Content marketing is buyer-centric. It’s measurable, compounding, and scalable. In fact, it typically performs more reliably than other tactics, which makes it one of the best foundations to build marketing success. Creating unique, consistent, and valuable B2B content is simply the best way to connect with your audience. In this article, we’ll explore what B2B content marketing is, why it’s important, how to build a strategy, and how you can use it to grow your business.
What is B2B content marketing?
Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing is the practice of producing and distributing content methodically to increase brand awareness, improve traffic, generate leads, and boost sales. It’s the process of using content to grow your audience, strengthen brand affinity, and ultimately improve your bottom line. Traditional forms of B2B content marketing include blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and infographics.
Why do B2B companies need content marketing?
Builds brand awareness
Content marketing directly influences your organic traffic. When traffic is flowing, you’re building awareness for your brand. Done right, content marketing can help
- Improve customer retention rates
- Boost organic ranking of your site
- Help you create brand partnerships, and
- Attract more followers on social media.
Creates better engagement rates
Simply focusing on content creation isn’t enough to create an effective B2B strategy. Marketers must also take notice of leading metrics like engagement rates, clicks, and bounce rate. When content is tailored to suit their interests, audiences will continue to consume it. If content is geared towards a buyer’s tendencies and intent, it will also improve overall engagement as well as conversion rates.
Affordable, cost-effective, and supports long-term growth
A good SEO strategy coupled with high-quality content produces long-lasting results that compound over time. Once content is generated, it has great potential to drive organic traffic to your site—without you having to compete for top spot ads.
Although upfront costs for content marketing may initially seem high, it is considered to be more cost-effective than other traditional forms of marketing, paid advertising, and video marketing.
Additionally, the content you create can be frequently updated and repurposed, costing you a fraction of the price it took to make it. In the long term, the more you use your content, the cheaper it will become.
According to Statista, 30% of marketers believe content has the highest ROI of any channel. Marketers commonly try to amalgamate content’s strategic and financial value into a single metric: campaign ROI, or the success of a single campaign. When measuring the value of your content, be sure you stay focused on the challenge you are trying to solve. Content assets can be employed in numerous ways and can simultaneously be used across multiple platforms. It can also be used for video purposes, on your website, as a transcript for a blog, and so on.
How to build a successful B2B content strategy
Every B2B content marketing strategy is unique. However, to create a successful roadmap, you need goals and understanding of your company's long-term objectives. Don’t let the idea of a content strategy be too daunting. It’s actually not very complicated and once you understand what it takes to plan one, you can start creating content that can drive success in your business.
Understand your audience
When you know your audience well, you’ll find it a lot easier to create the right content for them. Even if you have a large audience, explore your Google Analytics data on a granular level. By doing so, you can learn a great deal about your site’s visitors such as gender, age, location, and what topics interest them the most. Once you have more insight into your audience, you can expand content into new relevant subject areas.
Map the customer journey
When you have a good understanding of your audience, review the customer journey. This can be complex, as they probably went through multiple touchpoints. However, it will help you discover which kinds of content are most effective at leading prospects down the sales funnel. When you have a good idea of where a prospect is in the customer journey, you can adjust your content to keep them interested.
Set yourself apart from competitors
Determine who your biggest competitors are and what kind of content they’re producing. To distinguish your company, aim to deliver content in engaging ways that your competitors can’t. Present content that highlights the unique value of your business and services. If they have specific content that is performing well, you can implement similar strategies. Unique and approachable messaging will give you a better chance of attracting ideal customers.
Measure leads and micro-metrics
Data can provide a lot of information, allowing you to measure what’s working and what’s not. To advance your B2B content, you must take analytics seriously. Some metrics that are worth measuring include:
- Current statistics such as total views, conversions, and shares of posts
- Benchmarks and trends
- High-performing content
Once you understand how your content is performing, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. If there is specific content that gets better than average conversion rates, promote it via sponsored content or paid social ads.
Common mistakes content marketers make
Content marketing pitfalls can often be prevented with careful planning. With the market so crowded, there’s little room for error and missed opportunities. Marketers need to focus on getting it right as they are limited by a finite number of potential customers. Common mistakes include:
Not taking advantage of user-generated content
When user-generated material goes ignored, marketers miss out on a major opportunity to build a solid foundation of trust with consumers. To ensure content reaches their audience with a greater impact, marketers can include reviews and testimonials where appropriate, and even outsource content creation to users. This saves time and resources.
Not having a content approval process
A review and editing process is vital to ensure high-quality content that is relevant and engaging. It is also wise for marketers to create a content review and approval checklist. Alternatively, using a content management platform can help mainstream the process, making it easy to create, approve, and publish your content.
Not promoting content enough
Promoting content is key to extending your reach to relevant audiences. Include new content in your emails and social media posts to drive more traffic to your content pieces and help nurture potential prospects. Keep in mind that producing content is only as effective as the efforts you make to advertise it. Native ads, display ads, and paid social are also great tactics for distributing articles or whitepapers as far reaching as possible. It no one reads the content then it doesn't matter how much you have or how good it is…which is why content creation is just as important as content promotion.
10 quick tips and tactics for effective content marketing
- Use personalized nurture journeys
- Engage employees in active audience building
- Create content for ALL search engines
- Make sure your case studies aren’t too formal or stuffy
- Use “smart” popups
- Maximize digital PR to extend promotions and reach
- Use content snippets to make product education more digestible
- Segment your retargeting audience
- Promote your high-converting blog posts
- Partner with brands and influencers in your industry
MarinOne can help you supercharge your content
As a B2B company, MarinOne is well versed in what it takes to reach the right audiences with the right messages. Through our cross-channel approach, your campaigns will persuade and convert like never before.
Business to Business advertisers gain a competitive advantage by identifying and analyzing the right data and integrating insights from that data to help campaigns perform. With MarinOne, you can easily optimize your content and automate key workflows using first-party data.
Get in touch with one of MarinOne’s experts today to see how we can help you with your marketing needs.