By | Louise Marie
Marketing to consumers and marketing to businesses have a pretty similar strategy path, but with some differences. Using content marketing to support each part of the sales funnel will help you close your deal with other businesses quicker. But what type of content should you create for B2B content marketing?
What Is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B content marketing is using content to expand your audience, strengthen and develop brand affinity, and drive leads and sales through appealing to other businesses. What sets it apart from other types of content marketing is that it is used exclusively by businesses, and for businesses. B2B content marketing needs to be useful, engaging, and of high quality.
B2B content marketing can be very challenging, and it’s going to be more so in the coming years. So here’s a refresher guide on B2B content marketing for 2021.
Understand your B2B Audience
The first step in setting up your B2B content marketing strategy is knowing your audience. Knowing your audience guides you on what to write and how to write it. You would not want to use slang if your audience does not use that slang.
However, each audience is composed of individuals. Your target audience will be made up of various businesses that would benefit from the product or service that you’re offering them.
It’s going to be hard to create a reader persona because your audience is too broad to define. In this process, it’s best to write these audiences down so that you can use them as reference when you create your content.
After creating a reader persona, think of the marketing persona of your audience, since part of your audience’s profile is the type of content that they like. When you know this, it will be easier for you to identify which kind of content you need to prioritize.
Create Content Ideas
You can’t have content marketing without content. For you to create content, you need content ideas. This process is the same regardless of who you are aiming to serve, whether you’re aiming for people looking for website design in Toronto or an SEO consultant in Vancouver.
Note that you need to develop new content ideas consistently. It’s easy to think of things to write about when you’re just starting out, but if you’ve been doing it for a long time, you’ve probably experienced a drought of ideas at some point. So here are multiple ways to source your content ideas so you never run out:
1.Identify the current gaps in your content
Review your content and identify what you need to fill the gap between the current and future state of your content. The best way to do this is through a content audit.
2. Address your customer’s pain points
A pain point is a specific problem that the prospective customers of your business are experiencing. It is often grouped into 4 main types: productivity, financial, process, and support.
3. Communicate with other departments
Accurate and efficient communication between departments helps create content because your sales and customer service departments may have information on your audience that will help you understand what your customers want.
4. Research your competitors
Take a look at your competitors’ content, identify what they are missing, and create it. If they have content that you believe you can do better, then do it.
5. Have brainstorming sessions
Going traditional wouldn’t hurt, so if all else fails, have a brainstorming session with your team and discuss ideas and topics together.
6. Ask your audience
If you want to sell your product or service, there’s no one else who knows better than your audience. So ask them a simple question, “How can I help you?”
Choose the Right Content
Now that you have sorted out your audiences and have content ideas, you need to choose the right content for your audience.
Here are various types of content that you can use:
1. Blog post
Blog posts are the most common content that you can see most businesses are using. For many brands, blog posts make up the central part of their content marketing strategy.
A blog post is a written article published in the blog section of your company’s website. Here’s how to use blog posts on social media:
- Share blog posts as links
- Create quote graphics from the post and share them
- Share any images or graphics from the post on social media
2. Testimonials and reviews
Reviews take place on sites that have a designated review area while testimonials are solicited directly from the businesses you serve. For example, if you offer online divorce in Vaughan, include testimonials and reviews from previous clients within your business vicinity.
Infographics allow you to pack a ton of information into one image in a way that is visually interesting and easily digestible. They are also useful for delivering dense information in simple, graphical layouts.
Infographics are also very shareable, making press releases to industry publishers easy.
4. Template and checklist downloads
Template and checklist downloads make exceptional lead magnets. They are actionable and a great resource that you can utilize repeatedly. They also don’t take a lot of time or money to make.
Note that your templates and checklists should have a clean, concise copy and include your branding.
Video is not always associated with B2B content marketing, but it should be. Videos are dynamic, engaging; and more users watch videos than read text so you need to include videos in your B2B content marketing strategy.
6. White paper
White papers are information-dense content that can offer solutions and data on a particular subject.
7. Case study
Case studies are in-depth examinations covering a specific scenario or example, which should provide both knowledge and actionable information. This type of content is good because they allow you to establish thought leadership. They are also unique and highly shareable. These days, case studies are readily available on the business’ website.
FAQs and tutorials help the customer through the setup and beyond. The purpose of an FAQ is generally to provide information on frequent questions or concerns.
9. Long-form content
Long-form content that is free and available online is a fantastic way to build thought leadership and increase subscribers.
Ebooks seem a little daunting the first time you write them, but they’re great lead magnets, and while they do take more time and money to make, you can outsource the process to a freelance writer who has experience with writing them.
Content marketing is one of the pillars of a highly effective digital advertising strategy. Use these tips to help you take your marketing game to the next level.