In the B2B world during the early days, content marketing was already known to be an effective way to promote business products and services. Advertising articles from B2B companies are often found in all sorts of printed mediums. However, this marketing method has been considered a business luxury which only big organisations can afford.
The way that B2B marketing content is created, distributed, and consumed has been evolving over the years. Nowadays with the use of internet, the cost of a good content marketing strategy can be relatively cheap.
Computer advertising in the 1950s.
B2B companies that have successfully grown their business with the use of the internet and great content, have the following in place:
i) Clear content objectives
ii) A detailed content distribution strategy
iii) A comprehensive reporting system to measure and improve results.
In this string of B2B content marketing blog posts, we'll discuss the three parts mentioned above, and in the process we'll look at successful examples for guidance and a bit of B2B marketing inspiration.
B2B Content Marketing Benefits
Before we dive into creating a fool-proof strategy, lets go through the benefits that come with content marketing. This will help us in setting realistic business and content objectives.
1. Lead Generation
Getting your foot in the doors of companies who might be interested in what your business offers is the main challenge for all sales teams.
If you offer relevant and targeted content online, it gets picked up by search engines, websites, and other users who find it useful. In other words, it creates multiple marketing channels, therefore increasing the likelihood for customers to find your company.
2. Lead Nurturing
To 'warm up' your prospect, it is important to publish the right content that answer questions that a customer has before they make a purchase. This preemptive measure can you help you build trust, which ultimately translates into higher sales conversions.
Another problem faced by certain B2B industries is - long sales cycles. An effective content strategy tackles that by keeping your potential customers in touch with your business consistently. When it's time for a purchase, you'll find them knocking on your door without hesitation.
3. Customer Retention
One of the easiest ways to increase sales is to get existing customers to buy from you again. However, you'll need to prove that your business can still provide value; content marketing can help you to do that.
Keep your customers updated with trends, promotions and industry news and your customers will reciprocate by doing more business with you.
4. Brand Awareness
Consumer focused companies spend billions in advertising creating awareness for their brand. In B2B industries, great content can achieve the same effect when applied wisely.
These benefits prove to be even more significant when decision makers whom you're trying selling to have heard a few good things about your company. In many cases, it's the difference between landing a huge sale and going back to your office with a frown.
5. Market Research
What better way is there to better know your customers and market than by finding out first hand from them? Content is great bait for customer engagement, and their feedback will tell you about their concerns, opinions, and at times give you great ideas which you've never thought of.
6. Brand and Market Positioning
Perception is reality, and conveying the right perception is key to attract the type of customers you want to target. The use of content can help shape the identity of your brand, product and service. It will allow you to tell customers whether you're in the high end business, or a company focused on delivering value.
Setting Content Objectives
Now that you have a brief understanding of what B2B content marketing has to offer, you can determine which benefit will bring the greatest positive impact. Explore each benefit in more detail, with the benefits that matter as top priority.
The next step is to set up business goals that will measure the effectiveness of your content strategy. For example, if you want to acquire leads from content marketing, you can set a specific target at the beginning, and then refine it to more realistic numbers after working on it for a little while.
The following post on this topic will talk about how we can create a content marketing strategy aimed at achieving the content objectives that you've set.