B2B Content Marketing Best Practices
While business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers can often focus on flashy branding and fun taglines, business-to-business (B2B) companies require an entirely different approach.
In B2B, brand trust and authority are key—and there’s no better way to build them than through content marketing.
What is B2B content marketing? It’s the creation and distribution of informative and valuable content including white papers, videos, webinars, and blog posts that move target audiences down a B2B company’s sales funnel.
This is your guide to what B2B marketing is and the best practices for B2B content marketing.
Step 1: Set Clear Goals
Creating an effective B2B content marketing strategy can be costly and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s important to understand your objectives before opening a Word document or getting the cameras rolling for an informational video.
To get started, determine the primary goal of your campaign and the way you’ll measure your success. According to the Content Marketing Institute, most B2B businesses cite the following goals:1
- Awareness – Create visibility through memorable content creation that provides a clear sense of your company’s value propositions. Successful awareness campaigns can be measured by impressions and clicks.
- Consideration – You can measure your audience’s level of engagement by dwell time, captured email addresses, high CTRs, or other KPIs of your choice.
- Conversion – New leads and conversions should eventually result in new business partnerships and increased sales.
While it’s fairly easy to create campaigns that build brand awareness, consideration and conversion come with high-quality content that fosters trust.2
Keep your goals at the forefront as you design your content ideas
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Once you’ve established your goals, strategize about the best way to achieve them given your target audience.
As a B2B company, you probably already have a list of potential leads and target industries. But the advanced tools that help B2C companies target potential customers based on demographic information and browsing habits can help your campaigns succeed, too.
Beyond demographic data, consider the following questions.
What Does Your Audience Need and Value?
It’s one thing to have a link to your recent white paper show up in a potential leads’ Twitter feed. It’s another for them to actually click on it, and still another for them to read it.
To foster engagement, create content that grabs your audience’s attention.
- Understand clients’ pain points – Your B2B company provides a solution to customers’ problems. Your content marketing can often serve an educational purpose, helping them understand how and why your services provide relief.
- Use your knowledge base – Existing customers often come to you with queries and problems. If you’re seeing the same issue or question arise again and again, it could be a great topic for a piece of content marketing or an entire educational series.
- Analyze data – Keep track of the search queries that lead users to your website. Create content that specifically addresses these topics.
- Test concepts – There’s nothing worse than creating a piece of content that simply doesn’t get clicks. Use Twitter to test out potential headlines and see which garner the most interest in terms of likes, comments, and even link clicks.3
As you create this content, continue to keep your goals at the forefront.
- If your goal is awareness, you might want to provide a free Webinar or blog post.
- If your goal is consideration, ask users to provide their email in exchange for access.
- If your goal is conversion, intersperse clear CTAs throughout the content.
What Professional Services Do You Need to Reach Your Audience?
You’re a leader in your industry. You probably know exactly why you’re the best company to solve your clients’ questions and boost their bottom lines. But that doesn’t mean you should write your own commercial scripts or branded assets.
If your content has errors or is plain-old hard to look at it, clients will run in the other direction. Successful content marketing is:
- Well-planned and well-written – If you’re creating a podcast or video, it’s important to start with a clearly organized outline (even if you choose to ad-lib). Likewise, text on slides and in eBooks needs to be concise, clear, and error-free. If you’re not up for this level of textual organization, you’ll need to work with a copywriter.
- Visually attractive – Consistent visual branding helps customers recognize your business across its various homes on the web. Likewise, clean graphic design conveys professionality.
- Technically optimized – If the video on your landing page doesn’t load, users will close the window within seconds. Likewise, if your online course is clunky to navigate, no one will complete it. Ask back-end designers to review all technical specifications and ensure a smooth user experience.
Great content can require an upfront investment. With the right strategy and continued analytics, you won’t regret it.
Step 3: Create High-Impact Content
When implementing a content marketing strategy, it’s important to work on two fronts:
- Create evergreen content that is, as the name suggests, always relevant to your business’s mission and services.
- One great form of evergreen content is a pillar page, a 3,000+ word post that addresses one of your customers’ most-cited pain points and your solution. A pillar page can also link out to other posts and pages.
- Likewise, your YouTube channel could create a playlist with some of your most relevant videos.
- Introduce new content to capitalize on trending topics and draw new users into your content funnel.
Beyond these guiding principles, choose the right format for your ongoing campaigns.
Experiment with New Forms
Which of the following best engages your target audience?
- Blog posts
- IGTV videos
- YouTube tutorials
- White papers
- Client case studies
If you haven’t experimented with all of these genres, it’s impossible to answer the question.
Go Outside Your Network
Besides creating native content for your site and marketing channels, consider other venues and forums.
- Writing a guest post for a popular blog or business periodical can introduce you to a wider audience. This enhances your credibility, and you can tout the accomplishment in your newsletter.
- Seek out speaking engagements that establish your chief officers as thought leaders within your industry space. These are also great opportunities to interact face-to-face with event attendees.
Step 4: Promote Your Content Effectively
Whether you’ve uploaded a new video to Instagram or written an op-ed for a local newspaper, content promotion is just as important as content creation.
Get your content marketing materials in front of the most eyeballs by using the following strategies.
Use Your Existing Channels
Don’t forget to announce the new publication in the following forums:
- Your newsletter
- The “news” or “updates” page on your website
- Your social media channels
And you’re not limited to announcing the content on a single occasion.
- Add a short line to a future newsletter: “In case you missed it…”
- Take advantage of social media hashtags like #TBT to reintroduce an older post.
We’ve already discussed the importance of tracking search queries. Beyond the keywords and phrases that are already bringing users to your website, research other potential topics that will extend your organic reach and capture new users at the top of your sales funnel.
If you have some marketing know-how, you likely already know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of incorporating relevant keywords into your content to boost its search engine rankings.
It’s important to use SEO principles on:
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Your Google My Business Page
If you don’t already have an SEO strategy for the channels where users discover your services and content, now’s the time to develop one.
Use Paid Ads
SEO isn’t instantaneous. If your new blog post addresses a red-hot topic, you want potential customers to discover it now.
- Paid advertising is a great way to target users based on demographic data and behavior.
- If you notice a search trend related to your industry and want to show up at the top of Google’s results now, create a Google AdWords bidding strategy that will get your content in front of inquiring minds.
- Use past data to choose whether Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another forum will yield the best ROI.
You can also pay influencers within your industry to promote your content.
This can be a great way to expand your reach, and the influencer’s plug can also be reused in future advertising campaigns.
Include Share Buttons
Your existing network is valuable, but the best content inspires users to share on their own channels. Make it easy to do so with widgets for reposting and linking.
Step 5: Adjust Your Approach With Data
When you’re first getting started with content marketing, it feels like there’s a whole world to explore. But over time, you’ll see clear patterns in user behavior according to your KPIs.
Perhaps you’ve become a minor TikTok celebrity within your field. Or maybe white papers drive email signups and lead to conversions.
- Continue investing in the content formats that are best achieved your stated goals
- Adjust your SEO approach based on data
- Update and continue to promote high-ranking content
Over time, you’ll develop a content marketing strategy that helps your business grow.
Formulate Your Content Strategy With Power Digital
Ready to create your first piece of content?
With so many options for format and so many potential KPIs to track, it can be difficult to know where to start.
At our digital marketing agency, we’re experts in content strategy. We help you design content that aligns with a holistic marketing strategy while tracking your ROI. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you design and create content that drives B2B conversions that include LinkedIn B2B marketing and other business platforms like Alibaba.
- Content Marketing Institute. 2020 B2B Content Marketing: What the Successful Do. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2019/10/success-differentiators-b2b-research/
- Forbes. Why B2B Companies Need To Think About Content Marketing Beyond Lead Generation. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/05/18/why-b2b-companies-need-to-think-about-content-marketing-beyond-lead-generation/?sh=8b2c58b2713f
- Social Media Examiner. How to Test Blog Post Titles With Twitter. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/use-twitter-to-test-blog-post-titles/