B2B content marketing is booming. The spike in content marketing confirms that more B2B companies invest a lot of resources in developing successful content marketing strategies. Whether you are targeting businesses or individual consumers, one point remains the same – content marketing strategy matters.
Let’s face it, we are all tired of being pitched at, sold to, and talked into buying something. In fact, the average person is bombarded by more than 5,000 advertisements per day, according to a report from the New York Times. This has made us almost completely immune to most traditional forms of marketing.
Insightful, educational, and even disruptive content
Today, people are much more inclined to engage with material that does not explicitly promote a company or its products. Instead, people are looking for insightful, educational, and even disruptive content. This approach to marketing has the same intention as traditional marketing; to stimulate interest in buying a product or service. However, now it is packaged without the off-putting sales hype and pressure. The intent is to establish expertise, increase awareness, and keep your business top of mind. The results from taking this approach are often a 200-300% increase in sales (examples below).
The problem is that generating this type of content can be tricky, especially for B2Bs. First, the writer has to understand your industry, your products, and more importantly your target audience. This is made up of highly-educated professionals, often an engineer, that has influence or control purchasing decisions. You have to be able to deliver to them content that solves problems, answers questions, and/or describes future trends.
Great results begin with the development of a great strategy. If you’ve ever wondered how to create a B2B content marketing strategy for your business or how to build a better, results-driven strategy, we’ve got you covered. Ready to get started building a better content strategy? Here are a few tips to get you started and the results that you’ll see if you do it right.
The power of positioning
To begin with, you need to determine what you would like your customers to think about when they think of you. This is called brand positioning and it goes way beyond a slogan or logo. Brand positioning is what sets your business apart. You don’t have to be a recognizable brand to deliver a positive association between you and your potential customers.
Potential customers need to quickly see what differentiates one company’s product or services from another. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that brand positioning and brand reputation management aren’t necessary for their business because B2B demand is often driven based on need versus want. However, this mentality can lead to missed opportunities.
How a customer views your brand will essentially make or break a sale. So, spending some time on establishing a well-positioned brand from the beginning will ensure you aren’t missing out on building customer relationships that could lead to sales.
For example, when you think of Lockheed Martin, what pops into your head first? Maybe it is the F-35 Lighting II, the world’s most advanced fighter jet, or the Black Hawk helicopter. But there is an underlying perception that that company has developed. Think about it. They build some of the most complex machinery designed to protect those that serve. So, if the U.S. Department of Defense trusts them to bring our soldiers home safely, our subconscious association with Lockheed Martin is that they’re dependable and can get even the most difficult jobs done.
While you may not be one of the largest defense contractors in the world, you still have the same opportunity to build a positive perception within the mind of your target audience through the content that you create.
Content that converts
Going beyond perception and positioning, every B2B content marketing strategy should focus on conversions and turning prospects into customers. Producing consistent high-quality content is key. However, let’s hammer this home again; this does not mean that you write about all the great things you do and how wonderful your products are. No one wants to read that.
A much more effective approach is to create content that provides real value while engaging prospects. This means that your content has to give away a taste of the secret sauce. You guide them through a problem and educate them on how to solve it.
When you create value without focusing on pushing sales messages, your audience is more likely to trust your advice. Thus they keep coming back for more.
Read also: 12 Ways to Maximize Published Content
How to get content in front of potential customers
The next step is to figure out how to strategically get that content in front of your customers. This should include getting it published in different industry trade publications as contributed content. These outlets are the most common and trusted place people go to research solutions and find the latest trends.
After these articles are published, you can repurpose them for even more content. This could mean blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, and more. Then taking those and amplifying it across all channels will help you to attract even more high-quality sales leads. This is particularly important for SEO. The more quality content you produce, the higher you rank on search engines, and the more visible you become.
Going a step further, including call-to-actions (CTAs) in your content will guide your reader on what to do next. Thus, generating more traffic to your landing page, social media pages, newsletters, etc. These CTAs can be used by your sales team to convert readers into leads.
Seeing (results) is believing
For an example of how this can lead to actual growth and revenue, let’s look at one of our clients, Micro Harmonics Corporation (MHC), a manufacturer that specializes in components for mmWave products.
The company was looking to develop high-quality content for its target audience made up mostly of electrical design engineers. The strategy was to educate them on a new line of advanced commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) circulators, isolators, and hybrid circulators that were designed under an SBIR for NASA. The goal was to utilize that as a tool to grow awareness, build credibility and generate leads that ultimately turned into increased revenue.
The company was great at revolutionizing millimeter wave components but admittedly not great at marketing and communications. We developed a strategy that kicked off with the creation of feature articles centered around some of MHC’s happy customers. After just two years the company had generated millions of impressions and was starting to grow a reputation as the “leader within the industry” – a title bestowed upon them by industry insiders.
They were then able to leverage the content on all the company’s digital marketing channels including LinkedIn, where the company has grown an enormous following.
By sharing relevant content that addressed industry-wide pain points, Micro Harmonics was able to build the trust and credibility necessary to grow the company’s revenue. They increased sales by 200% and most recently landed at the #66 spot on Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing and most successful private companies in the country.
Content marketing done right
It is important to remember that the highest performing, most effective content helps prospects define the problem they’re experiencing, as well as what they may need from a solution. It also sheds light on how others are experiencing the same issues and how they got through the process.
Building a content marketing strategy does not lead to overnight success, but it is one of the most effective ways to build a sales pipeline today. There’s no doubt that a leading B2B PR agency and a solid content marketing strategy will help your business grow. However, creating a strategy that puts you a step above your competitors is easier said than done.
Taking the time to delve into each of these key elements of a successful B2B content marketing strategy that converts into ROI will go a long way toward making sure you are successful. Or, you can hire a B2B PR agency that will help you boost your sales in no time. It will be well worth the effort once you begin to see those leads turn into sales and your revenue rocket upwards. Make sure you contact us to see if you fit within our program! You can set up a time for a free session or give us a call.