Content is a viable strategy for B2B companies. It builds audience authority, grows inbound traffic, and helps you build a well-defined audience. B2B content marketing is an important puzzle piece to your lead generation, and it’s time to craft a strategy that meets your business goals. In this comprehensive article, the topic of B2B content will be covered: what is it? Why does it matter? Best practices.
What is B2B content marketing
B2B content marketing is a collection of strategy frameworks, content assets, and content best practices, with the ultimate goal, to attract a specific and well-defined audience.
And you attract that audience through various content formats, strategies, and tactics. These include tactics include, but aren’t limited to;
- SEO blog content,
- Long-form editorial content,
- Content assets like white papers,
- Social media content, and
- External website content placements.
Once you attract a specific and well-defined audience, you can convert that audience into buying customers. Email is one of the most common conversion methods.
Benefits of B2B content marketing
The benefits of B2B content marketing are that it builds authority, improves Google rankings, and helps attract a well-defined audience. Through consistent and quality content, a B2B company can build trust and authority with their audience. By the means of educational (and relevant) content, that audience will become familiar with your company, your knowledge, and will consider you a viable partner for their project.
Google search remains to be one of the top traffic drivers to your website. And because of this, being friendly with Google is good content marketing. Google algorithms are always changing. So, stay consistent with the latest in Google updates.
It’s important to understand what ranks (& doesn’t rank) on Google, how to create quality content for Google (& your audience), and how to leverage keywords to structure your content. Authority building with Google is one of the top benefits of B2B content marketing. And for you to reach this point, you need to be familiar with their quality content formula: EAT (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness)—and how Google judges the EAT principles for your specific niche.
Lastly, B2B content marketing drives leads. By using content methods to attract a well-defined audience to your website and social channels. You can engage that audience, capture their contact information, and start a conversation. If you create your B2B content marketing strategy to create a well-defined audience, lead generation will follow naturally.
How to create a B2B content marketing strategy
It’s not a simple process to create a B2B content marketing strategy. It requires strategy, experience, and using industry best practices. To start your B2B content marketing strategy, you will want to include the following pieces;
- Defining the buyer persona
- Mapping the audience journey
- Determining the content topics
- Establish content formats and asset pieces
- Defining the key social media channels
- Outlining a distribution strategy
The strategy includes everything except for content writing and the execution. It should clearly define your audience, their behaviors—and your tactical plan includes the action points and the content calendar. After its creation, you should understand who you’re writing for, the content types you’ll use, and how best to get that content in front of your defined audience.
What are the best content types for B2B
The best content types for B2B are white papers, editorial content, SEO blog content, webinars, and email content. However, the best content types for YOU will change depending on your audience, team’s capacity, and objectives.
There are a plethora of B2B content types. And you can spend hours determining the best for your audience (& then creating that content). As a B2B consultant, my expert advice is to pick the top three approaches that are best for your audience, and then to consistently execute on them.
If webinars bring you leads, great!
If SEO content is best, go for it.
Learn the best practices from others—but in the end, you need to choose the best content types for your company.
How to develop B2B content ideas
To develop B2B content ideas, you need to understand your audience, keep in touch with your audience, and know where to find their conversations.
Creating B2B content ideas isn’t easy. It takes patience and research. As a strategist, I always recommend talking to your customer. That should be your primary method of developing B2B content ideas. In-person is best, but you can also talk to your customers in Facebook groups, LinkedIn posts, or industry-specific forums. Also, Quora is a great resource to see the specific questions that people are asking in your industry.
Next, leverage your company’s team. The sales and leadership team is in-check with the latest industry trends, and they’re already talking to your customers. They’re a fantastic resource for B2B content ideas. Best practice would be to schedule a monthly meeting with these individuals to ‘content dump’ ideas.
How to distribute your B2B content
B2B content marketing is 80% distribution and 20% content creation. You should be spending the majority of your time juicing the most out of the content you create. As best practice, plan to distribute new content up to six times within the two months of it being published. After those two months, drop to distributing the content once a quarter.
The best methods to distribute B2B content organically are;
- Emails and e-newsletters
- Social media channels (i.e. LinkedIn)
- Company employees
- Forums and chat communities (i.e. Facebook communities)
- External distribution websites
The best methods to distribute B2B content paid are;
- Search engine marketing
- Social media advertising
- Display advertising
- Native advertising
- Influence (or UGC) advertising
As a general rule in our agency, we recommend that you only resort to paid advertising once you see traction organically. Observe your numbers and see what your audience is enjoying. Take those top content pieces and use paid to advertise accordingly.
Start your B2B content marketing
These are the tools you need to get started. As outlined, there are a dozen pieces to B2B content marketing. You will need to understand what it is and how to start a strategy. But you also need to know the best distribution channels and content assets to create. Hopefully, this article gave you insight on where to start. If you still have questions, drop me a message on LinkedIn.