A content marketing strategy for B2B connects businesses with other companies that benefit from the products or services offered. This method is more direct, differing from B2C marketing as consumer-focused methods are often designed for entertainment or brand awareness.
As with anything done in business, content marketing solutions must have an excellent return on investment (ROI). For that ROI, it’s crucial to use the appropriate content pillar for your targeted audience.
A content pillar is an informative and educational written piece on a theme or topic that will be useful to businesses that may convert into customers. Content pillars can have very different formats. When used properly, these written tools can become the foundation of an effective content marketing strategy. But why does this matter? When a business provides free, valuable information to other companies, it positions itself effectively as a leader in their industry.
Professional representatives will use the content of the company to educate themselves and improve their bottom line. And when one problem is solved, they will look to that same business to solve more problems. This is when leads are converted into sales.
Marketing content for B2B companies can work in the long term, too. A piece of content doesn’t get erased, whether it’s posted as part of a sales funnel or a blog. This means that anytime a business representative looks for solutions through an organic web search, a company's B2B marketing strategy persists through its evergreen content. Thus, content pillars that address the needs of potential B2B clients feed successful marketing strategies.
To achieve the best results for a successful content marketing strategy, the writing must be of the highest quality and directly useful to potential customers. Therefore, carefully consider the type of content that will resonate with your target audience when crafting a B2B content marketing campaign.
What Are B2B Content Marketing Campaigns?
A B2B content marketing plan is a dynamic document that outlines the process for using specific and relevant content pillars to target B2B buyers. These campaigns require time to brainstorm and develop the following sections:
- Outline of the products and services offered
- In-depth description and understanding of the target audience
- Discussion of the market opportunities
- Acknowledgment of the challenges facing growth
- Content ideas
- Method of distribution
- Delegation of tasks within the company
- Recognition of where and how a content marketing writer can help your business
- Content marketing budget
- Execution timeline
- Measurable objectives
- Schedule for evaluating the success of the strategy
This infrastructural development of a B2B marketing strategy can be completed in-house or in association with marketing professionals — but it’s worth doing. Yet, B2B marketing is often initiated without the proper campaign development. And more often than not, that leads to poor ROI and a waste of resources.
How B2B Content Marketing Differs from B2C Content Marketing
A B2B content marketing strategy requires a focus on the needs and pain points of other businesses, which is dramatically different than those of everyday consumers. Business representatives do not want to be entertained, and they don’t need to connect to your business emotionally. B2C approaches do not need to focus on driving sales, but content marketing for B2B always should.
Think of B2B content as tools that can improve the bottom line of the companies that can benefit further from your products and services. These are useful documents that, once read as part of work-related research, make professionals better assets to their teams. This means it must be written professionally, on a topic the audience is actively searching for, and in a format that fits their needs.
Key Objectives and Goals of B2B Content Marketing
The measurable objectives section of a content marketing plan is perhaps the most important, as it will help B2B marketers determine if their strategy is working. Even if the budget allows for paid advertisements to boost the content pillars, it can still take time to realize meaningful content marketing benefits. Realistic goals and objectives can help you decide whether to pivot or stay the course.
Goals will look different for different B2B brands. Marketers may want to increase traffic to specific landing pages on the company website, build brand awareness within a certain segment of the industry, or generate more leads and sales. Thus, structure goals based on the S.M.A.R.T. method: That is, goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Along with writing these key objectives into your B2B content marketing strategy, set aside time in the next quarter or six months to check the measurement of the success. It is not uncommon that certain content pillars will be more effective than others as you work to connect with your target customers.
Top 10 Types of Content Marketing Examples
Marketing content differs significantly based on the target audience, resources available, and goals of the overarching strategy. Here are 10 B2B marketing examples that can be integrated into any B2B advertising plan.
1. Blog Posts
Blogs are relatively short documents, usually between 500 to 2,000 words, that focus on a single theme or topic that can be helpful to the decision-makers who convert into customers. This content format is perhaps the most widely used, as it is possible to create a robust and versatile web page that can enhance SEO results from organic searches.
How B2B Businesses Utilize Blog Posts for Content Marketing
A good way to brainstorm blog topics is to ask C-suite executives and the sales team alike what their customers are asking. Valuable content answers specific questions, so blog posts that respond to these common questions can be a tool for sales conversions. If a potential customer asks a question, a link to a well-written blog is better than any off-the-cuff answer.
Blog posts can also be helpful for B2B brands as they scale within the industry. Useful, engaging, and easy-to-read pieces can help companies build trust while driving revenue growth. Platforms such as LinkedIn, for example, can serve as a method for sharing a blog with a wider audience.
Examples of Successful Blog Content Strategies in the B2B Space
Let’s look at the IBM blog, which is focused on helping information technology directors at large corporations rather than the average guy with a laptop. The topics covered in the blog are varied and important, ranging from analyzing the effectiveness of specific cloud computing operations to how AI-powered business intelligence can facilitate enterprise.
This blog works for B2B inbound marketing since, upon reading, it becomes clear that IBM executives are experts in computing and networking. Modern businesses require these tools, and these expertly written pieces make the next step — investing in IBM services and technology — obvious.
2. Case Studies
A case study is an in-depth look at a specific business, group, or organization that takes the reader from the initial pain point to the solution in an engaging narrative. The idea with this type of marketing content is to get the customer to relate to whatever company is featured in the case study.
One example is a case study by the marketing agency Compose.ly. Focused on the email company Mailchimp, this document outlines a successful long-form content strategy created by professional writers. It explains the B2B content marketing strategy in detail, including the company goals, the process of its outreach plan, and the results that gained top rankings in search results.
Infographics are a more visual style of content, requiring a mix of graphics and copywriting to share information in an easy-to-digest manner. B2B content marketers often integrate infographics into campaigns because business executives may prefer visually attractive methods. They can be especially impactful when coupled with longer-form content such as blogs and case studies.
4. Gated Content
Unlike B2C companies, B2B brands don’t have to worry about consumers who refuse to pay for highly useful information. C-suite executives understand that gated content — meaning pieces kept behind a pay wall or other digital hurdle — can be a worthwhile investment. Along with subscriptions, these hurdles can include signing up for a newsletter with a business email address, purchasing an app, or requesting downloads.
This common B2B inbound marketing strategy will place potential customers into a sales funnel. Professionals who request access to whatever is behind the “gate” are hot leads, which sales teams can nurture through automated and traditional approaches. The key is to have high-quality content as the lure.
5. White Papers
White papers are similar to case studies, except they are often longer and contain exhaustive technical research. These are in-depth documents that dig into the topic or theme in a way that only an expert in the industry can. A white paper can be an example of gated content, too.
Like the best content examples, white papers are focused on the needs and interests of the target audience. The tone, voice, style, and information are all crafted to speak to the businesses targeted for sales.
If your business provides services or products that require specialized training, video can be a powerful form of content for a few reasons. First, the operations team can save time by providing videos to onboard new customers. Second, these videos can be effective for turning leads into sales. For example, the sales team can use videos to show the ease of integration into a workflow.
E-books are long-form writing pieces that are less academic than white papers and more of a guide than a case study. In general, e-books are written for a larger audience, meaning that there can be interest from many different members of a particular professional team.
Unlike white papers, e-books include more design elements. The text is laid out in a visually attractive manner, with photos and infographics integrated into the copy. Since it’s natural to add chapters to a book, e-books can be easier to digest and contain narratives for business executives to pick up and read when they have time.
Podcasts are auditory, but they still require writing. Well-planned, organized, and structured podcast presentations are always more effective content marketing tools than improvisations. Podcasts incorporate entertainment with useful information that business executives can use. Always include a call-to-action (CTA) in a podcast, such as signing up for an e-newsletter or following the company on social media.
Good professionals always want to expand their knowledge base within their industry, and webinars hosted by B2B brands can be an excellent way to accomplish this. Make sure the presentation is polished with bright lighting, good sound quality, and a professional background. It can be offered live, which allows for more interaction, or videotaped, which may feel more comfortable during production.
10. Social Media Content
Finally, B2B companies should not overlook the power of content for social media. Business-related social media, such as LinkedIn, can help executives network, while Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can provide powerful opportunities to build brand awareness for future customers.
Why Is Content Marketing Important for B2B Companies?
Starting a B2B content marketing campaign can take time, so many executives may wonder, “Why is content marketing important?” But there are many reasons that the majority of B2B companies integrate some form of content marketing, including that it:
- Has an excellent ROI
- Builds a foundation for future growth
- Helps strengthen brand personality
- Enhances relationships with future and current customers
- Attracts traffic to your website
- Increases lead conversion
Elevate Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy With Compose.ly
Many businesses forego content marketing because it can feel like an overwhelming task. Yet, working with a content marketing agency, like Compose.ly, connects your B2B company with professional writers that can execute your strategy with success. Connect with Compose.ly’s blog writing services today to make your content marketing strategy seamless. To reach its true growth potential, every business-to-business (B2B) company must focus on connecting with its target audience in an impactful way. This is why so many digital outreach strategies integrate B2B content marketing to build businesses.