Business-to-business (B2B), primarily targets bulk buyers and companies while business-to-customer (B2C) companies target individuals. In B2C, the consumer’s choice depends on price, brand status and popularity or personal choice among others. Whereas in B2B, the buying decisions revolve solely around price and potential for profit. As such, communication in a B2B content marketing strategy is the key factor in its marketing and it distinctly varies from B2C companies.
To push sale opportunities business-to-business companies need to highlight details like price, offers or delivery schedule through their marketing content. In short, B2B content marketing needs to attract wholesale buyers and companies and not the end users thus the information should cover curated, relevant and valuable content with this at the epicenter. Having said that, content marketing in B2B is often more complex than that of B2C and requires a more strategic approach. Here are five steps to create a B2B content marketing strategy:
Why do you need to develop content and how will it help your company? Is it to generate leads or increase in customer base or to share business ideas? Are you using it to create brand awareness of fulfill SEO goals? Answering these questions before you start strategising your content marketing is important, it helps narrow down your points of communications which can then be distributed via different mediums using various tools. Content marketing by B2B brands are usually used with the purpose to build an audience, optimise profits and retain the customer.
Another plus point of pushing content out in a company’s respective segment regularly helps establish it as an authority within the space and helps in recall value. However, once the objective has been set and its execution is underway, its documentation and tracking is also important so as to evolve as you go.
The core idea behind B2B marketing is to build valuable relationships that brings lasting customers. In order to do so, it is imperative then, to identify and understand your audience. When developing great content , it is important to apply thinking patterns of your audience instead of aimlessly expressing your experiences. Sometimes, what may be clear to you due to your expertise and time spent in a certain line of work, may not be clear to a reader. Thus, a good way to align this is by including your customer service department and asking them what the most common enquires your company receives.
You could use Google Keyword Tool to identify common and most likely used words that buyers search for. Also, using Google Analytics also help you identify where your customers come from and how they found you.
One step to funnel and identify your audience is create a detailed description of who your customers are as much as possible. These could include things like, age, gender, location, interests, hobbies, etc. in this way you could also customise your strategy with even more definition.
For your audience to appreciate your content, it should be valuable and relevant. You need to find the right balance between what your audience likes to consume and what your organisation wants to convey to create for impact.
Your content should be visually appealing and it helps if you include things like special offers, giveaways, and discounts as part of your B2B content marketing. In order to keep your content fresh, you could reuse older information, revised in the form of infographics, GIFs, videos, etc.
In order to edge in new waves of content consumers, include options for guest blogging. It also helps with a company’s search engine performance. Another strong option is to include white papers that explain costs, features and other information buyers might require. In order to reach out to readers regularly, newsletters are a great way to maintain a line of communication.
Without the use of a well-planned content distribution strategy, even the most creative ideas could get lost in the noise of the world wide web. In addition to optimising your search engine ranking, it also helps in meeting your overall business goals. Your content distribution strategy will depend on the objectives you set for your content.
You could use paid content distribution like Ad Networks such as Google AdWords, Yahoo Search marketing and Microsoft adCenter. Paid social media posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more could also be used to target your audience. While they may be more pricey, the payoff is worth it. Branded content or native advertising also works well for B2B marketing, however, it is more of a long-term practice.
Regularly tracking content marketing progress and ROI is of utmost importance, it helps identify what strategies and/or copy is working and what you may need to revise in order to improve. Tools like Google Analytics and the like make it possible to track the performance of every piece of content that you publish.
In the end, there is no universal content marketing strategy, each brand can develop their own unique strategies, basis their set objectives and run multiple simultaneously. Hence, it does take a little experimentation and trial and error to find what suits your organisation best.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication