Top 3 B2B Content Marketing Tips
Marketing to consumers and marketing to companies follow a similar strategic route, but there are some important distinctions. Using content marketing to assist each stage of the sales funnel makes it easier to seal the transaction. But where do you begin, and what kind of material should you produce for B2B content marketing?
B2B content marketing, as the name implies, is the practice of utilizing content to broaden your company's audience, reinforce and create brand affinity, and eventually generate leads and sales by appealing to other companies.
All that distinguishes B2B content marketing from other forms of content marketing is that it is utilized solely by companies for businesses. This is not your typical consumer-facing material.
The primary distinctions between B2C and B2B content marketing are around the buying path, promotion platforms, and audience intent.
B2C marketing frequently works with very basic and short buy journeys; the path a customer takes between discovering a brand and making a purchase.
B2B content marketing is more likely to include a lengthy and intricate buying funnel that may need weeks, months, or even years to nurture a prospect through.
However, regardless matter the audience, the basic concept of content marketing remains the same: to utilize outstanding content to engage potential consumers and clients and to achieve a good ROI.
There are several forms of content marketing, such as:
- Visual material
- Magnets made of lead
- Presentations on SlideShare
- Presentations on slides
- Apps that are free
- Posts on social media
And there's more.
In-person product demonstrations, seminars, tangible pamphlets, and phone books are all examples of content marketing.
The important point is that the material delivers knowledge or amusement in support of a commercial purpose, generally for free.
For example, here are five goals that many firms want to achieve with content marketing:
- directing visitors to important landing pages
- Increasing brand recognition
- Relationship building
- Increasing revenue
- Increasing the number of social shares and backlinks
In fact, what you're reading right now is an example of content marketing.
Knowing who you're talking to is the first step in developing a B2B content marketing plan. This will influence how and what you write. You don't want to utilize regional slang if your audience is from somewhere else.
Your target audience will be made up of numerous businesses that might benefit from the product or service that you are providing. Even if they aren't defined in depth, firms usually have certain audiences in mind. It's essential to write these audiences down throughout this process so you can refer to them later when you plan out your content.
Next, consider some marketing personalities who may inhabit these audiences. The sorts of stuff that the persona likes should be included in their profile. Knowing this helps you decide which sorts of material to prioritize.
Identifying the particular buyer's work status is a crucial aspect of a B2B persona. You may promote a business all you want, but at the end of the day, someone or a group of people make the final decisions.
Now that you've identified your target audiences and have a list of ideas ready to go, it's time to move on to content creation. But which types should you concentrate on? You've most likely already created some stuff. Match them to each step of the marketing funnel to determine which phases require additional content.
There are several maps available that depict the marketing funnel or the buyer's journey. Some maps, such as the two shown above, also mention the sort of content or marketing employed at each step. Even these two instances disagree on which sort of material belongs where.
Use these as a starting point for developing your own funnel or map. Some material, such as social media, can fit into all of the categories if postings are created to do so.
Let's look at the different sorts of material and how you may use them on your social media profiles.
- Post on a blog. A blog post is a written item that is published on your company's website's blog area. Blog posts can be used in the awareness stage, but because they are simply written material about anything, they may also be used in the other phases. When employing it in the initial stage, the tone of the message should be informative, with little to no call to action.
- Infographic. Infographics are important at the awareness stage for presenting dense information in simple, graphical styles. They frequently use pre-existing data in your company to make it relevant to the audience they wish to reach. Infographics are also easily shared, making it simple to distribute press releases to industry journalists. When utilizing infographics at the awareness stage, you want to offer broad information that your audience wants to know rather than information about your company.
- Testimonials and feedback. Reviews are posted on sites with a specific review section, whereas testimonials are obtained directly from the companies you service. Both employ social proof to persuade the reader to make a choice. Testimonials and reviews, depending on their specifics, might be employed throughout the stages of awareness, consideration, and choice.
- White papers, industry reports, and e-books. A white paper is a downloadable piece of material that provides expertise that your company is familiar with. An industry report highlights a survey or research that your company conducted and links it to the industry in which you operate. An e-book, on the other hand, covers a single topic that is split into chapters. These are grouped together because they are used to demonstrate a company's competence on a certain issue. They are most commonly utilized during the deliberation stage.
- Case study. Case studies, which are most commonly used in the decision stage, provide an in-depth look at one of your consumers. They follow a standard pattern of presenting an issue and then detailing how your company assisted them in resolving the issue. Case studies are now easily accessible on a company's website. The featured firms reflect your numerous target markets, making it easy for the reader to recognize themselves in at least one of the case studies.
- FAQs and tutorials. Once you've piqued the interest of businesses or even gotten them on board, the process doesn't end there. You will need to assist them and ensure that they are taking full advantage of all you have to offer. In the retention stage, FAQs and tutorials are utilized to assist customers through the setup and beyond.
- Loyalty programs. The majority of individuals are members of a loyalty program. These programs, whether it's points for purchases or referral bonuses, are designed to keep customers satisfied. During the advocacy stage, the client positively promotes your company and wants others to know about it as well.
You can't have content marketing without content, and you'll need a bucket of ideas to get started. Regardless of who you want to serve, the content conception and creation process is the same.
There are several ways to get content ideas so you never run out:
- Identify current content gaps. There may be anything missing in your present material that would be filled with new content.
- Address consumer pain points. Your product or service alleviates a problem for your business clients. When developing fresh material, use them as a starting point.
- Join forces with other departments. Your sales and customer service staff are valuable sources of information about what consumers desire.
- Investigate your competitors. What are your competitors making, and what are they leaving out? If something is working for your rivals but you think you can do it better, go for it.
- Use social listening. While social listening includes competition research, it also includes broad industry trends and brand opinions. As a trend identification approach, use social listening.
- Hold brainstorming sessions with your team. A good old-fashioned brainstorming session will not let you down. Bring together representatives from important departments to debate ideas and themes.
- Inquire of your audience. Nobody knows what your target audience is looking for better than you. Inquire about what they'd want to learn more about.
These are just a few methods for obtaining B2B content topics. Don't wait until you've run out of ideas to come up with new ones.
So, now that we've discussed what B2B content marketing is and how to create and promote it, let's look at some of the greatest examples to serve as inspiration for your content marketing initiatives.
Although it is probably best known for its cutting-edge microwave ovens and television broadcasting business, which is led by the incomparable Alec Baldwin, General Electric is also one of the world's top B2B content producers.
GE is an enormous corporation with dozens of divisions, hundreds of product lines, and thousands of physical sites. GE produces a breathtaking range of material to appeal to decision-makers in a wide variety of sectors, as one might expect from a corporation of this size, but it is GE's online magazine, The Txchnologist (no, it's not a mistake), that shines the brightest.
At first look, the Txchnologist may be mistaken for B2C content. The site employs cutting-edge web technology to give readers a clean, attractive online media experience, yet the magazine's content does not sacrifice substance for beauty.
The Txchnologist's material focuses on cutting-edge technical advancements — the type pioneered by GE's massive R&D teams – in such a way that decision-makers can understand not only the advantages of specific GE products but also how technology is altering the world in general.
Overall, GE and The Txchnologist demonstrate that B2B content does not have to be dull or distant; in fact, it can compete with even the glossiest consumer publications and websites in creating uniquely engaging and appealing branded B2B content experience.
Our colleagues at HubSpot not only produce one of the finest marketing blogs in the industry, but they also serve as a great example of how to execute B2B content marketing correctly.
To begin, the HubSpot blog is separated into two sections: marketing and sales. Some blogs (like WordStream) frequently mix sales and marketing material in a single resource. In certain situations, this makes sense because the two disciplines are typically connected and frequently overlap in terms of content.
HubSpot, on the other hand, understands that engaging, in-depth material is what its audience desires, therefore it divides its content in this way to provide content that is laser-focused on its audience's requirements.
The information on HubSpot is excellent. From thorough guidelines to free tools, HubSpot's content is the first stop for marketers of all disciplines because it is of such high quality and usefulness.
HubSpot provides unique data, research, and insight to its users, as one would expect from a top-tier content provider, making it one of the greatest instances of B2B content available on the internet.
B2B customers are more patient and well-informed about their purchases. This is due to the fact that their purchases are significantly greater in number, and their purchases have a significant impact on their own business. B2C customers convert faster and are frequently less educated about product differences. Emotional commitment.
Content marketing improves your capacity to communicate with a wide range of buyers. eBooks and white papers (50%), case studies (47%), and social media posts (excluding videos) are the most successful forms of content used by B2B marketers for content marketing (41%).
The top three most effective forms of content used by B2B marketers for content marketing are ebooks/white papers (50%) case studies (47%) and social media posts (41%).
Here are four things to think about as you try to create better human experiences for business-to-business customers:
- Create a seamless, customized purchasing experience.
- Concentrate on achieving achievement.
- Create dependable alliances.
- Continue communicating and persuading after the sale.