If your brand is looking for new strategies to generate B2B leads – B2B content marketing may be a tactic to consider as part of your marketing plan. Content marketing for B2B companies is a powerful way to boost leads, solidify your brand image, and convert the businesses you’re targeting into loyal customers. It’s vital that your content is geared toward a specific audience –you do not want to create content just for the sake of creating content! By tailoring your marketing plan to the right audience, you’ll have better success towards achieving your goals.
What Is Content Marketing?
A successful content marketing strategy focuses on providing valuable information to audiences and positioning your brand as a thought leader within your industry. The content you create shouldn’t push your business’s product or service directly as you would typically see in advertising tactics. Instead, it should be centered around helping companies answer questions and solve problems. Through creating content that’s relevant to the needs of your target market, your business is more likely to create genuine connections with your audience.
Of course, your business still wants to sell products and/or services. Content marketing allows you to do so by pursuing an indirect marketing strategy. When your brand provides consistent value to other businesses, this builds genuine trust within your audience. Quality engagement with potential customers is the secret ingredient to creating lasting connections and generating new leads.
B2B Content Marketing
Your brand’s B2B content marketing strategy will differ greatly from a B2C strategy. B2B refers to businesses selling their products and services to other businesses. In contrast, a B2C model sells to the individual consumer.
The main difference between the two models is the audience. When creating content for businesses, you will need to focus on how your target organizations think and what is valuable to them as opposed to the individual consumer. By keeping your audience at the forefront of any content marketing strategy, you will be more effective at reaching them with the content they want.
Within B2B marketing, you must recognize that the different decision makers you’re targeting will have different perspectives and specific needs. The message of your content will change depending on whether you are speaking to a CEO or an office manager. Creating personas for the various individuals in your audience will make you more successful in reaching them. Check out our 5 tips for creating content that users will read.
Why Is Content Marketing Important in B2B Lead Generation?
Your brand may benefit from a B2B content marketing strategy because it produces narrowly focused material for the audience instead of content that is geared towards the broad industry.
For example, a B2B company that sells accounting software might produce content about common accounting mistakes small business owners make. Or it might create content for the HR manager at a mid-size organization. The content should address problems the audience may face and offer a solution.
A content marketing strategy delivers leads by identifying the audience and anticipating their pain points. Read our checklist on content preparation for your website to make sure you start with your best foot forward and get in front of the right audience.
Developing Quality B2B Leads
How can you obtain those quality leads for your B2B business? The following points should guide your marketing strategy:
Understand Your Audience
Your target audience drives the content you create. You need to craft multiple buyer personas so that you can produce specialized content for each potential customer. Buyer personas are detailed descriptions of the individuals you want to target, which can include their job title within the organizations you’re targeting, their business goals, and any problems they may be facing that your content can address.
Define Pain Points
You’ll secure better quality B2B leads if you speak to the person’s specific problems in the workplace. You can narrow your content to address the granular part of a problem rather than being overly broad about it. This requires understanding the problem your target audience is facing and anticipating the “next” question they’ll undoubtedly have.
Be sure to leverage your internal subject matter experts (SMEs), as they can provide deep knowledge which will help make your content more specific to your audience.
Determine the Buyer’s Journey
Your content strategy should also consider the buyer’s journey. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are they in the beginning stages of seeking information about a current problem?
- Are they simply browsing to learn more about issues affecting their industry?
- Do they have an immediate problem and need to solve it now?
- Have they’ve done their research and are ready to buy?
Your brand’s content can provide answers and information that nudges them to the next step in the journey to a purchase, call, or to fill out a lead form.
Have a Goal
As you develop more robust B2B content for marketing, ensure each piece of content has a goal or expected outcome. For example, one piece of content may be designed to produce more questions from the reader. Since you know that is the goal, you can be prepared with other content that addresses these new questions.
Additionally, a piece of content may lead to the individual calling the sales department with “sales-ready” questions. Some content may prompt the reader to sign up for emails. Whatever the case, you want to ensure that it is not random but well-planned.
Don’t Forget a CTA
If your brand wants to guarantee new leads through B2B content marketing, ensure the landing page of your content has a clear call to action. That can include an inquiry form, white paper download, email sign-up, etc. Your content won’t be effective unless you provide a next step towards conversion!
Now, it’s time to publish your content. Be sure to promote it on the right channels to generate readership and interest.
Some common channels for publishing:
- Your website or blog
- Social media channels
- Email lists
- Industry websites
- Partner channels
Be sure to stay up to date on B2B content marketing trends that happen on the channels you publish on. Staying relevant to each channel’s expectations is sometimes as important as the content itself – the medium can be the message.
Tips for Leveraging Content Marketing
Here are some additional tips to consider when preparing your brand’s B2B content marketing strategy:
- Take the time to create a long-term strategy, especially if your company’s products or services are more costly and not purchased on the spot as larger purchases take more time to develop.
- Ensure you have enough assets for the entire B2B content marketing funnel — top, middle, and bottom.
- Create content with a clearly defined purpose.
- Your top-of-funnel piece or “catch-all” content sfhould lead to content that further filters out consumers so you can target businesses.
- If you have a lot of top-of-funnel content, then be sure to balance it with more middle or bottom-funnel material. That allows you to be more effective in converting leads.
- Pre-plan by doing a Q&A with your SMEs to extract the necessary information.
If this all seems like a lot to handle for your business, think about working with a content marketing agency like Getfused to handle content creation at scale and to alleviate some of the burden of tracking and reporting on long term strategies.