When it comes to B2B marketing there are really only two options. Traditional outbound marketing (trade shows, emails, advertising, and cold calling) and inbound marketing (news articles, social media posts, videos, and blog posts).
Today, most people are tired of all those pushy outbound sales approaches and avoid them at all costs. Which is not easy to do considering we are exposed to thousands every day. On the other hand, you have inbound marketing which is all about providing solutions to the challenges your customers are facing. This has developed into a much more effective approach. When you deliver insightful, educational, and disruptive content on a consistent basis, you grow your awareness, credibility, and perceived expertise. This ultimately leads to a boost in B2B growth.
The question then becomes what should you be looking at in terms of building out a content marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads?
Make your content data-driven
For B2Bs, the good news is that your audience is far more focused than a B2C audience. This allows you to target your audience and tailor content accordingly.
For example, you could pretty easily research the topics that your audience cares about. Play around with different styles and techniques. It’s perfectly okay if the stylistic flair you added to your last blog flopped — don’t let it stop you from experimenting. As with every facet of marketing, B2B content marketing requires a healthy level of hit or miss to form a complete picture of your audience and what it responds to.
Pro tip: Return to your analytics regularly. This will ensure you’re providing valuable, relevant, and engaging content that keeps readers coming back for more.
Make your inbound marketing content memorable
Most people don’t get a kick out of reading spreadsheets detailing a company’s customer acquisition cost. Except maybe accountants and CFOs. (Sorry, numbers people; it’s cool if that’s your thing.) Stats and figures, while important supplements to information, are unmemorable, and worse… they’re just plain boring. Presenting information in an entertaining way will always boost retention.
Are you more likely to recall a list of percentages or an anecdotal story about how organizations across targeted industries are reducing common pain points? Get creative in how you present your success stories, and you’re sure to build an audience that looks to you as a valuable resource.
Make your content consumable
Keep it simple! Break up your content into easily digestible pieces. Section out your information and add headers accordingly. No one wants to sift through blocks of text to mine the information they need.
Get to the point! That doesn’t mean writing dull, dry pieces of content — it just means your subject matter needs to be obvious and focused.
Make your content valuable
Creating valuable, engaging content is a bit of a balancing act in B2B content marketing. Anecdotes and jokes may be great, but your content has to provide worthwhile information to your targeted audience first and foremost. After all, B2B audiences are likely to be decision-makers or influencers within their companies. Make the effort to produce high-quality content that captures their interest, establishes you as a valuable resource, and convinces them to take action.
Once you’ve established your topic’s main message, don’t forget to add some of your keywords or key phrases to your story. Today, we have to please both humans and the “bots.”
Make your inbound marketing content authentic
Crafting a unique voice is essential for a B2B company looking to build an audience. As you work toward establishing yourself as an industry expert, you’re diligently developing your own distinct presence. Your readers should feel like they’re getting to know you, and this can only be accomplished by being authentic to you and your brand.
Additionally, you’re also figuring out ways to creatively interweave your offering into the story as a solution. However, this is the tricky part. There is a fine line between being overly promotional and just hinting at your solution.
When it comes to creating great B2B content, think about the benefits you deliver and try and avoid deep discussions of your product features.
Make your inbound marketing content shareable
So… those company decision-makers we mentioned earlier? They’re extremely busy making, you guessed it, decisions! They don’t want to waste their time, or their clients’ and colleagues’ time, on subpar content and/or solutions. We may sound a bit like a broken record at this point, but striking that balance between informative and interesting vs. hype and salesy is crucial to making your content accessible and in turn, shareable.
You can actually leverage your content on a number of different channels. Say you get a news article published. That can be broken down into 5, or even 10, LinkedIn posts. Those LinkedIn posts can be turned into emails. Plus, they can be repurposed for blogs, website news pages, and white papers. There is no end to the ways in which these can be reused.
Good content isn’t about self-promotion, company stats, or how great your products are. It’s educational, insightful, and authentic information that actually benefits and captivates your target audience. By sharing authoritative, engaging content, you build the trust and loyalty that is necessary to grow your business.
We know getting your content to stand out from the masses is no easy feat, especially while running a business. We can help by crafting a content marketing strategy that is sure to boost your company’s growth; just reach out to us!