"B2B content marketingis so simple that anyone can do it." This concept has been floated several times to me. And I can't help but scoff at the thought. Sure, anyone can start a blog, but it doesn't guarantee it will have an audience. Creating great B2B contenttakes far more than basic writing abilities.
The truth is that not everyone who can write can generate content.
Because content marketing entails far more than just writing. It all comes down to narrative and thought leadership. It is all about engaging with your audience and adding genuine value to their lives.
It may appear to be a lot of effort, and you would be correct. However, the labor is well worth the effort. When done correctly, content marketing may assist your organization in a variety of ways. Let's have a look at two of them: Public relations and thought leadershipin business-to-business(B2B).
B2B content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content to enhance brand exposure, traffic, leads, and sales for businesses-to-business. B2B content marketing commonly includes blogging, podcasting, email newsletters, and infographics.
Content Marketing Tips for B2B Organizations - Whiteboard Friday
Here are some ideas to motivate you to improve your B2B marketing and branding.
You may be in the B2B space, but you are ultimately selling to humans. The same people are drawn to intriguing, innovative, and unique ideas. The same individuals who have feelings and motivations for who they work with that aren't just based on pricing or features.
To execute a brand personality successfully, it must be something that the entire organization supports and is implemented throughout the firm.
It has an influence on your ideas, how you speak, where you hang out, and what you believe in, much like human personalities. And it has to be a persona that is appealing to your target audience.
Most firms appear to be afraid of targeting a certain segment of clients. Even in B2B marketing, there is a sense of impending doom.
If you aim for everyone and provide everything, you will most likely be meaningless to no one. It is far preferable to stand up for something to someone.
The objective should be to be a perfect match for a certain audience rather than to be adored, liked, or "correct" for everyone. This is considerably more likely to result in action.
However, using this technique can occasionally spark controversy or alienate other groups. You must be prepared for this and realize that it is OK as long as it does not come from your target audience! If you've done your study, you'll be more appealing to your target since you're standing for something that they care about.
Although certain B2B companies must portray a highly professional, formal identity, this does not excuse a lack of innovation.
You may still project a serious corporate vibe while incorporating something eye-catching or distinctive if you strike the right balance. Whatever your brand personality is, there are several ways to be innovative. Here are a few suggestions.
- A whitepaper that is provided unusually.
- Developing a new technique or model for your word
- Using unconventional marketing channels or locations that clients might not anticipate
- A new perspective or words that give a welcome shift
- A noteworthy corporate policy or method of operation - imagine extreme transparency
- Conducting a study to discover something new
- Advertisements that stand out aesthetically or go against what the customer expects
A point of view does not have to be divisive. It simply indicates that your organization has strong principles and adheres to them. If that appears in your material, you may continue to establish trust with the consumer.
Typically, remaining neutral works best for Switzerland. Take a stand when creating content for your audience on major issues and concerns. Customers will not be won over by waffling or being unsure. They will respect your knowledge and the fact that you are giving insights.
Content marketing is essentially strategic storytelling. You're telling a story via everything you do, from eBooks to videos to social mediapostings.
The most essential thing is to make certain that the star is your buyer. The trip is theirs, and your company is a supporting character who assists them.
Before you can develop a B2B brandinggrowth plan, you must first evaluate where you stand in terms of brand recognition and perception.
You want to build your brandingapproach on data-driven judgments. So, what better way to get started than by asking your present customers?
You will discover:
- How well-known is your brand?
- How well-known is your brand in the thoughts and emotions of your customers?
- Is your brand's message resonating with customers? If not, why is this the case?
To find out the answers, use your metrics.
- Is it a marketing issue?
- Is there an issue with the website?
- Is there an issue with the product?
- Is there an issue with the customer journey?
If individuals are responsive to your marketing,
- What precisely are they in response to?
- Is it your company's logo?
- What about your client service?
- What about your social media accounts?
- What is your product?
Use consumer surveys to gain insight into their thinking and determine where you are failing to deliver your brand message.
Use survey platforms such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform, and offer a modest incentive to improve completion rates.
After you've questioned your current clients, continue to your email subscribers and social media followers.
The more data you have, the better your understanding of how consumers perceive your organization will be.
Get a broad overview of online conversations in which your brand is discussed. You may utilize tools like Mention to get informed whenever your brand name is mentioned.
When someone discusses your brand, you may respond by providing value or answering inquiries.
Mention not only tracks your brand discussions in real-time but also analyzes your rivals, finds influencers, and generates personalized reports.
Social media has not only impacted our social lives but has also significantly altered marketing.
According to Gary Vee, the present state of the internet is social media.
It is the best location to draw attention to your content and brand. However, the game is now played differently than it was a few years ago.
As organic reach on almost all major networks continues to diminish, you must be more innovative to capture your audience's attention.
Celebrities and social media influencers now have a huge influence on their audience and their purchasing habits.
When assessing a provider, 85 percent of technology buyers prefer third-party opinions, which they are receptive to discovering on social media.
Working with brand-friendly influencers opens up new avenues for brand development. Here are a few advantages of employing influencers in your B2B branding campaigns:
- Native advertising is a kind of social communication that is more trustworthy than traditional sponsored advertisements.
- Effective word-of-mouth brand building.
- It has the potential to make your brand popular and get more people talking about it.
- It may benefit your SEO.
Finding influencers to support your business is not difficult, but managing and growing these connections may be time-consuming.
What is it about content marketing that makes it so bad? Do any of them ring a bell?
Depending on the sector, B2B content marketing might be complicated. However, I can assure you that your audience knows far less than you believe. Many times, companies approach content marketing with the assumption that they know all there is to know about their product or solution. Your target audience isn't an expert. It's as easy as that.
Leaders are frequently fussy about material because they read it for themselves rather than the client. That is a prejudice, and companies must overcome it. If you can't go beyond this, you'll be bound to keep posting irrelevant content.
There are numerous components to readability, and B2B material frequently falls short of them. This is not the moment to brag about your wide vocabulary. Some more complicated terms are required at times, but if you're using language that doesn’t sound like your target audience, you should simplify.
Other readability difficulties include:
- Sentences or paragraphs that are too long (Tip: If you can't read a sentence out without pausing for a few breaths, it's too long!).
- Passive vs. active voice: In content marketing, avoid using passive voice. It lowers your reading score and stifles flow.
- Bad formatting: If you don't use headings and bullet points, you'll just have lengthy blocks of text. People will avoid reading this, regardless of how intriguing it is.
Overall, the quality is poor: Do you believe that anybody, including your executives or SMEs (subject matter experts), can be a content writer? Think again; they may have excellent ideas and insights, but they will want the assistance of a professional writer to polish them. Otherwise, your attempt at thought leadership will be a failure.
Making it all about your business is the cardinal sin of content marketing. Your audience is the star of the performance, not you. It will not work if everything you make is self-promotional and narrow.
Great contentbegins with knowledge and concludes with particular takeaways. Yes, your firm is the answer to their problems, but you must tell that narrative. You can't compel a conversion right away. It's the equivalent of proposing on the first date.
Many of the businesses I deal with and contact have a significant gap in how they are implementing their content initiatives, resulting in an incomplete or absent strategy.
Let's define the difference between a content strategyand content marketing. The goal of content strategy is to create a plan for attracting, engaging, and converting/targeting current consumers.
Your strategy should explicitly state how many customers/leads you plan to acquire, when you plan to achieve them, and by how much. For example, by Q2 2017, our content will strive to contribute 75% to client retentionwhile generating 80% of inbound prospects.
The implementation of your content assets is what content marketing includes. This is the section in which you should explain the techniques that will be utilized to support your plan.
Assume you decide to have monthly webinars that will be marketed on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and email. As a result, you'll need to determine the resources you'll require, the technologies you'll employ, and your budget.
Adopting the proper technology implies that you are considering the complete scope of how your content will play a role in your overall marketing plan. Consider the following in particular:
- SEO. Which tool would you use to see how well your content ranks, how much traffic it generates, and how effectively your material serves the customer's search intent?
- Editorial schedule. Rather than using a spreadsheet (which you should do if your budget is limited), what additional tools can you use to monitor and allocate your content production as well as subsequent campaigns?
- Research. Which tools would you employ to assist you to understand the most popular content and trends among your target/existing customers?
- Promotion. Which platforms are you going to use to advertise your content assets?
- Keep in touch. Marketing your content does not end with the advertising stage; you must also ensure that you have a solution to aid automate workflows for lead scoring and segmentation.
- Analytics. How will you assess the efficacy of your content assets?
Just because you publish a new blog article every day does not guarantee that you will get a lot of leads or visitors.
Creating high-quality content requires you to be methodical about ‘who' you want to target, ‘why' you want to target them, and ‘how' you will utilize content to convert them into qualified leads and sales.
Here's a dirty little secret: it's acceptable to not know what you're doing or how toget to where you want to go with your content marketing. Nobody is aware of everything.
However, where most people fail and you may excel is in ensuring that you have all of the above down pats.
And, more significantly, you are tenacious in using statistics to assist drive your decision-making after you have made your first gut judgments. In other words, you should always be testing.
The original four P's have been broadened and changed in a variety of ways throughout the years, but the four P's remain the most common when considering a marketing mix.
The B2B marketing mix enables you to develop a unique selling proposition (USP) and identify how best to position yourself in the market. B2B marketing mix is sometimes confused with the four Ps:
- Product: Goods or services
- Price: The amount the consumer pays
- Place: The location of the product's promotion
- Promotion: The extent to which advertising is used
The 4Ps do not have to be specified in any specific sequence, but rather in relation to one another as part of a comprehensive plan.
These aspects, or pillars, should be established to assist you in maximizing your effect and satisfying your consumers and your business. You'll be able to develop a more effective B2B marketing plan using the 4 P's.
B2B marketing relies heavily on content marketing. Indeed, 59 percent of marketers consider blogs to be the most important marketing medium.
B2B content marketing is more than just publishing material or posting on a blog; it is about providing information that is meaningful, relevant, consistent, and encourages action.
You may utilize B2B content marketing to broaden your audience, highlight your brand, and generate leads for your company. Forget about posting for the sake of publishing and instead focus on generating content that is helpful and actionable for readers.
It's critical to understand who your ideal audience is when it comes to B2B marketing. You must also understand what sort of information your audience needs and how you intend to market and get your material in front of them.