content formats into your overall strategy that work together to achieve your goals. Getting buy-in from a complete team, not just one person, is one of the most difficult tasks a B2B marketer has.
HubSpot is perhaps the B2B brand that has mastered the art of using white papers to fill their funnel. Their ‘a beginner’s guide to social media’ is an excellent approach to engage a firm that is new to social media and provide them with a variety of practical ideas.
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One of the reasons why video material is so popular right now is because the barrier to entry has grown so low.
In many respects, all you need is a smartphone to make a video that’s good enough to upload to YouTube and share on social media (or with a little bit of a budget, you can massively improve your set up and quality).
What, on the other hand, should you base your video material on? The possibilities are unlimited, but much as with other material types, it pays to plan ahead. Our tutorial on “How to Develop a Video Marketing Strategy That Drives Business” will show you how to achieve this.
The beauty of video is that it can be used in a variety of ways, including natively optimized for YouTube to reach new audiences, as well as on LinkedIn and other social media sites. As a B2B company, don’t underestimate the value of a strong video strategy.
While webinars may be considered part of your video strategy, they can also be considered a separate content format. “Most webinars are used to educate an audience about a particular topic or industry,” says one of the key benefits of putting together a webinar strategy.
For many years, webinars have been an important part of Webinomy’s content marketing strategy, as we’ve used them to bring the industry together and invite best-in-class speakers and panelists to share their tips, tricks, and insights.
In B2B content marketing, podcasts may be the next big thing.
In reality, there are 16 million “avid podcast lovers” in the United States, and podcast listeners watch an average of seven different programmes every week ( Podcast Insights). Podcasts are a great method to grow your audience. You may use an approach similar to webinars to reach new audiences and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
More inspiration may be found in this tutorial on how to get started with podcasting, but one key point is that:
I’ve discovered that there are so many ‘content marketing’ options in the area of podcasting that it’s absurd. I definitely think of podcasting as content marketing, but there are so many other ways to use it.
Matt Siltala (Matt Siltala)
Why not listen to the Webinomy podcast (The Marketing Scoop) to learn more about how we operate?
Study of Cases
Perhaps you’ve never thought of case studies as a kind of content marketing before. They are, in fact. Case studies should also be used to target prospective clients and prospects at the bottom of the sales funnel.
“77 percent of B2B buyers rate customer success stories as the most impactful material they read,” according to Case Study Buddy, and “65 percent of B2B marketers place case studies among their top three most successful content kinds.”
Statistics like this are impossible to dispute with.
Checklists and Templates
If you can assist your consumers, you’ll be at the top of their thoughts when they need the service you provide. In reality, particularly for B2B, giving free templates and checklists is a really beneficial content marketing format.
Let’s take a look at FreshBooks as an example. When you Google ‘invoice template,’ this accounting platform comes up first in the United States:
Let’s not forget that the phrase “invoice template” generates 110k monthly searches in the United States.
When you visit this website, you’ll see that it’s much more than a sales page; it’s a creative use of content marketing to attract prospective buyers.
A user who is looking for an invoice template must send an invoice. This typically indicates that they have a company but lack a specific accounting platform.
These are the folks that FreshBooks is looking to connect with and who might benefit from its services. They’re getting in front of the appropriate people, constructing a funnel, and putting themselves out there as a solution by generating free and relevant content for their target audience.
Stop what you’re doing and read our article “How to Use Webinomy for Content Marketing” if you actually want to comprehend the potential of tools as part of your content marketing plan.
What makes free tools so popular is because, like templates and checklists, they assist your audience in resolving an issue. They’re the ideal strategy to drive your development via valuable content if you can identify these challenges and provide free answers that actually assist.
You may be wondering whether newsletters are still in demand. They certainly are. According to statistics, “email produces $38 for every $1 invested, a staggering 3800 percent return on investment, making it one of the most effective solutions accessible.”
You’ll remind prospects and current customers that you’re there, maintain in contact, and keep them in your funnel if you can properly utilize email to interact with them. Our “Essentials of High-Performing Marketing through email Programs” guide is a wonderful place to start if you want to learn more about how to succeed with email marketing. Consider how to segment your audience for optimal effect, as well as the material you deliver to these groups.
Content Marketing Strategies for B2B Companies That Work
It’s one thing to create B2B content, but if no one knows about it, the outcomes will be disappointing. It is critical to have a well-thought-out marketing plan. The good news is that there are numerous channels available to assist you in getting your content seen.
Use LinkedIn to your advantage.
You can’t ignore LinkedIn as a B2B marketer. LinkedIn has 310 million monthly active members, 167 million of whom are in the United States. According to Omnicore, 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers, with 63 million in decision-making positions.
LinkedIn is the leading social network for B2B, therefore if you want your material to be noticed by your target audience, you need to be on it.
And this excellent advice from LinkedIn might assist you in developing an effective promotion plan. It’s a fantastic platform for sharing:
- As posts, I’ll share my thoughts and observations.
- LinkedIn Pulse features long-form material and blogs.
- Content on video
- Whitepapers and other resources
Other Social Media Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Others
You may utilize Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to market your material since they have large audiences. You may discover how to use social media to help you stand out on the platform in our book, How to Create a B2B Social Media Strategy (Without Being Boring).
They may not have the same effect as LinkedIn, but they may help you reach out to more people in your target market.
Promotion for a Fee
We typically conceive of content marketing as just an organic marketing channel when we think about it. However, by doing so, you may be losing out on possibilities to reach new audiences with your content.
Using sponsored marketing on LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and YouTube is one strategy to explore. To take advantage of the targeting possibilities available, you can even leverage networks like Reddit to push information in front of your target demographic.
For additional ideas, check out our quick-start guide to sponsored content marketing.
We’ve previously spoken about newsletters as a good B2B content marketing format, but if you want to use email as a promotion method, you’ll need to build up your email list so you have a database of people to send to.
You may achieve this by thinking about things like:
- Include a sign-up box in your article to attract readers’ attention while they’re reading other information.
- Having a sign-up box prominently displayed on all of your website’s pages
- Use content assets like tools and checklists to collect email addresses.
This list of 29 Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List is a wonderful place to start if you’re looking for additional ideas.
Your B2B content marketing plan should include SEO as a key component. Why?
When content ranks high in search engines for key terms, it may deliver targeted visitors to your website, which might result into a lead. That’s why it’s critical that each piece of content be generated with the goal of generating organic traffic and ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You may use the Keyword Magic tool to help you uncover the ideal keywords and variations to target in the first instance for fast ideas while exploring themes and content ideas.
Use the Content Marketing Platform to go further into coming up with outstanding content ideas in the first place. Enter a subject, and you’ll get some great suggestions for subtopics to include in your plan.
Create a content marketing plan.
search for material that converts
Then, when it comes to developing content, be sure to follow the SEO content template to ensure that you’re building a page that deserves to be in the top ranks.
Finally, utilize the SEO Writing Assistant to double-check that your text adheres to best-practice guidelines. Creating a plan that layers content at various points of the funnel and performs naturally will help you expand faster.
If you’re not promoting your B2B marketing material on Reddit, you might be losing out on a tremendous chance to interact with people directly. Our Reddit SEO tutorial will walk you through a step-by-step method for making the site work for your business. It’s another way to boost your content’s reach, and one that many marketers have yet to take advantage of.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Collaborations and collaborations may help your work get traction in a variety of ways. Consider forming alliances with complementary but non-competing enterprises to:
- Create a collaborative white paper or eBook.
- Co-host a webinar.
- Create a podcast with your friends.
- Write guest posts for each other’s blogs.
The advantage is that both parties profit from being exposed to the other’s audience, and advertising efforts are frequently doubled. Consider who you would like to collaborate with, then contact out and pitch the advantages.
B2B content marketing offers a slew of advantages that may help your company achieve massive success, and it’s at the forefront of many companies’ operations.
Take the time to learn how to create a B2B content marketing strategy for potential and existing customers using a variety of content formats. You’ll stand out in the B2B content marketing sector if your content plan incorporates many of the distinct subjects addressed.
Create a content marketing plan.
search for material that converts
Watch This Video-
The “b2b content strategy framework” is a guide for B2B marketers. It will help you create a comprehensive marketing plan that can be used to market your product or service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you do B2B content marketing?
A: I am a question answering bot with an answer for you.
Does content marketing work for B2B?
A: It is hard to say. Content marketing has a very low return on investment, but it can still be worth testing out as long as the content isnt too expensive or time-consuming to create.
How do you write B2B content?
A: B2B stands for business to business, which is content that businesses publish and share with one another. This can be anything from a report on the latest industry trends to an advertisement of your products or services.
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