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In recent years, the role of content marketing in product promotions and brand promotions has grown manifold. It has helped businesses improve their visibility in front of prospective customers and, in turn, generate more leads.
In fact, it’s been found that content marketing is thrice as effective as traditional outbound methods when it comes to lead generation. As a bonus, it also costs 62% less when compared to other outbound methods.
But randomly publishing blog posts or producing videos on YouTube is most certainly not the key to success.
Content marketing requires methodical planning and proper strategies in order to grow your business. Especially when it comes to the highly competitive B2B domain, where 91% of marketers have found it to be helpful.
Let’s take a look at some of the best B2B content marketing tactics that can help you grow your business.
Stepping Stones to Success
Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
Before you can even get started with content marketing, you need to learn about your audience. You need to realize and understand the content needs and expectations of your target audience to come up with the right strategy.
You can start off by creating a customer profile or persona for your ideal client. Collecting data about them and their buyer preferences will help you develop a better more detailed persona.
For B2B marketing, you can create such personas for the companies you’re targeting. You should look to create such personas for the people in charge of making purchase decisions, not just the CEOs. The key lies in the details.
Set Clear Campaign Goals
Any B2B content marketing strategy needs to serve a particular purpose. For example, to grow site traffic, improve engagement, or increase your search engine rankings.
You need to set precise and clear goals for your campaign and individual content pieces as well.
Whenever possible, set quantifiable goals. For example, get 1000 new newsletter subscribers in 4 months. It’s equally important to set realistic but effective goals for your B2B content marketing strategy.
Research Content Ideas
With a specific audience and goals in mind, you can focus on finding content ideas for your B2B content marketing campaign.
Research can be as simple as looking up what your competitors are doing or finding keywords to use in your posts. You can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Quora, or Feedly to find trending topics related to your industry.
Create Content That Converts
In a B2B domain, there are two numbers that matter the most – your lead generation rate and conversion rate.
Which is why the next step in B2B content marketing is to figure out how to create content that will help you convert your site visitors into paying customers.
Lead magnets like ebooks, free trials, email courses, content upgrades, etc. offer prospects incentives to make the jump. It also helps to have a compelling landing page that pushes and promotes these offerings.
Effective B2B Content Marketing Tactics
1. Incorporate Storytelling
One of the key elements of a successful B2B content marketing campaign is the ability to connect with audiences. And good storytelling allows you to do just that.
It enhances the selling aspect and simplifies the process. Since every business has a story to tell, this shouldn’t be difficult to implement.
What you need to remember is that even though B2B content marketing is focused on businesses, people make the purchase decisions.
You’re targeting key decision makers in these companies. And you need to wow them, and show the value you offer them.
As it is, they’re exposed to a lot of marketing content with no personality. Connect with your B2B prospects on an emotional level, captivate them with your stories, and see your conversion spike.
The three key tips to infusing storytelling into your B2B content marketing plan are:
- Get a holistic view and understanding of your client’s business.
- Map out a clear and distinct product/service journey for your customers.
- Strive to educate prospects, leads, and customers with informative and insightful content.
But what does a good “storytelling” B2B content marketing campaign look like?
Look no further than Tim Ferriss and his video on speed reading that promotes his podcast.
Image via YouTube
2. Don’t Stop at Blogging
For a successful B2B content marketing campaign, you should never place all of your eggs in one basket. You should diversify your efforts and go beyond just blogging for your B2B content marketing needs.
Yes, B2B blogging is effective, but it’s not the only solution. And if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you need to go beyond just posting regular blog content. You need to leverage B2B content marketing in ways that your competitors aren’t.
B2B content marketing is an evolving landscape and you need to constantly update your approach to it. While blogging is a necessity, you need to create more value by offering other forms of content in conjunction.
That may include:
- Creating informative, visually appealing, and informative infographics or gifographics
- Leveraging video content marketing to its full potential
- Hosting informative and insightful webinars with industry thought-leaders as guests
Here are the top 8 methods that B2B content marketers tend to rely on to meet their marketing goals.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
3. Focus on Personalized Content
Regardless of your niche, your target customers will appreciate any effort you make to deliver a personalized experience.
Nobody likes to be put into one general category. They want to feel special and appreciated. Personalized content is one way to deliver that.
That’s why you should focus a good chunk of your effort into creating and sharing personalized content with your prospects and customers. It will go a long way to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd and build a stronger relationships with your audience.
Personalization done right will help you create content that isn’t just more interesting. It also addresses how your product solves a prospect’s problems and touches their pain points.
You can elevate your B2B marketing game by using your audience data to figure out how to deliver personalized content.
There are a few different ways you can customize your content. You can categorize and personalize based on:
- Segments – This could be on the basis of demographics, purchase behavior, industry, job title, etc.
- Personas – As mentioned earlier, developing consumer personas will go a long way to help you create personalized content.
- Stages – Another effective means to categorize is according to the stage of the sales funnel they are in.
In the content creation process, it’s easy to lose focus on how to promote the content you are working on.
There are plenty of tools at your disposal that you can leverage to that end. But before we get into that, let’s talk about some other options.
The most important of which is guest posting. Guest posting is easily one of the most effective means to establish your industry thought leadership and promote your brand.
This could vary from posting your original content on reputable sites like Entrepreneur or Business. It could also take the form of influencers creating content around your business on your own website or their websites.
This form of cross-pollination is important to get your content in front of more people and to establish your industry authority. It will also help you develop your online presence.
Another option you can consider is expert roundup posts. In essence, they are an amplified form of guest posting where you have multiple industry experts express their opinions in one post. You can have them talk about your product offerings or perhaps address pertinent industry questions.
5. Track Metrics and Optimize
You can’t simply turn on or off your B2B content marketing efforts. It’s an ongoing continuous process that demands a high degree of regular experimentation. You have to be mindful and alert about how your efforts are paying off.
Despite effective planning, if your content doesn’t resonate well with your audience, there’s no point. There are instances when your tactics may not produce favorable outcomes. But rather than see them as failures, look at them as opportunities to understand your target audience better.
You can do this by defining and tracking metrics which can help you learn more about how your content is performing. Knowing what is working and what isn’t will help you optimize your B2B content marketing tactics.
You need critical data and facts to make those kinds of optimization decisions. Experimenting with different kinds of content and styles is a great start.
Here’s why you need to be tracking metrics and monitoring your results:
- You can avoid the same pitfalls over and over again.
- And you can create a content strategy that is tailor-made for your target audience.
- You can also create content that will resonate well your audience.
The more you progress down this path, the better you’ll get at reading metrics and formulating B2B strategies that help your business excel.
Consistent results come from identifying what is working and focusing on those elements. Eventually, your monitoring and optimization efforts will help you reap higher returns on your investment.
Now you have a good handle on what a strong B2B content marketing strategy looks like. It’s a question of how well you can incorporate it into your existing marketing campaigns. Depending on your business, you might either need a full overhaul or just a few tweaks to your marketing campaign.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.