B2B content marketing hasn’t always been popular. Most companies have relied on outbound marketing and occasional blog posts to reach out to prospective clients.
But randomly posting articles and videos isn’t the best way to go about this type of content marketing.
For companies seeking to exploit the full potential of online marketing, this traditional approach won’t cut it. B2B Content marketing requires proper strategies and methodological planning to yield any results.
Simply drawing up a content marketing strategy isn’t enough. You need to get tactical with your implementation to make a B2B content marketing strategy effective.
So how can you implement your B2B content marketing to maximum effect?
How to Create an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, you’ll want to get that out of the way before you begin thinking about the tactics that can make your campaign effective.
You can always hire a content marketing agency to create a strategy for you. But if you want to DIY, here’s a four-step procedure for creating a winning B2B content marketing strategy:
Gather Information About Your Target Audience
In B2B content marketing, your audience is the companies you wish to advertise your brand and products to. So instead of creating buyer personas for individuals as you’d do when creating B2C content marketing strategies, you’ll be creating profiles for prospective client companies.
To do this, you’ll need to collect information about the types of companies you wish to sell to. When collecting data, pay attention to things like the organization culture, company values, and mission statements.
Also, collect information about the people involved in making purchasing decisions. Don’t just focus on the CEO. Go down the company hierarchy, identify all the parties in charge of purchases, and learn as much as you can about them.
With this info, create buyer personas for the target companies and use them to create content that meets their expectations and satisfies their content needs.
Set Your Content Marketing Campaign Goals
What are you trying to achieve with your content marketing campaign?
More site traffic? Better user engagement? Maybe it’s better search engine rankings?
Answering these questions will give your campaign a purpose, and allow you to channel your efforts towards achieving it.
When setting goals, be as precise as possible. If possible, make your goals measurable so you can track your progress. Also, don’t be overly ambitious when setting your content marketing campaign objectives. Be realistic.
Gather Ideas for Your Content
With your goals and client personas in mind, identify content ideas that speak to your audience and will help you achieve your objectives.
Next, investigate what types of content your competition has published on those topics. This should give you an idea of the information gaps in your industry. Try to build your content ideas around these gaps so your clients can see value in what you publish.
Create Your Content with Lead Generation and Conversion Rates in Mind
In B2B content marketing, only two numbers matter—the conversion rate and the lead generation rate. As such, your content creation efforts should be focused on maximizing on these two factors.
You can use lead magnets such as free trials, content upgrades, e-books, and free courses to increase lead generation. As for the conversion rates, you can offer incentives to lure your site visitors to make purchases.
Ensure your landing page is compelling enough to promote your offerings.
5 B2B Content Marketing Tips to Take Your Campaign to the Next Level
With a comprehensive plan in place, you need to incorporate some important tips to refine your strategy. Here are the five B2B content marketing tactics you need to be using today:
1. Use Different Types of Content Marketing
Most successful content marketers don’t put all their eggs in one basket. They diversify their efforts and go beyond blogging.
While blogging is an effective B2B content marketing strategy, it’s not the only solution. You can create more value with what you post by combining written content with other forms of content.
Here are the other effective methods:
The consumption of video content is at an all-time high, and you can leverage this to increase lead generation and conversion rates.
For B2B companies, many purchasing decisions begin with watching brand videos. As such, you can create valuable videos on your landing page as a selling point. You can also use the various social channels for marketing your brand to prospective clients using short videos.
The key to winning online with video content is to avoid overselling your brand. Don’t sound like a salesperson!
Instead, use your video content to educate your clients on the most relevant issues in your industry, highlighting how your brand can help them solve some of those issues. Focus on building trust and engagement, and the sales numbers will reflect your efforts in no time.
Webinars and Podcasts
Webinars are live web-based video conferences, while podcasts are online audio programs that people can listen at their convenience. Both are based on the concept of immediacy, and allow you to connect to target brands and build a community around your company.
The best way to use webinars and podcasts in order to increase engagement and build trust is by sharing some of your secrets to success. This will make your brand appear knowledgeable, personable, and approachable. If you want to take it a notch higher, you can host industry leaders as guests in your broadcasts.
You can use a combination of webinars and podcasts or just one of them. To help you decide, think of your content marketing objectives, and choose a format that aligns best with your goals.
Company executives love data charts, graphs, and other types of infographics.
Since you’re targeting the decision makers in the businesses you’re trying to sell to, it’s wise to use infographics in your content. They not only make your content visually appealing but also believable and trustworthy, especially if you support them with credible data.
2. Personalize Your Content
No one likes to be in a general category. Your clients want to feel special and valued, and posting personalized content is one way to achieve that.
Personalizing your content allows you to address your client’s pain points. It also makes your brand stand out and builds closer relationships with your target brands.
Target market segmentation allows you to categorize your target brands based on factors such as buying behavior, the type of industry they operate in, their demographics, and more. You can also categorize your audience based on buyer personas or their buying stage in the sales funnel.
3. Track Your Metrics
In the initial stages of your B2B content marketing campaign, you’ll be relying heavily on experimentation because you’ll probably be working with assumptions of your target audience wants—and not facts. Even with prior planning, you can’t accurately guess what type of content resonates with your target audience.
Fortunately, you have metrics tracking to help you out. By tracking your content marketing statistics, you’ll be able to see how various types of content perform. This will prevent you from repeating the same mistakes so you can build your content marketing campaign around tried and tested tactics.
4. Diversify Your Content Distribution
It’s one thing to create great content, and an entirely different ballgame to get it out there. The key to winning in content distribution is to diversify your content distribution channels.
Here are some of the most effective ways to distribute your content:
For B2B companies, the ideal prospective clients interact via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram are also great channels to connect with some target brands.
An email subscriber list may be hard to build, but worth the effort once you’ve gathered a significant following. You can build an email audience through social media, website opt-ins, and sales emails.
The beauty of email marketing is that you can control how your messages appear when your audiences see them, and how often they see them. And since the subscriber list includes both prospective clients and current customers, email marketing can serve as a customer touch point.
Paid Content Distribution
The main advantage of using paid social promotions in B2B content marketing is the targeting capabilities it offers.
You have prior knowledge about your ideal audience and can use that to market your content to people who may be aware of your brand and/or don’t follow your company on social platforms.
LinkedIn, for instance, offers tons of options for paid promotions. One of its latest features is the Matched Audiences. It allows you to target customers who’ve visited your site – also known as retargeting. You can also use it to target a list of ideal contacts.
5. Use Storytelling to Connect With Your Audience
There’s a common belief among B2B content marketers that things should always be formal due to the nature of your target audience. While it makes sense to avoid complicated jargon and slang in B2B content, it doesn’t mean that you should go overboard when it comes to keeping everything formal.
Being overly formal undermines your ability to connect with your audience, which is one of the most important elements of B2B content marketing. A good way to connect with your audience without breaking the formalities is to incorporate storytelling into your content creation. And since all companies have a story to tell, it shouldn’t be that hard.
The value of storytelling lies in enhancing the whole selling aspect of B2B content marketing. Although you’re targeting other businesses, it’s people in charge of those companies that make the buying decisions. You need to impress these decision makers with your content so they can see value in buying from you.
Remember, these people have already been exposed to tons of sales-oriented content with zero personality. Show them that you’re different with your content marketing blog. Connect with them on an emotional level, captivate them with amazing stories, and watch your conversion rates skyrocket.
Bottom Line on B2B Content Marketing
There’s no doubt that when done right, B2B content marketing can increase lead generation and conversion rates. With the five tactics above, you’ll be reaping big in no time.
But the main question is, how well can you fit them into your existing content marketing strategy? Will you need a complete overhaul of your strategy or just a few tweaks? It’s up to you.
And if you loved this read, be sure to check out our strategy and planning category page for more insights on content promotion and marketing.
Do you have questions about your B2B content marketing strategy?
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