How to create great b2b content that fits your marketing strategy? For many B2B businesses, content marketing is an essential tool that serves as the backbone of its customer acquisition strategy. When done right, having consistently good, branded content can build your B2B business reputation online and significantly boost traffic and leads.
In fact, according to a 2020 report, 69% of successful B2B marketers have a documented strategy. This shows how powerful copy can be and why it should form an integral part of your overall marketing strategy across the board.
However, not all content is created equal. With your competitors continually churning out content and vying for your audience’s attention, how do you cut through the noise and create copy that actually speaks to your buyers? In this article, we’ll share with you five secrets to create successful content for a B2B business that will boost your performance.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
But first, let’s start with the bare bones. What is the difference between B2B and B2C content marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
These basic principles remain the same for both B2B or B2C brands. However, there’s a stark difference when it comes to the implementation, specifically within the buyer’s decision-making process and promotion channels that can successfully reach target audiences.
B2C brands primarily create compact content aimed at engaging their audience. The intention is to build strong brand recall and affinity among its potential customers.
Meanwhile, B2B brands focus on a wide range of formats that demonstrate their subject matter expertise to inform and engage with the target buyers while helping them resolve their pain points. The purpose of B2B content marketing is to instil trust in the minds of potential customers and establish authority in the company’s niche or field of expertise.
What that actually means is, when it comes to strategy, a B2B company needs to be able to position its brand as a thought leader in the minds of the prospects. Take note, while B2B content formats can take many shapes and follow different marketing trends, research by Marketing Charts shows that there are top-perceived thought leadership content formats for B2B brands:
B2B Content Marketing: The Challenges
Of course, building a high-quality B2B content is not without its challenges. In fact, the same research by MarketingCharts also shows that only 7% of B2B marketers think their content is exceptional. The vast majority (43%) said that it fits somewhere in the middle: neither good nor bad; it’s average.
Furthermore, 50% of B2B marketers also think that producing the right content is one of their most critical challenges to creating content for thought leadership. Meanwhile, 40% of those surveyed claim that they find difficulty producing enough content for their brand.
These challenges are reflected in a 2019 survey by Forrester on thought leadership content. In nearly 65% of B2B buyers surveyed, 65% felt that vendors give them too much content, 59% agreed that much of the content provided is useless, and 70% said that the content is more focused on style than substance.
This goes to show that finding an excellent B2B content idea can be a hard-won battle, especially in crowded digital channels. There is high competition for your audience’s attention; rather than adding to the noise, it is crucial for your B2B brand content to stay meaningful – and impactful.
The 5 Secrets to be a successful B2B content creator
Which brings us to this section. To make your strategy more successful, below are seven secrets that you should consider to incorporate in your creation process:
1. Sell the story before selling your product.
Brand storytelling is powerful, even more so for a B2B brand. Research shows that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts, making brand storytelling a compelling – and effective – way to engage with your potential buyers.
Every business has a story. You can elevate your product or service by telling specific client stories or how your business changes the lives of others or guards the environment. You can look for the stories within your company by sharing in-depth profiles of the people who work behind your product or service and the passion that they carry. Connect with your audience on a more emotional level, and inspire trust on your B2B brand.
2. Be empathetic
Research shows that demonstrating empathy will win over reluctant buyers. In your content creation process, be sure to put your customers at the centre and address them directly. It is important to make your customers feel that you understand their problems and that you can offer solutions to those problems.
Know your audience and humanise your content by offering personalised content. For instance, when specific challenges arise within their community, you can dedicate a blog post, podcast or others that touch on the subject. Forming this level of engagement with your audience will foster a valuable relationship that builds brand loyalty.
3. Make it personal
To create engaging content, it is essential to make sure that your potential buyers will not feel like another face in the crowd. Your buyers do not want to be addressed in generalities; which is why you need to create a buyer persona.
This is a detailed description of semi-fictional characters that make up your business’ ideal customers. Unlike a target audience description that classifies a large group of people, a buyer persona specifies one person’s character, values, demographics, problems, and aspirations.
By developing a buyer persona, you will be able to create a laser-focused content that speaks to your audience. You will be able to connect with them and inspire them to take action.
4. Credibility matters
Your content will carry more weight when formed by trusted data and expertise. You can do this with well-crafted content that is backed by in-depth research or study, or by working with industry experts, influencers, or reputable research consultancies to create, validate, and put a trusted name on your ideas and thought leadership.
When your credibility is high, your trust level goes up. Once you have gained your audience’s trust, you can positively influence their purchasing decision.
5. Create engaging, multi-layered content
Static, PDF articles are slowly becoming a thing of the past. There are a plethora of engaging digital formats that allow you to create engaging, multi-layered content. Incorporate both text-based and visual content, or experiment with audio and video storytelling to create a dynamic, interactive experience with your audience, and make it memorable.
Study shows that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. This is why having multi-layered content can significantly expand your message’s reach.
Incorporating these five tactics in your B2B content marketing strategy will potentially bring your B2B sales to a new height. However, it is also important to remember that for B2B businesses, content marketing is a long-term play.
This means, there’s no short-term result at bay, and you need to foster the strategy across multiple touchpoints on your audience’s customer journey. If you need some extra boost in your B2B content marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch: Mowgli is here to help.