We’ve seen companies marketing consumer products through many inventive methods in the past few years: as the need to appear high in search engine results grows, companies start companion blog sites, update their social media accounts, and design microsites all in an effort to draw that end consumer into their loyal fan base. Clearly, B2C businesses can spread a wider net when using content marketing strategies. The diversity of consumers who may be interested in their content can yield results readily.
B2B industries often see themselves as marketing in a different niche than B2C, and certainly this kind of marketing comes with industry-specific challenges. However, what many B2B businesses don’t realize is that content marketing is a great way to bring other businesses to your product or service as well. Businesses who are trying to source a much-needed solution will use search engines to locate potential vendors, and yours is more likely to appear high on the list if your website is rich in content.
B2B Content Adds Value for Your Business Clients
These days, as Forbes points out, the basics of content marketing hold true for the B2B industry. The main goals are to get to know what your competitors do and to test your content for what performs best. Content marketing is not a matter of guesswork: once content is created by a trusted content marketing service, other services exist to test which types are more effective with your audience.
Every time your business iterates within its content marketing strategy, you will find more information that can be used productively in instructing your team of content writers with even more detailed explanations of your goals and needs.
Another trend lately has been the incorporation of a content strategy into the structure of a sales funnel, or path through which potential leads become paying customers. Sales funnels matter just as much in B2B industries as they do in B2C, and having content that reaches both very early leads as well as retains the long-term, loyal customer is essential in the modern content marketing landscape. That means, depending on your industry, you may have a combination of blog posts and infographics for the newcomers as well as eBooks, white papers, and longer studies for those who have been with you for a while and want to be reminded of your competitive advantage.
Examples of Companies’ Success Cases
One place where content marketing is starting to shine is in the newsletter world: B2B newsletters share industry-specific tips and give loyal clients a chance to keep a finger to the pulse of the industry. Hubspot highlights CBInsights as a company whose newsletter is creative and amusing for the reader, but includes links that bring businesses back to CBInsights for products and services.
Deloitte University Press is also offered as an example of excellent content marketing for a diversified consulting company. By realizing that their audience is diverse and benefits from every kind of internet media, from blog posts to white papers, they draw in many potential business clients based on their useful, education-driven content. The positive impression generated by having Deloitte’s name on content that is professionally delivered and theoretically sound adds to their brand recognition and trust.
So what do you need to know to start a B2B content strategy? Some simple, intuitive tips will allow you to start the process:
– Quality content has a high long-term ROI. Low-quality content laced with keywords may perform well initially on search engines, but ultimately undercuts your reputation for quality workmanship. Investing in content that truly benefits your business clients brings them in and keeps them loyal. Lowpost is a great example of the kind of venue that allows for high-quality results rather than shortcuts and short-term results.
– Combine your high-quality content with video, audio, and images that show you are at the top of your field.
– Track how well your content marketing is working: Analytics software and search engine ad software can help you to pinpoint what is working best and pivot your strategy to take advantage of that success in the future.
– Most of all: know your business clients. Ask the clients you currently have what they wish they found in your newsletter, website, or social media. Play to the needs of the businesses you wish to serve and change to suit them.
In 2018, the market for B2B content is poised to increase across the board, according to Convince and Convert. This means that, while B2B industries may not always have an industry standard of content marketing, many of your competitors are likely to give it more attention this year. It’s better to make content a major part of your marketing budget before other competitors force your hand.
The timing of content is also set to grow. While older marketing strategies might have allowed for one-off content creation whenever a marketer had an idea, the need for quick-turnaround content that addresses the issues and needs of consumers right now has grown. Expect to see more personalized, more news-pinned content marketing in 2018, especially in the B2B industries. Lowpost’s quick turnaround times work well in this instant and responsive market.
Lastly, the unique and multimodal aspects of content creation will be growing in importance in 2018. With search engine crawlers looking for keywords, there will always be a text component to content marketing, but more and more B2B content marketers are realizing that even other businesspeople want to be entertained by the content they read. Associating a laugh or great thought leadership with your company will be what gives you an edge in 2018.
As you can see, content for B2B businesses helps businesses find the other vendors they need to form their network of trusted providers. At the same time, this same content marketing can move businesses at different stages of the sales process forward toward long-term purchasing. Having a substantial website of landing pages, blog content, or LinkedIn posts can drive traffic to what you offer. If you want to get started with affordable and high-quality B2B content, visit Lowpost to learn what B2B content solution is right for you.