You’ve heard of content marketing. You’ve heard it’s the next big thing and everyone is doing it, but your company sells widgets for other companies’ wadgets and no one wants to read about that. Surely a B2B company has no reason to invest in a content marketing strategy. Wrong. While there is a seemingly endless flow of information out there on creating content marketing strategies to drive consumer business, B2B content marketing is still struggling to find its footing. In fact, 55% of B2B marketers think it’s unclear within their organization what successful content marketing looks like and 20% of B2B marketers don’t even have a content marketing strategy at all!
Just because your company lacks the appeal of virtual reality or a beachfront hotel, doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for your industry. There is, and we’re here today to help you better understand how you can create an effective content marketing strategy for your B2B business.
Write What You Know
Regardless of what you’re selling, your potential customers are on the internet trying to find solutions for the problems their businesses face. Your company has those solutions. The first step in understanding what content is the best fit for your business is to think about what your customers need. It may sound obvious, but answering that question can provide the inspiration for a whole section of content that naturally drives links and organic traffic.
What questions are your sales team consistently answering? Do many of your customers need assistance installing your software? Create a software installation video that will not only help your existing customers and save valuable support time, but can also drive new traffic to your site from other potential customers and organic search. Start with the most necessary and basic functionality that will help someone use or understand your product or industry. Bonus points if your video is cheeky and fun.
Put Your Mouth Where Your Money Is
While consumers make decisions based on emotion and impulse, businesses more often make data-driven decisions. Before creating a piece of content, think how your business can help my business save time, save money, or make more money in the same amount of time. Offering a solution to a problem is at the heart of all marketing, and content that showcases your abilities to be better, cheaper, or more effective will entice your customers. Don’t be afraid to use attention-grabbing headlines, like the ones in the example below.
Dress Up Your Data
Industry data can be boring. But no matter the industry, customers need information and infographics are the fastest way to make boring data exciting. Whatever the latest industry research says, compile it, cite it, and create an eye-catching graphic that’s infinitely more shareable than a list of statistics. If the logistics industry can make data look good, so can you.
Businesses Are People Too
It’s easy to forget that when you’re selling to a business, that there is still a human being who is behind every decision. With each year that passes, we’re seeing more and more B2B companies successfully embrace B2C content marketing strategies. Appealing to the emotional side of a purchasing manager or decision maker can be risky business, but there’s a way to do it right. Hold to the concept of benefiting the business side of their decision making in addition to making an emotional appeal, and you will have some powerful content.
Differentiation is Key
Your product alone isn’t going to drive website visitors and customers, but you can readjust your focus. Differentiating yourself from the market is a critical piece of any business. But how do you do that successfully as a B2B business? Turn your content marketing strategy inward. Maybe your company culture is warm, welcoming, and could include “day in the life” videos touring your offices and following key members of your team.
Beyond just culture, try to find everything that differentiates you from your competitors. As a manager, you should already be keenly aware of what these things are. Faster shipping? More options? A more user-friendly website? World-class customer service? Whatever it is, focus on it, write blogs about it, and explain WHY it’s an important part of your philosophy. Showcasing what sets you apart from the rest while utilizing a blend of data-driven results, emotional appeals, and a dash of humor where appropriate, can ensure your content appeals to current and future customers.