B2B content marketing is the art of drawing business buyers to your brand by giving them access to the knowledge they can use, and at the same time, reminding them that your brand is a reliable and comprehensive source of that knowledge (and more), so they are always motivated to come back for that “more.”
That’s not to say that to be useful, marketing content must be dry and boring. This is afrequentoversight of B2B sellers– they think that B2B buyers have no feelings about their choices. B2B buyers have plenty of feelings.
If you think about it, you’ll realize that a lot is at stake for them, and it’s natural for them to be emotionally invested. They must demonstrate to their superiors that they have researched and considered their purchase decisions carefully.
In their key performance indicators is a long list of expectations: fully vetting service providers to meet selection criteria, identifying features of products and what value those features provide to their employer, and staying on top of trends in their subject matter and industry.
If your B2B marketing content helps the buyer do all of that, they will come back for that content again and again. And make no mistake – they have plenty of feelings about it.
Make Your Marketing Content Useful
To be useful, your marketing content must be backed by relevant data. In this day and age, no matter what your subject matter, there is data to support it. Make sure your marketing team is on top of research in your field.
Pay attention to the academics, journalists, and innovators who are ahead of the curve. When they publish, make sure you know about it. Subscribe to the right journals and newsletters.
Build repositories of useful data complete with compelling graphs and illustrations that help you drive home ideas. Give your marketers access to those repositories.
In essence, your marketing content should equip your buyers with what they need – knowledge that accurately and thoroughly informs their purchase decisions. This might mean you provide authentic reviews of how your products and services compare to those of competitors(without naming the competitors directly.)
Help your clientsdemonstrate due diligence and justify their choices. Focus on your differentiator. In what area does your brand truly shine?
(Example: Client Heartbeat – focuses on how their product saves their B2B customers’ time. They’ve learned that B2B buyers/users want products that do their heavy lifting for them, so they focus on features of their product that do just that – reduce the manual processes for client feedback surveys and data analysis.)
On that note, don’t ignore your own data. This is perhaps the most essential aspect of what is known as “inbound” marketing, marketing that targets people where they are at, focusing on their present state of mind and reaching them with solutions to problems you already know they have.
Google Analytics tells you who is visiting your content pages, their gender, age, organization,and many other useful demographics. With the help of your digital marketing service provider, follow these trends and develop greater awareness of your target audience and particularly how they evolve over time.
Make Your Marketing Content Unforgettable
A list of features will be forgotten as soon as a buyer has reviewed it. A story about how those features provided a superior user experience to someone they can relate to, however, won’t be.
For all humans, stories are thesturdiest framework for relevant information, which is why stories are essential to effective content marketing, including B2B content marketing.
Stories provide context and meaning. The setting and characters put the B2B buyer in the shoes of someone already using your products and services.This is where their emotions become more decisive because it is here that they get to test, experience, and discover how your products and services feel.
The plight of the characters provokes the emotions of the buyer. He or she begins to pay closer attention. They become invested in the character’s choices, particularly those involving your products and services. Because they relate to them on an emotional level, they remember the character’s problems and how the products and services alleviated them.
Later when they must consider purchases, those stories provide the needed framework for recalling the relevant features. They remember how they felt, not what they read.
To tell compelling stories, use email, video, buyer testimonials, humor, user-generated content, use-case videos, and employee testimonials. Don’t be afraid to illuminate problems – without a problem, a story has no purpose, and your products and services have no way to prove their value.
Make it entertaining: this means it canbe inspirational, funny, or even nail-biting, that is, of course, until your brand is introduced asthe solution to the problem, and everything is okay.
Make Your Marketing Content Drive Business
Sow the seeds of new business in many places. In other words, don’t rely solely on organic distribution through social media to generate leads. Advertise online through Google AdWords and other search engines.
Invite students, business writers, and researchers to write case studies about what your brand has accomplished. Explore multiple media across sectors and industries and make use of them.
Above all, make lead generation and purchasing easy and painless. Steps (or clicks) on your web site from content to closing should be few and effortless from start to finish.
Make certain that when a potential client reviews content, it is obvious to him or her how to obtain further information, and most importantly, make a personal connection. They should be able to click once to your site and once more to chat with your online service representatives or at least send a query email to an account manager.
With off-site media, consider publishing abbreviated articles or clips from longer storytelling videos. These can be linked to their full versions on your site, which will draw traffic there. This provides an excellent way to track a client’s interest and convert leads because they are going from off-sitemedia to your site, where the back-door data is completely accessible to you. Track this activity and use that data to inform how you publish content in the future. Rely on your digital marketing service provider to analyze that data and help set a strategic direction for your B2B content marketing.