Content marketing is the golden key to success, especially in the B2B sector. But finding this key is a confusing and complex path. But don't worry - this text is your guide!
Marketing experts know that content marketing is an important, if not the most crucial, marketing strategy that saves marketers a lot of money. Few, however, know how to properly develop, implement and track it. There are countless contents on the internet on the topic of B2B content marketing that offer the most diverse solutions. But that is usually exactly the catch.
Understanding is the key
"If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution," said one of the world's most famous physicists, Albert Einstein. And that's where you should start - understanding the problem or concept and only then thinking about the solutions.
That's why we've created a detailed guide to B2B content marketing that explains complex content simply. It will help you better understand the whole concept and then develop a successful marketing strategy based on our advice.
What is Content Marketing: Definition
B2B content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage and retain a specific target audience by providing relevant Article, Videos, podcasts and other media created and shared. This approach creates expertise and promotes brand awareness.
B2B content marketing involves the development and distribution of relevant, useful content - blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos and the like - to current and potential customers. Done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values the people it sells to.
Consistent use of content marketing builds and maintains relationships with your prospects and existing customers. If your audience sees your business as a partner interested in their success and a valuable source of advice and guidance, they will be more likely to choose you when it's time to buy.
How did content marketing come about in the first place?
As long as we humans have existed, we have been creating content. You could say that cave paintings represent the first attempt to create content. Only if we understand the history of content marketing can we know the future and prepare for it. And if we don't understand the history, of course we have to repeat it.
Why is content marketing B2B important?
The only salespeople working for you 24/7 are your digital platforms. That's why it's extremely important that they are filled with good, high-quality and compelling content.
In the 70s, it was reported that the average person saw between 500 and 1,600 ads a day. Fast forward to 2021, and although there are no official figures, it is estimated that the average person today will encounter 6,000 to 10,000 ads per day. It is therefore not surprising that 11 % of the world's internet-connected population use adblocker software.
With more communication options than ever before, consumers have become hyper-aware and dismissive of advertising and sales pitches. So before you win their money, you must first win the heart of your customers. And that's why content marketing is important.
Content marketing helps you reach B2B buyers on their terms. By providing quality information when they are looking for it, you can increase your Brand place in front of them. B2B Content Marketing does much of the heavy lifting for you to find, attract and generate leads.
When done well, content marketing offers a number of benefits that create fertile ground for sales:
- Content marketing raises your profile
- It increases trust in your brand
- Content marketing contributes to customer loyalty
- It gives you valuable information about your target group
- High-quality content marketing has a long-term effect
- Content marketing is cost-effective
- People often search for information, not products
- The Buyer's Journey often takes place predominantly digitally
- Content marketing increases your website traffic
- Content marketing is measurable
The importance of creating high-quality content is also confirmed by the study by eMinded: B2B Online Marketing Trends 2022 - Benchmarks for your business. High quality content increases the chances of being received in a positive light by Google's algorithm, resulting in a much higher ranking in the SERPs leads. This is why most B2B companies invest in this marketing area:
How does B2B content marketing work?
Your business can use content marketing to attract leads, promote your product or service, or close sales.
In order to use it effectively, you need to know at each stage of the buying process (Sales-Funnel) provide the right content - from the awareness phase to the readiness to buy and finally to the purchase. If this sounds complicated, don't worry: approaching content this way actually simplifies the process.
Content marketing is much more than just the text on your website. Certain content formats are suitable for the respective funnel phases. So businesses use content marketing at every stage of the buying process to engage and sell.
In the first stage of the buying process, your content should focus on your audience's key concerns. Writing about their pain points, challenges and questions will give you the best chance of grabbing their attention and connecting with them. Content at this stage should be educational advice. Save the classic sales content for the consideration and closing phases.
Content for this phase: articles, blog posts, e-books, videos, newsletters
At this stage, content should provide a mix of helpful information and marketing. Readers should be educated about what features or functions to look for and how different features meet their needs. Of course, this content should be based on what your company offers.
Content for this phase: case studies, how-to articles, how-to videos, checklists/worksheets.
Content marketing plays an important role when a lead is about to buy. At this stage, you can focus on the sale. Put the focus here on answering the question of why you are the best choice, rather than how great your services or products are. Your central message here should be your expertise, knowledge and the differentiating benefits of what you are selling.
Content for this phase: case studies, user-generated content, buyer's guide, product videos, research report
What content marketing formats are there?
To know which content marketing formats you need, you need to know exactly what purpose they should serve. The three stages of a buying process mentioned above will help you define the purpose of each piece of content. Some formats are there for informative or persuasive purposes, others serve as inspiration or entertainment. Here is a list of the most popular content marketing formats:
- Blog posts
- Press releases
- Mailings and newsletters
- Social media postings
- Case Studies
- Corporate Publishing
B2B marketing experts find the following formats most valuable for early, middle and late stages of the buying process:
How to develop B2B content marketing strategy?
Content marketing can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. A successful content marketing campaign should be manageable and sustainable. Follow these steps to get started:
- Identify your customers. To create content for a specific reader, you need to have a clear idea of their priorities, challenges and preferences. Otherwise, create profiles of your target group members and potential clients before you start..
- Determine the right formats. The right format corresponds to the stage of the buying process for which you are creating content. Another important consideration is the formats that will best help you present value. For some, this will be a Video a checklist for others.
- Decide who will write, edit and proofread your content. Customers will judge your content by its quality, and they should. Consider whether you have enough internal resources or whether you need to hire an agency to write your content. B2B marketing need.
- Determine how you will distribute your content. Will you post content on your website, email it or print it for an event? Start where your target audience is and choose formats that make sense. For example, it makes sense to email an article, post a checklist or worksheet on social media, and a buyer's guide is a good follow-up to a sales call.
- Create a sustainable schedule, not an ambitious one. Once you know the target audience and formats, create a short-term (3-6 months) plan for a realistic number of content items you can create based on your budget and resources. Keep track of how long it takes you to create each piece of content so you can build that time into your schedule.
- Follow best practices. Compelling content is clearly written and jargon-free. Short, relevant, actionable content is best. Less is more!
How to improve content marketing strategy?
Instagram has arrived in the middle of society. Facebook is losing trust. Long content - 2000 words or more - gets more engagement than shorter posts. Images are good, videos are better (those who use them increase sales year-on-year by 49 % faster than those who do not). Live streaming and webinars are becoming more popular. Personalisation works. Generic blasts don't. And advertising is more important than creation.
The digital world is changing rapidly and you're still pushing the boundaries and looking for ways to get better at content marketing? You should be. It's been around for a while and it's not going anywhere. Content is here to stay. In our Blog article "5 Steps to becoming a Content Marketing Pro we will give you more tips and tricks on how to optimise your strategy. If you want to know which marketing trends will remain important until the end of 2022, you can download our Whitepaper download free of charge.
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B2B Marketing Trends 2022
The B2B marketing landscape is constantly evolving. The last two years have seen some unprecedented changes and trends in the B2B marketing ecosystem. What trends can we expect this year? The answer is provided by our Whitepaper on this topic. In this document, we'll go over the top 11 digital marketing trends you can't ignore this season because they will help your business not only survive, but thrive in this age of never-ending marketing change:
B2B Content Marketing Examples: Best Practice
How to put all this theoretical knowledge into practice is best illustrated by concrete examples. That's why we've selected a few best-practice examples from our B2B content marketing portfolio especially for you:
The best content is a satisfied customer
As an experienced marketer, you know that customer satisfaction is worth a thousand words and is crucial to the success of your business! To make your customers happy, you need a strong marketing expert at your side. Let us know what your B2B content marketing concerns are and we will find the best solution for you!