Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. In order to land clients, you need a solid sales strategy, and content is key.
Content marketing for business-to-business (B2B) transactions can be extremely effective in boosting sales and landing clients. Why? People consume content before they make purchasing decisions. In fact, 80% of B2B decision makers say they prefer to get company information from articles rather than ads.
Not only that, but content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads. This is the reason why 91% of B2B marketers are doing content marketing in the first place.
With that being said, if you’re not using content marketing in your sales strategy, you’re missing out on a lot. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to B2B content marketing, along with tips and tricks for success.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B content marketing is the process of creating and distributing helpful, valuable, and relevant content to attract and retain a defined audience — with the goal of eventually driving profitable customer action.
In other words, it’s creating content that will appeal to your target clients and customers, mainly addressing their pain points. Think about the kinds of problems and questions your target clients have. What kind of content would be helpful to them? How can you position your company as a thought leader in your industry? The answer to those questions will give you a good starting point.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
The answer is simple: it works.
And it’s not just a fad — content marketing has been around for centuries. In fact, one of the earliest examples of content marketing comes from John Deere, who started publishing The Furrow in 1895. The magazine offered farmers advice and information on the latest farming techniques, and it quickly became one of the most popular magazines in America.
Today, content marketing is more important than ever. In the age of the internet, people have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips. They can find out anything they want to know with a few clicks.
This means that traditional marketing techniques, like ads and sales pitches, are no longer as effective as they used to be. People tune them out, because they know these things paid their way into their top positions. However, they will read helpful, informative content if it’s relevant to their interests.
This is where content marketing comes in. By creating and distributing helpful, valuable content, you can attract and retain a defined audience — and eventually drive profitable customer action.
Types of Content for B2B Marketing
There are many different types of content you can create for your B2B content marketing strategy. The sky’s the limit, but some popular types of content include:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Case studies
The important thing is to mix up your content and try different types to see what resonates best with your audience. You can also repurpose content to get the most mileage out of your efforts. For example, you can take a blog post and turn it into a video or podcast episode.
How to Use Content Marketing for B2B
There are a few different ways you can use content marketing in your B2B sales strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Use content to attract visitors to your website
The first step is to use content to drive traffic to your website. This can be done through SEO-optimized blog posts, social media posts, and even paid ads.
When people land on your website, you want to make sure they stick around. That’s where an effective lead magnet comes in. A lead magnet is a piece of content that you offer for free in exchange for someone’s contact information.
For example, you could offer a free ebook or webinar on a relevant topic. To get access to the lead magnet, people have to give you their email address. Once you have their email address, you can add them to your email list and continue marketing to them.
2. Use content to nurture leads
Once you have someone’s contact information, it’s time to start nurturing those leads with helpful content. This is where having a solid email marketing strategy comes in handy.
You can use email drips to send a series of automated emails over time. Each email should include helpful, valuable content that moves the lead further down the sales funnel.
For example, you could start with an email introducing your company and what you do. The next email could be a blog post about a relevant topic. The third email could be a case study about how you’ve helped a similar company in the past. And so on.
The goal is to provide helpful information at each stage of the buyer’s journey so that by the time you’re ready to make a sales pitch, the prospect is already interested and familiar with your company.
3. Use content to close deals
Finally, you can use it to actually close deals and boost sales. How? By creating content that helps overcome objections and seals the deal.
This could be a case study or testimonial from a happy customer. It could be an ebook or white paper that dives deep into the features and benefits of your product or service. Or it could be a video walkthrough of how to use your product.
The important thing is to provide content that will help the prospect understand how your product or service can solve their specific problem. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be in a much better position to close the deal.
How to Create an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Of course, none of this will matter if you don’t have a solid content marketing strategy in place. Here are some tips to ensure you’re on the path to success:
1. Set clear goals
Set clear, measurable goals for your content marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve?
Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Do you want to increase leads by X%? Do you want to close more deals?
Be specific and make sure your goals are achievable. Then, put together a plan for how you’re going to achieve those goals with your content marketing efforts. For example, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, you might create a blog post calendar and set a goal for how many blog posts you want to publish each month.
2. Know your audience inside out
If you want your content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to start by understanding your audience. Who are they? What are their pain points? What type of content do they consume?
The better you understand your target audience, the easier it will be to create content that resonates with them and helps you achieve your goals.
3. Create a mix of content types
Don’t just focus on creating one type of content. Instead, create a mix of content types that you can use to reach your audience across different channels.
This might include blog posts, ebooks, infographics, videos, podcasts, webinars, and more. The key is to experiment and see what works best for your audience and your business.
4. Promote your content
Just because you’ve created some great content doesn’t mean people will automatically see it. You need to promote your content to make sure it reaches your target audience.
There are a number of ways you can do this, including social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and more. Again, experiment and see what works best for you.
5. Measure, analyze, and optimize
Finally, don’t forget to measure the performance of your content marketing strategy on a regular basis. What’s working well? What could be improved?
According to the B2B Content Marketing Report, 83% of marketers measure how successful their website content is based on site engagement (69%), traffic (65%), email engagement (64%), conversions (67%), and social media engagement (51%).
Use the data you collect to fine-tune your strategy and ensure you’re on track to achieve your goals. Remember, just because you created this piece of content one time, it doesn’t mean you can just leave it to work. You will need to update and optimize it over time to ensure it continues to be effective. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Google Trends, Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, and other similar tools to help you with this.
How Do You Know If It’s Working?
You’ll know if a content marketing strategy is working if it’s helping you to achieve your business goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase web traffic, you should see an uptick in the number of visitors to your site after implementing a content marketing strategy. If your goal is to increase leads, you should see a corresponding increase in the number of calls and inquiries coming in.
Of course, you won’t see results overnight. Content marketing for B2B is a long-term strategy. But if you stick with it and keep producing quality content, you should start to see results in the form of increased traffic, leads, and sales.
Tips for Effective B2B Content
As mentioned, creating great content is only half the battle. You need to make sure that content is designed for B2B marketing. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
1. Write compelling headlines
Your headline is the first thing people will see when they come across your content. So it’s important to make sure it’s attention-grabbing and compels people to click through and read more.
Don’t just settle for the first headline that comes to mind. Write a few different options and then test them out to see which performs best.
2. Keep it simple
When you’re creating content for a B2B audience, keep things simple. Use clear and concise language that your target audience will understand.
Avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms that people outside of your industry might not be familiar with. The goal is to make your content as accessible as possible.
3. Make it visually appealing
People are visual creatures, so it’s important to make your content visually appealing. Use images, infographics, and videos to break up your text and help people consume your content more easily.
4. Appeal to emotion
While you should avoid using too much fluff or filler in your content, it’s still important to appeal to emotion. After all, people make decisions with their emotions and then justify those decisions with logic.
Try to tug at heartstrings and evoke positive emotions like happiness, pride, or excitement in your content. This will help you better connect with your audience and achieve your goals.
5. Tell a story
People love stories. When you can weave a relatable narrative into your B2B content, it will make other business owners more likely to remember and connect with it. For example, case studies are a great way to tell stories that show how your product or service has helped other businesses achieve success.
6. Focus on the client
It’s easy to get caught up in talking about yourself and your business. But if you want your content to be effective, you need to focus on the needs of the other businesses you are targeting. Your content should be about the client’s problems or addressing their needs. This is what will make them want to work with you.
7. Be helpful
Your content should be helpful, not salesy. Provide value and give your market the information they’re looking for without trying to hard sell them on your products or services. If you can do this, you’ll be more likely to boost sales and land clients.
Create a Powerful Content Strategy With Markitors
Content marketing is a powerful tool that all businesses should be using. If you’re not already using content marketing to boost your B2B strategy, now is the time to start.
Use the tips in this article to create effective B2B content that will help you land more clients and business partners. If you need help in getting started, contact Markitors.
We’re a digital marketing agency that specializes in creating content for businesses in a wide range of industries. We can help you develop a content strategy, create great B2B and B2C content, and get it in front of the right people.