B2B marketing has changed drastically over the past decade.
For a long time, white papers alone were enough to drive sales for a company.
But that’s no longer the case.
Because now, your target market wants to be educated. They want to engage with your brand. They want to build trust first before spending their hard-earned money on you.
What’s the solution to all these wants?
What’s Content Marketing?
“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Content Marketing Institute
The key takeaway from this quote is that for content marketing to work, you’ll need to create valuable content for your market. Content that speaks to their wants and needs.
In the B2B space, content marketing can be a little more challenging because, not only are you supposed to give valuable content, you also need to educate your prospects on sometimes complicated software and guide them through a longer sales funnel.
It comes as no surprise then that some B2B companies struggle to get the results they’re after from their content marketing.
Before I discuss the three B2B content marketing strategies that get results, it’s important to highlight the two things that many B2B marketers get wrong.
You Know You’re Doing B2B Content Marketing Wrong When…
1. You’re Speaking More About the Product than the Target Market
This is one of the most common mistakes made by B2B companies. You have this great software that you’ve just spent weeks, months, or even more time developing with your team. And you’re excited to tell your target market about how amazing this software is.
But, here’s the thing – your target market doesn’t really care about how amazing or innovative your product, service, or company is. They just want you to help them solve their problems.
“People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you because they help you get what you want.” Don Crowther
I’ve used this Don Crowther quote before when discussing the key elements to a good business blog, and it was as relevant then as it is now.
Focusing all your content on your target market, rather than your product will help to build those long-lasting relationships that you’re after.
How do you that?
By speaking to their pain points. Create content that discusses your target market’s pain points and help them solve these issues by offering solutions.
2. You’re Sounding Like Every Other B2B Company
Standing out online isn’t easy. There are a lot of companies who sell similar products or services to yours, and they may even have lots more years of experience ahead of you.
Naturally, you’ll want to study the competition. You’ll look at the marketing channels they’re using and how they’re connecting to their audience.
I believe it’s good to study your competitors. This helps you see what works and what doesn’t work for your shared market.
But when you try to market yourself, you should adapt their marketing, not copy it. If not, what ends up happening is that every company that sells your product starts blogging about the same thing, they start creating the same videos and GIFs, and their social media accounts start to look very similar, except for their logos and slogans, of course.
Looking and sounding like every other company in your space and not having a unique selling point (USP) is one of the major marketing mistakes that new companies make.
So, identify your USP (what makes you stand out from the competition) and have this USP in mind every time you create content. This will help you to stand out from the rest.
However challenging content marketing may be, when done right, it can yield great results for a company because content marketing works. It helps big enterprises increase sales and smaller businesses have also benefited largely from it.
How Do You Do B2B Content Marketing Right?
1. Offer Solutions to Your Market’s Pain Points
I’ve already discussed this a bit. But how do you put it into practice?
Let’s say you offer digital marketing services for real estate agencies. You’ve done your research and have realized that your target market has the following challenges:
- Building and cultivating a database for leads and referrals
- Adapting to new technology
- Marketing themselves online
- Standing out from other local real estate agencies
Taking into account these challenges, some blog posts you can create are:
- 10 Easy to use apps to help you run your business smoothly
- How to use automated emails to build relationships with customers
- Which email marketing software is right for your business?
- Can optimizing your website for voice search help you get new leads?
- How to create a unique real estate brand
If you can create content that speaks to some, most, or all of your market’s business needs, you’ll build trust and will be their online go-to resource.
2. Diversify Your Content Marketing Channels
Blogging is a great content marketing tool. It has been found to increase website traffic by 55% and helps to convert that traffic into leads.
Although it’s a great tool, it’s not the only way to reach your market. Social media, videos, case studies, emails, webinars, infographics, eBooks, and of course, white papers, are just some of the other content marketing channels that can help you connect to your market.
Diversifying your content marketing channels is important because different customers prefer to consume and access content differently. Diversifying your platforms will help to ensure that you cast a wider net and reach more of your market.
The content platforms to use for your market will depend on your market’s demographics, the digital channels they often use, the nature of their business, etc. It’s therefore important to experiment and see which platforms work best for you and your market.
3. Turn to LinkedIn for Your Social Media
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are some of the biggest social media platforms. It’s understandable if your business has a page on any one of these platforms.
For B2B content marketing, you should also consider adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy. Besides the fact that LinkedIn can help you expand your network, it has also been found to be the number one most popular social platform for B2B marketers.
It is also an effective platform for your product launches and can improve professional face-to-face relationships.
The benefits of having a LinkedIn page are endless, but how do you optimize your company’s LinkedIn profile?
- Create a profile that clearly outlines what your company does
- Update your page with new content, such as industry news or company updates
- Get into relevant industry groups and engage with your peers
- Share posts in your industry groups
B2B content marketing can be challenging, but when done right, it can help you generate leads, drive sales, build brand awareness, and build long-term relationships with your market. Following the above tips and having a solid strategy in place, will help to ensure that you approach your content marketing confidently and get the results you’re after.
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