Content marketing to the B2B audience is a different ball game than its B2C counterpart. B2C audiences are emotionally charged and have straightforward buying journeys. In contrast, B2B audiences are value driven, have long buying cycles, and have multiple decision-making stages. These audiences also tend to be much smaller than their B2C cousins.
Creating B2B content is a challenge due to this narrow focus. Simply put, it’s harder to generate new ideas when the topics themselves aren’t changing that much. This situation explains why Forrester Research has most B2B website content and user experiences are “failures”.
A sound B2B inbound marketing strategy is based on strong content. Fortunately, the content is not a complicated puzzle to solve. Here are four strategies you need to apply to achieve nirvana that is fresh, relevant content (and happy customers.)
Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story, like science has it proven time and time again.
Content marketers hear this all the time but rarely put it into practice. How many times have you read or created boring B2B content like saltwater? Note that technical content is not automatically labeled boring. As long as the level of technicality is relevant to the audience, the jargon is excellent.
However, jargon for fun is no use. The technical information should be supported by a story that appeals to your reader. It starts with the title and continues through to the conclusion. Building a story gives an article the sense of “flow” that any satisfied reader experiences.
Your B2B story won’t replace Anna Karenina anytime soon, but it doesn’t have to be. Before writing, set the story in a blueprint. What’s the premise? Are there any twists? Which side of the question do you present? Asking yourself these questions before rushing off to write will help you create a compelling story.
Here’s a sad truth that most B2B content marketers know: Creating great content all the time is impossible. By definition, great content is rare. If everyone was creating it all the time, that would be average. Combine that with the maxim of “quality over quantity,” and it may seem like you should post content infrequently.
However, it doesn’t do you any good in terms of engagement. So what is the solution ? To get started, identify the topics around which you can create amazing content. If there is only one piece of content you can create, so be it. Quality First !
However, you can’t stop your content marketing efforts when they’re done. You need to reuse your content and keep spreading the word. One method of reuse is to change the format. If you’ve written an article, turn it into an infographic or video. If it’s a video, turn it into an audio file and transcribe it to create written content.
Do you like someone else’s perspective on a topic tangent to yours? Create an infographic and let them know. Can you cut sub themes from the high quality theme? These subtopics will give you great “quick” type messages that can keep prospects engaged.
In short, your reorientation strategy is just as important as keyword research and everything that goes with content marketing.
Update and roll back
Considering how difficult it is to create great content, most content teams post a great article and then move on. This content remains online, forgotten, and in the worst case, obsolete. Considering the effort it took to create it, abandoning it after creation seems hard, doesn’t it?
Always come back to your content to make sure it’s fresh and relevant. Did you cite any stats in the article that need updating? Did you refer to any of your previous research studies that are not relevant? Have industry views on the subject changed?
Refreshing your content does more than let your prospects know you’re on the pulse of the industry: it’s also please google.
So if you invest any effort in building your web presence, make sure you come back to your content quarterly or annually, and make sure everything is in order.
What’s better than a great content creator? Two great content creators! B2B niches tend to have few influencers and in most cases collaboration is a given. For example, if your product fills a gap in a large company’s product offering, it makes sense to collaborate and come up with a common solution.
Why not approach the content in the same way? Partnerships generally exist at the enterprise level between companies and research organizations. However, small businesses can partner. For example, an ecommerce website builder and payment processor are great content partners.
Storytelling is the key to a good partnership. If you tell a great story to your prospects through your partnership, you will leverage your audience and that of your partner for greater visibility.
Good content is simple
Once you’ve implemented these four content marketing tips into your overall strategy, you’ll find that creating great content is easy. You will prioritize quality over quantity and maintain a consistent web presence with fresh content. A happy outlook and a stable income is the next logical step.