Content marketing is proving to be just as crucial for B2B organizations: Statista shows that 30% of marketers consider content to have the highest ROI of any channel, and DemandMetric has found that 91% of B2B marketers use content to build brand awareness, loyalty, and drive leads.
The pandemic has also driven significant growth in B2B content marketing investment. If you’re interested in implementing a B2B content marketing strategy but not sure where to start, keep reading to learn:
- What is content marketing in B2B?
- How is it different from B2C content marketing?
- What are the most successful B2B content marketing strategies?
- How do you promote B2B content?
What Is Content Marketing In B2B?
Content marketing for B2B involves producing and sharing content to help you achieve several different types of goals:
- Increase brand awareness and expand your audience
- Develop and strengthen brand loyalty
- Drive traffic, leads, and sales
There are many differences in the content marketing used for B2B and B2C. The audiences, for example, are very different: B2C audiences tend to be very broad while B2B audiences are much more specific, targeting key decision-makers. Distribution often looks different, too. While social media is usually pivotal for B2C companies, other distribution channels are usually more successful for B2B content marketing — 70% of B2B customers will consume content directly from your website compared to 53% looking for it on social media networks.
Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategies
Here are a few B2B content marketing strategies that are working particular well for our clients:
Study Your Audience
The most important thing to remember about your audience is that it consists of individuals. A tool like Google Analytics can help you get a little more granular, so you understand your audience a bit better using demographics like age, location, gender, and special interest data. Putting this information together may allow you to draw logical conclusions about your audience that can help you tailor content to their questions and interests.
Focus On Keywords Indicating Purchase Intent
Choosing the right keywords is pivotal for driving traffic through organic SEO and identifying topics your audience is interested in. An excellent way to figure out what your target audience is searching for while at work is to evaluate a competitor’s website to see which keywords they rank well for using an SEO tool like SEMrush. Look for keywords and phrases with high cost-per-click (CPC) numbers, This means those words have high purchase intent and are incredibly competitive in the paid search market.
There may be fewer users searching for these terms compared to those with lower CPC, but that’s okay — the higher CPC indicates a more qualified lead, which can make those smaller audiences worth targeting. If you can create strong organic content that targets those topics, you can avoid having to pay to be seen for those keywords.
Generate Valuable Content Ideas
There are other ways to generate fresh ideas for content beyond just keyword research. Pay attention to the online communities where your audience spends time. Look for common questions people ask, as this is often an indicator that they couldn’t find the answer via search. Comment sections on industry blogs can be another great source to understand what information your audience is looking for but can’t find. Look for opportunities to create content that offers a new perspective on a trending topic.
Pandemic-related closures have precipitated a major rise in virtual events like webinars and online courses. According to CMI, in the last 12 months, online events have produced the best results of all content marketing formats for B2B organizations. However, that doesn’t mean that in-person events are a thing of the past — businesses should expect to invest in both and should consider creating a calendar of virtual events if they aren’t doing so already.
Publish An Industry Study
If you have the resources to do it, industry studies get a lot of traffic and shares and are excellent for establishing brand authority and expertise. Even just one high-quality industry study will help you generate backlinks (where other websites link to yours and vice versa) that increase your site’s domain authority.
Create Comprehensive Guides
Speaking of backlinks, obtaining these is one of the most challenging goals to achieve in content marketing — 94% of content published never gets any. Competition is part of what makes backlinks so difficult to get, so it’s important to create useful, compelling, and unique content to cut through the noise. You don’t have to break the mold with something astonishingly different. Instead, focus on creating high-value content worth reading and sharing. A good strategy is to develop comprehensive guides in addition to shorter content pieces — cover absolutely everything from the very basics of the topic all the way to key terms, real-world examples, and specific techniques.
Invest In Video
Did you know that 53% of tech-focused B2B buyers rated video as the most useful type of content? Many B2B businesses are missing out on the opportunity video presents. If you aren’t sure where to start, try repurposing older successful content into a video format to see how your audience responds.
Promoting Your B2B Content Marketing
Content competition is intense, so you should promote your B2B content in addition to relying on organic search. LinkedIn is a great place for businesses to promote B2B content, but your business may also find success on Facebook, Twitter, and others. The more you share your content, the more you will attract followers who will share your content to their networks, gaining you more followers, and so on.
If you’re wondering whether a particular topic is attractive to your audience, try testing a short, bite-sized version on a social media network with strong organic reach (like LinkedIn or Twitter.) If the content garners strong engagement, you might consider creating an expanded version to share in other channels.
An email newsletter is another great way to promote your content — 31% of B2B businesses use them to nurture leads and build relationships with target customers. Getting your business in front of several people every week keeps you top of mind and gives them a reason to engage with your brand when they need what you offer.
Cut The Fluff: Create B2B Content That Actually Grows Your Customer Base
Did you know that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing? While this statistic confirms content’s reigning title of king on the internet, companies often make the mistake of generating blogs, eBooks, and social media posts blindly. This results in content marketing that lacks a real strategy, a concrete plan, or a way to track tangible return on investment. Download our ebook to learn how you can create content that converts and actually grows your customer base.
About the Author
Content Specialist Kim Steinmetz helps brands and thought leaders discover and develop their unique voice and tone while establishing authority on a topic through compelling messaging and copywriting. An accomplished writer and marketer with over a decade of experience, Kim is well-versed in both B2C and B2B content. Her portfolio includes written print and digital ads, national television & radio spots, press releases, blogs, email newsletters, eBooks, and more for a variety of industries including IT, pharmaceutical, healthcare, manufacturing, and consumer packaged goods.
&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.
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