The ultimate guide to B2B content marketing

18 Aug 2022
Harry Jenner

Do you know that 91% of B2B marketers employ content marketing as part of their marketing strategy?

Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C marketer, the goal is always to use the best methods to reach the greatest potential target audience – in the most effective way.

Today, there can’t be a better way to attain that goal than through content marketing.

B2B content marketing is an effective and cost-effective way to bring in more leads and sales for your business. A recent study found that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional methods of marketing and can bring in up to three times as many leads.

Content marketing as a methodology can help broaden your audience, and it’s a brilliant way to make a brand more well-known and appealing.

In general, there’s a widespread misconception that B2B content might be duller than B2C content. But B2B material doesn’t have to be dull and uninteresting – you can create engaging content that’ll pack a punch no matter who your readers are.

B2B content marketing is very competitive, and as a B2B marketer, excelling in this space can be challenging at times. You always need to come up with new ideas while also having a robust strategy. 

B2B content marketing: why do you need to know about it?

The term ‘B2B content marketing’ refers to a specialised kind of content marketing that entails the production and distribution of content tailored exclusively for business corporations. It’s a plan of action or a marketing strategy using blogs, case studies, eBooks, videos, podcasts, and market research to attract potential customers, engage with them and make conversions and sale leads.

The goal of business-to-business, or B2B, marketing is to let other businesses or potential customers know about your brand and the value and pain points that your product or service will solve for them.

B2B content marketing has several advantages:

Reach sales and marketing objectives

B2B content marketing is a very effective way to reach key decision-makers, get leads, and make money. If your content can show potential buyers how you solve their problem or enhance their life, this will attract more clients and lead to increased revenue.

Establish yourself as an industry expert

The second benefit of B2B content marketing is that it can help you become known as an industry expert – the catch being that you need to create and share high-quality content.

Build meaningful relationships with potential clients

Last but not least, B2B content marketing also allows you to create relationships with your customers. Prospects may learn more about your organisation and your products and services by absorbing the useful B2B content marketed by you.

If you want to boost your marketing and sales, optimising your B2B content is an absolute must.

Content types for a B2B content marketing

To meet your marketing and sales objectives, below is a list of some popular and most commonly used methods:

  • blog posts and articles
  • case studies
  • e-books
  • infographics
  • white papers
  • videos
  • podcasts.

You can use blog articles to educate your target audience about your products and services by sharing your knowledge and experience. If you want to demonstrate the value of your products or services, you can use case studies to show how they’ve helped other firms succeed.

Using e-books and infographics to educate potential customers on a certain topic is a terrific way to get them excited about your product or service. Prospects can benefit from white papers by learning more about a certain issue or problem and how your company can address it.

Videos and podcasts can also be excellent content sources to visually demonstrate something or go into greater detail on a topic.

Your ultimate guide to B2B content marketing

To enjoy the many benefits of B2B content marketing, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a great content marketing strategy in this ultimate guide.

  1. Do the research and develop a robust B2B content marketing strategy

It’s rightly said that behind every successful business there’s a brilliant idea and a well thought out plan from day one.

Although cheap, content marketing requires more effort than most marketing techniques. It’s important that you develop a strong strategy with clear goals so you don’t end up going in circles.

To get the most out of B2B content marketing for your business, you should start by doing research and then come up with a good plan.

Now you may be asking what you need to research.

Firstly, you need to analyse your existing marketing position. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What are your competitor businesses posting?
  • What different types of content do you see your target business audience mostly consuming?
  • What are the key wants and needs of your targeted business audience?
  • What are the B2B content marketing areas where your competitors are lacking?

Once you have the relevant research data, you can put together a robust strategic plan for B2B content marketing for your business. Among other things, it’s important that you also make short-term as well as long-term expenditure estimates so that you can raise the necessary funds along the way.

You must always consider the existing position of your brand. This will help you set realistic targets and goals for your business.

If you feel like you are too new to B2B content marketing and lack experience, you should never shy away from hiring the expertise of some seasoned and experienced B2B content marketing service providers. They’ll be able to flesh out an effective plan for your business.

  1. Produce high-quality content 

You can’t expect someone to interact with a piece of content that’s uninteresting, unclear, and lacks any value – or fails to solve any of the reader’s problems.

The quality of content is extremely important, whether you’re pursuing B2B or B2C marketing. But if you only think about B2B, the quality of content becomes much more important as you’re dealing with businesses that have more knowledge than a layman. Being involved in marketing themselves, they can also differentiate good content from bad content.

Businesses only engage with content in cases where it adds value for them. Even if you are successful in attracting some businesses to your content, low quality content can be a major turn off for target businesses. As a B2B content marketer, you must always strive to create relevant, timely, and beneficial content for your readership. Also make sure that you keep your material up-to-date by releasing new and unique content on a consistent basis.

To successfully engage and hold the attention of your audience, you may make use of a variety of content types. This may be blogs, infographics, videos, electronic books, white papers, and much more.

  1. Be consistent

Once you start to attract relevant audiences, your focus may shift from quality to quantity. If you’re under pressure to meet targets or you don’t have a content plan in place, you may fall into the trap of churning out too much material and compromising on quality.

The content that you publish isn’t just a random collection of words – it’s a statement about your brand and an indicator of the level of service you provide. This is where you will stand out from the competition and prove yourself worthy of their time and investment. You must try to stay consistent in producing high quality content for your audience so they know they can rely on you and your business.

  1. Make use of what you already have

B2B marketers often struggle to generate fresh and meaningful content for their target audiences on a regular basis.

You can reuse current content from a variety of sources in addition to creating new content that’s specific to your business. It’s possible to transform a blog post into a video or an infographic, for example. It’s also possible to put together a blog post or an e-newsletter by aggregating content from a variety of sources.

You can even use a range of social media tools to create new content or help you come up with new ideas. Tools like Tailwind and Quuu are really useful for this – and automate publishing and schedule posts for you.

Using a mix of the strategies in the last section, you can create a content marketing plan and run campaigns that help you reach the goals of your business.

5. Give actionable tips through your content

B2B content marketing is directed towards companies as opposed to consumers. As a result, the type of content you’re creating must correspond to the needs of these businesses.

In business-to-business marketing, it’s essential to provide advice that can be put into practice because this is what businesses are looking for. A company won’t have any interest in the goods or services you offer if they can’t understand how these things will benefit their company. Really think about what their needs and pain points are so that you can tailor your content to this and create material relevant to them.

6.      Never write solely to promote your product or service

One thing you must always remember is that content marketing is not about selling your product.

In fact, this is the biggest mistake that many content marketers make – knowingly or unknowingly. A direct sales pitch is simply a big no-no if you’re looking for some real sales and leads through B2B content marketing. The purpose instead should be to generate content that adds value for your potential client and their business. This way, you can have a better chance at building a productive relationship between your brand and potential client businesses.

7.       Establish a clear picture of your sales funnel

The only way that content marketing for B2B companies can be successful is if the material that’s created is aligned with the various stages of the sales funnel.

In B2B companies, it’s not uncommon for sales funnels to move at a snail’s pace. This is due to the fact that it takes some time for a potential consumer to become a paying client.

You should collaborate with your sales team or a B2B content marketing service provider to gain a better understanding of your funnel. Once you have this understanding, you’ll be able to use it to design a content plan that targets prospects at each stage of the funnel in an effective manner.

8.     Set realistic goals

When it comes to content marketing, you need to have a clear set of goals. This keeps you on track and gives you a way to measure the success of your content. It also means you can develop content with a specific aim in mind and understand why you are creating each piece of content.

The goal of content material can be defined in a variety of ways now. You could set a goal of ranking high in search engines so that more organic traffic lands on your content. Similarly, one goal could be to obtain high-quality and relevant backlinks to your website. Other content objectives may include raising brand awareness, promoting new items, and increasing social interaction with the target audience. 

9.     Use effective content promotion

Now, imagine you’ve created interesting, valuable, and convenient content for your target viewers. But, what if it’s never read by anyone?

Such a result wouldn’t only waste your valuable time but also be a disappointing outcome for any content marketer. However, the good thing is that you can avoid such a situation.

How? The simple answer to this question is: content promotion.

Considering the online habits as well as the customer personas of your client businesses, you can create a solid content promotion strategy for your business.

10. Utilise social media

You can use various platforms to broaden the reach of your content. Sharing your content on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and TikTok is an effective way to secure a sizable audience for your content.

You could also consider creating a mailing list for customers to sign up to. By sending out regular newsletters, subscribers will be reminded of your business and will have instant access to the content you put out.

Quora is another great social media platform where concerned people post their problems and questions. As a business, you can use this information to develop relevant material that’ll answer the key questions asked by different businesses.

11. Use the reach of other bloggers within the same niche

As a marketer you’ll no doubt be familiar with influencers. They usually have a sizable following and, as the name suggests, have a significant influence over them. This might mean that their audience considers them to be an expert or they might find their personality or lifestyle engaging.

Businesses often partner with influencers to appeal to their loyal followers and existing readership. If the individual is already well established, it makes getting attention from potential buyers much easier. With the help of other bloggers, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and get more leads.

12. Pay for promotions

Making use of the paid promotion opportunities offered by a variety of the leading social media platforms, such as Facebook, is a good investment when it comes to promoting your content.

There’s no doubt that if you are willing to put in a reasonable amount of effort in the right direction, you can easily promote your business to larger audiences out there and seize an improved return on your investment in no time.

13.  Create a content calendar

In order to have an effective B2B content marketing strategy, you’ll need to strike a balance between providing content that’s informative – and content that’s promotional. In an ideal world, the ratio should be 80 percent informational content and 20 percent promotional content.

Your business needs to keep a content calendar. Not only will this help you consistently create new material and keep track of your content, it also gives you the opportunity to tie in content with major holidays and events. Preparing for occasions like Christmas or International Women’s Day will ensure you create content that will appeal to the audience at that time.

In a similar vein, you need to be informed about the times of day that are optimal for uploading various types of content. This will help you maximise engagement and increase sales.

14.  Make interesting content

Today, there’s a ginormous amount of content that’s uploaded on the internet server each day. According to a report, 70 million new posts are published every month by WordPress users alone.

If your content isn’t interesting to read, there’s always a chance the target reader might hop on to the next resource. It’s not just about creating high quality material but also making sure the audience has a reason to care and enjoy the content.

At this point, you might be thinking: what is the perfect way to make your content more exciting and interesting? The suggestion here isn’t to rely solely on plain text. If someone reading your article is faced with line after line of unbroken text, they may quickly lose interest in your topic.

The best solution is the use of infographics – as well as relevant images to improve readers’ interest in your content. Another great solution here isn’t to rely on a single type of content – use a multi-layered content strategy. Apart from using blogs, research studies and articles, and whitepapers, you must also focus on other interactive content formats such as eBooks, movies, webinars, podcasts, case studies, and newsletters for B2B content marketing.

12.  Listen to feedback

Content marketing isn’t a static process, rather a continuously evolving subject. So, there’s always a possibility that your strategy needs a revisit – given the new openings in the content marketing world.

Similarly, content marketing is a strategic approach that can be used to achieve a variety of marketing and sales goals. But how do you know if your content marketing efforts are successful? Here are a few ways to measure the success of your B2B content marketing:

Once you’ve done all the right things according to your set strategy, you need to evaluate your progress at reasonable intervals.

Some ways that can help you with a better evaluation of your B2B content marketing strategy may include:

Website traffic

A simple way to check if your content marketing strategy is bearing any fruits for your business.

If you see a rise in the number of people visiting your website, it’s a good sign that the information you’ve been posting has been well received by your target demographic.

Social media engagement

Similarly, if you see an increase in the number of people following your company on social media and engaging with your content, it means that people are interested in what you’re sharing.

Return on investment

Look at your ROI and determine whether there’s any significant improvement. If the only thing you’ve changed is your content marketing strategy and your numbers are going up, you know you’re doing something right.

Final verdict

B2B content marketing is a cost-effective way to multiply your company’s success because it provides you with far more exposure to relevant businesses than traditional marketing methods.

Reaping the benefits of B2B content marketing isn’t as easy as it sounds. There is a lot of time, effort and planning that must be leveraged to ensure your strategy is effective and worthwhile.

But there is a recipe for success!

If you focus on the relevancy, consistency and high quality of the content, you’ll find that the work you produce will get better and better. Keeping your goals in mind will help you to think about the customer and what they need from your content.  Measuring the engagement and reach of your material will also give you a clear indication that you’re on the right track.  

By following the advice in this ultimate guide, you can break through the stiff competition and ensure the success of your B2B content marketing.