What Is B2B Content Marketing?
Odds are, B2B content marketing has already affected your company’s activity. Almost no business can extract raw materials, manufacture products, distribute products, build offices, implement IT solutions, perform accounting, find employees, etc., all on its own. Somewhere in your operation, you most likely turn to other businesses for help, which forms a business-to-business, or B2B, relationship (the contrasting term is business-to-consumer, or B2C).
B2B content marketing is an important area to target, because unlike B2C sales, which are usually small and intermittent, B2B deals can be large and recur regularly. If you have a lumber company, you will probably put more focus on courting construction contractors working on large projects than you do individual consumers who are building decks or treehouses.This brings up questions about B2B content marketing best practices and your business’s B2B content strategy.
How to Develop a B2B Content Strategy
B2B content is similar but not identical to the content you put out to attract consumers. Businesses looking to partner with other businesses have different priorities than individuals consuming products or services. For example, B2B content usually contains more information intended to give background info and address sticking points. Whereas an individual deciding to patronize a business might not have much to think about, B2B sales are typically large deals that have to go through multiple decision makers, each with their own set of questions and apprehensions. For this reason, a top goal of B2B content marketing is to allay concerns and give buyers reassurance that they’re choosing a reliable, forthright business partner.
Developing a good plan for your B2B content marketing will involve getting inside the minds of the business owners you think would appreciate your offerings. Having a picture of their needs and motivations is important enough, in fact, that you may want to make this a centerpiece of your strategy. So instead of deriving your B2B content strategy just from an analysis of your own business goals, could you factor in your potential partners’ goals as well? This will involve research along with some intuitive conjecture.
If you know your B2B targets have a goal of reducing overhead, you can make cost savings against your competitors a selling point. If your B2B content is aimed at companies hoping to break into a new market, you can find ways to stress how your product or service can help them do it. All such tactics have a common thread: insight into the audiences you’re addressing. The exact points you emphasize will vary by case, but there are a few general best practices to be aware of as you devise your B2B content marketing plan.
Top 5 B2B Content Marketing Practices
1. Make Your Website Look Professional and Support the Sales Journey
Most of the time, before you become aware of a potential B2B partner, they will have done reconnaissance on your company. On average, B2B buyers will look at over 10 pieces of your content before making a deal, and over 80 percent visit the websites of the vendors they’re considering. So, make sure you’ve got your page looking crisp, and put some blog posts or other offerings front and center to establish your authority and expertise. Your B2B content success starts inside your own house and works outward.
2. Don’t Skip Video
More than 70 percent of B2B buyers watch videos from businesses they’re inclined to partner with. A B2B content marketing plan in 2021 that doesn’t take this into account is liable to falter. Finding a way to express your company’s story in video can help leads get a sense of what your company can do for them, of the internal processes that set it apart from others, and of whether your company’s values align with their own. It’s always easier to form a new relationship than to strengthen an existing one, and video content can make your B2B audience feel like they know you already, even if you’ve never met.
3. Embrace Word of Mouth
If you think word of mouth is an obsolete way to generate and convert leads, you’ll want to reconsider. This is still a great place to put focus in your B2B content campaigns. This could include all kinds of communications, including, obviously, conversations between business owners, but also testimonials, reviews, and endorsements that you have positioned for potential partners to see. As in B2C content, B2B communications in which your company is praised by a third party make for compelling marketing. So, find ways to connect your current customers with potential ones, by soliciting reviews, earning tags on social media, and joining forces with social media influencers.
Also, in case we have to say it, word of mouth as a B2B content strategy depends on you continuing to win your customers’ approval. A review won’t do you much good unless it’s positive. Keep striving to provide great customer experiences, and gather customer feedback to pinpoint weak spots in your operation.
4. Lean on Email Marketing
Don’t disregard the possible benefits of a well-executed email marketing campaign. Reaching out to purchasers through email can be a fruitful part of your B2B content marketing plan. Just be sure to observe the same rules you would in other forms of advertising: keep your tone professional but amiable, make the value you can bring to the recipient clear, and space your emails out so that your B2B content doesn’t come across as pushy or mechanical. Also, segment your email campaigns for even higher engagement.
5. Track the Results
Whatever B2B content strategy you land on in the end, you’ll want to think about how to gauge the success of that strategy as results are coming in. Track key metrics such as your conversion rate and lead quality, as well as website performance metrics including bounce rate and CTR to gain an understanding of the strength of your B2B content.
Ask for Help from B2B Content Marketing Specialists
As a business owner, you probably have too much going on already. If you’re having trouble finding time to make sense of B2B content marketing, get in touch with us for help with planning, execution, and post-campaign analysis. We’ll make it easy.