According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote a business. CMI’s research shows that content consistently outperformed other marketing methods, like paid search. Leveraging content marketing allows you to achieve more leads, higher conversions, and of course, greater brand awareness.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B content marketing or business to business marketing involves shaping your content to appeal to other companies rather than consumers. As you’re positioning yourself as a B2B company or at least a company with a B2B aspect, you’ll need to use different techniques and platforms to reach your audience.
Types of Content Marketing for B2B Companies
Before you kick off a B2B content marketing campaign, it’s essential to know your options. Almost every B2B company relies on some form of content, but what’s the most popular type of content?
One of the best ways to reach a B2B audience is by creating blog articles and sharing these articles via LinkedIn. More than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs comes through LinkedIn.
Sharing engaging and thought-provoking content encourages LinkedIn members to move onto your website, primarily serving as a bridge between the platform and your site.
Benefits of Business Blogging
It’s not surprising that blogs are so damn popular, especially given their MANY benefits.
Creating regular blog content helps you:
Capture long-tail keywords and increase SEO rankings.
Provide outstanding, online customer support by answering common questions and how-to content to help people get the most of your product/service.
Showcase your knowledge by giving your opinion on industry trends and breaking news.
Secure backlinks to help increase brand visibility & SEO results.
Capture inbound leads and naturally drive sales.
SEO Benefits of Business Blogging
We often recommend clients’ produce weekly blog content as part of their SEO strategy. Creating regular blog content helps build domain authority (essential for new websites) and continues to show Google your site is relevant and popular.
Research shows that websites with a blog normally have 434% more indexed pages, increasing the content available to Google and boosting your SEO ranking. Consistently targeting similar keywords and covering a range of subjects within an industry lets Google know you’ve got the inside scoop. So, the algorithm can send customers your way.
Top Tips for B2B Content Marketing
Most companies, unfortunately, create content without understanding the best practices of digital content creation. Writing for the web is very different from writing for print publications or academia.
If you’re relying on an in-house marketing team, it’s essential to make sure they understand the difference and are using best practices.
Know Your Audience
As part of any content marketing strategy, you’ll need to develop a client avatar. Client avatars are fictional portraits of your ideal client. From a B2B perspective, your client avatar will be the type of business and departments you’re marketing to.
You might consider aspects like:
Average yearly turnover
Individuals that work within that department (interests, age, needs)
Businesses’ biggest problem
How your product plays into their overall strategy
Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, you can shape messaging across your entire campaign and create content they care about.
2) Find a Sensitive Pressure Point
When it comes to thought-leadership, articles that discuss industry trends or hot topics always spurn engagement. You want to position your argument to show you share the same values or views as the companies you're trying to attract.
For example, if you’re an international recruitment agency, create a thought-leadership article on Brexit and how it’ll impact the market. Such content positions you as an expert on the subject and demonstrates your ability to solve (or at least advise on) upcoming challenges or trends.
3) Provide Value
Whether you’re addressing an upcoming industry challenge or writing a how-to guide, it’s essential to make sure you’re providing value to your readers.
Answer the Public can show you common questions within your industry and market, which you can then answer in your article. Creating content around common questions positions your company as in-the-know and helps you support your customers.
4) Speak to Humans
When you’re creating B2B content, it’s easy to forget who you’re speaking to. Your readers may represent a business, but at the end of the day, they’re still humans.
You want to create content that’s easy to digest and understand, isn’t full of jargon, and encourages engagement. Keep in mind that the average reading age in the UK is only 9, so you want to make sure all readers can understand your content.
Think about your tone-of-voice by considering how you speak to your clients on the phone or in-person. If you wouldn’t use a term (or would have to explain a word) in person, leave it out of your digital content. There’s almost always a more straightforward alternative or if you feel you have to include a specific word, make sure to explain it in plain English.
5) Optimise for Mobile
Digital content needs to consider desktop as well as mobile formats. Many B2B businesses dismiss mobile marketing, but Google search results show that 50% of B2B queries are made on smartphones.
B2B companies that embraced mobile captured more leads, traffic, and even transactions.
When creating content, make sure it’s mobile-friendly by keeping sentences short and snappy (less than 15-20 words) and breaking up paragraphs. If you don't want your article to appear as large chunks of text on mobile devices, try to reduce your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences on a Word Doc.
We also recommend using headers to make it easier for readers to skim (tag these headers as H1, H2 and H3s for added SEO points).
6) Research, Research and More Research
There’s nothing worse than a poorly researched article or argument. If you’re talking about an industry trend or controversial subject, back it up with sources and statistics.
Did you know that:
65% of companies find it challenging to produce engaging content?
62% of companies don’t know how to measure ROI?
And, 60% say they struggle to produce content consistently?
Including hyperlinks to external sources shows that you have access to the latest industry insights and strengthens your position as a thought-leader. It stops your reader from saying, ‘So what?’ and allows you to build trust and credibility.
7) Promote Your Content
Once you’ve created your content, don’t let it gather dust. Even SEO optimised content needs some help attracting an audience.
Create a social media or email marketing campaign to support and share the shit out of your content.
If you already have a mailing list, create a newsletter on MailChimp to send to your clients. Newsletters can include your article as well as upcoming promotions, new client testimonies and exciting company developments.
On LinkedIn, you can take snippets from your article and turn it into a post or publish the post directly onto the platform. Make sure your article is indexed on Google before publishing on LinkedIn to avoid duplicate issues.
Supporting your digital content with a campaign will help your articles achieve the best results and enhance visibility.
Meet B2B Content Marketing Agency, Copy House
We specialise in B2B content, including long-form articles like thought-leadership and blogs. We’re passionate about tackling complex subjects and working within traditional industries like recruitment, technology, finance and legal services. Find out more about our services here or send us a message.
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