B2B content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing informative, valuable and engaging content to attract and retain a target audience. Your goals should include informing buyers about your company’s products or services, establishing your company as an authority in your industry and, ultimately, using content marketing to drive sales.
- 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their target audiences. Especially, short articles and posts of less than 3,000 words. (Content Marketing Institute’s 2022 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report)
- 12% of businesses increased their content marketing budgets in 2021. (HubSpot State of Marketing Report 2021)
- 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson when making a purchase decision. (Demand Gen Report’s B2B Content Preferences Survey Report)
B2B content marketing typically involves creating a range of content types, such as blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, e-books, videos and social media posts. This content is often distributed through various channels, such as email, social media, search engines and other websites, to reach the target audience.
Overall, content marketing is a critical strategy for B2B companies looking to attract, engage and retain their target audience. In this blog, we go over five tips that you can use to make your B2B content marketing more effective.
1. Define your audience
Defining your audience is a crucial step in creating an effective B2B content marketing strategy for your business. Here are some steps you can follow to define your audience:
- Identify the target industries: Determine the industries that are relevant to your business and that you want to target. For example, if you offer software as a service (SaaS) for the healthcare industry, then your target audience would be MedTech professionals. If you offer engineered design surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms, then your target audience would be interior designers and home builders.
- Understand your buyers’ behavior and preferences: Research your target audience’s online behavior, including their preferred social media platforms, content consumption habits and search behavior. This way you know the best channels to feature your content to reach the largest share of your audience.
- Analyze your existing customer base: Analyze your existing customer base to gain insights into your ideal customer profile. Look for common characteristics among your most successful customers, including job titles, company size and pain points.
- Conduct market research: Conduct market research to gain insights into your target audience’s needs, preferences and pain points. Use surveys, focus groups and other research methods to gather data.
2. Determine your buyer personas
Identify the decision-makers in your target industries who will be making the purchasing decisions for your product or service. Consider their job roles, responsibilities, goals, pain points and challenges. Narrowing down potential or current customers using personas allows you to expertly tailor and customize your content marketing efforts to get the best possible ROI.
Begin by checking out some posts on HubSpot, including their learning aids and templates. This will help you begin to narrow down your list and start recommending four essential groups: existing customers, prospects, referrals and third-party-networks.
You can then interview these groups to find out more insights that will help your content marketing target address their particular pain points and needs. Learn more about building buyer personas for your brand.
You will want to begin by interviewing your current customers, as this will provide you valuable insights into what brought them to you in the first place and give you a good idea on how to streamline your approach to potential customers. Finally, reach out to people who are not customers, and who do not know much about your products and services.
By following these steps, you can create B2B content marketing strategies that are tailored to your target audience’s needs, preferences and pain points, helping you to engage with them effectively and drive conversions.
3. Develop a content strategy
Developing a content strategy is critical for B2B marketing because it helps build relationships and guide customers through the buying journey. Your customers and potential customers should be regularly provided with messages that include valuable information, answer their questions and address their pain points. You need to chalk out a plan to do this cyclically to be successful as a B2B content marketer.
Here are five essential steps for creating a strong B2B content plan:
Determine your theme:
Identify a theme that connects your messages. Your B2B content should tell a similar story, based on a specific campaign, product or service. However, it’s important to avoid generic messaging like “launching a new product” or “growing awareness,” as they won’t resonate with business buyers. Instead, focus on your mission, vision and purpose. Why did you create this product or service? Why is it important for potential business customers to know about it?
Develop long-form content:
Craft a comprehensive piece of long-form content that defines and expresses your mission or theme. This content should be general enough to support the creation of multiple pieces of long-form content. For instance, if your content mission is centered on delivering a software solution that supports genuine human interactions in the healthcare industry, you might write a white paper, eBook and/or a video script. Long-form assets like these position your company as a thought leader and inform buying decisions.
Repurpose long-form content into short-form content assets
Break your long-form content into several short-form assets, such as emails, blogs, articles, images, quotes, social posts and ads. Think of these assets as “spin-offs” and “remixes” of the long-form content. Short-form pieces should be easily digestible and great for the top of the business buyer’s funnel. They should point back to the longer content assets, which lead prospects through the buyer’s journey.
Map content distribution
Distribute your B2B content across channels that align with your target audience’s information preferences. Ensure that your content is easily shareable and map out the customer’s journey to understand what action you want them to take. Plan which assets will be gated and ungated, where they will “live” and what stage of the funnel they fall into. You’re designing an engaging experience with your business content, so make sure that experience is logical, seamless and on-brand. One of the main reasons content marketing teams get taken off track is that they’re responding to requests or implementing feedback that doesn’t align with the content strategy’s overall goals.
Measure the response you get
Get your data and analytics experts involved early in the planning stages and set key performance indicators and goals. Each content asset you create needs to have a specific goal in the buyer’s journey and a way to measure the achievement of that goal. If you’re posting short-form content on social media, then look at impressions and likes. If the social post points to a landing page, then look at click-throughs. If the landing page has ungated content, then look at the time on site. All this data will give you insight into your audience’s behavior, which helps you understand which pieces of content resonate with your prospects. Use that information to create more short-form content pieces and to direct the approach for the next long-form piece, the next campaign theme and the next content plan. Data informs your next business move. Remember, listening to your audience is the most important step. Based on your audience’s interest, you’ll refine and improve your B2B content so that it improves with each iteration.
4. Leverage social media
Social media is an essential component of a B2B content strategy because it provides a platform for a business to connect and engage with their target audience in a more personal and authentic way. Here are some of the key reasons why social media is important in B2B strategy:
- Increased visibility
- Relationship building
- Lead generation
- Reputation management
- Competitive advantage
It is important to choose the right social media platforms when planning and implementing your content marketing campaign.
Start by examining the demographics of each social media platform to determine which one aligns with your target audience’s interests and behaviors.
For instance, Instagram is ideal for reaching out to millennials and Gen Z’ers, while Facebook appeals to older demographics. Below is an overview of the key social media platforms and their demographics.
- TikTok: Predominantly used by young females, with 41% of users between 16-24 years old. 56.1% of TikTok users worldwide are female.
- Instagram: Primarily used by young, well-to-do individuals, with most users belonging to the Millennial or Gen Z age groups. Only 44% of households earning less than $30,000 annually use Instagram.
- Facebook: Mainly used by millennials, with the most significant growth observed in users aged 65 or older. 84% of US Millennials are active Facebook users, making them the largest audience.
- YouTube: Used mostly by millennials and Gen Z’ers, with 95% of US adults aged 18-29 using the platform.
- LinkedIn: Predominantly used by middle-aged males, with 57.2% of users worldwide being male.
- Twitter: Predominantly used by males, with the most popular age group being 25-34-year-olds.
- Clubhouse: Used mostly by males, with 66% of users on the platform being male and aged 18-34.
- Snapchat: Predominantly used by young females, with 54.4% of users being female.
- Pinterest: Used mostly by young, upper-middle-class females from the US, with nearly 77% of users being women.
- Reddit: Used mostly by males from the US with a college degree, with 49.69% of users from the US and only 8% being female.
- Quora: Predominantly used by young males with a college degree, with most users aged 18-24 and 65% having a college degree.
5. Use data to measure success
Martech, short for marketing technology, offers various tools and platforms to gather and scrutinize content marketing data, streamline marketing procedures and launch targeted content marketing campaigns on a large scale. Some examples of such tools and platforms are customer relationship management (CRM) systems, email marketing software, social media management tools and analytics software. A well-designed and aligned martech stack facilitates a consistent experience for both businesses and customers.
A martech stack can be a powerful tool for measuring the success of a B2B content marketing campaign. Here are some steps you can take:
- Identify your key metrics: Before you start measuring anything, you need to identify what metrics matter most to you. For example, are you looking to measure the number of leads generated, the quality of those leads, the amount of traffic to your website or something else? Make sure your metrics align with your overall marketing goals.
- Implement tracking: Your martech stack should have the capability to track your chosen metrics. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track website traffic or HubSpot to track lead generation. Make sure you have the right tracking set up before launching your campaign.
- Monitor your metrics: As your campaign progresses, monitor your metrics regularly to see how they are performing. This will help you identify what’s working and what’s not so you can adjust your strategy as needed.
- Analyze the data: Once you have collected data, it’s time to analyze it to gain insights. Look for patterns and trends in your data to identify areas where you can improve your campaign. For example, if you notice that certain types of content are driving more traffic to your website, you may want to create more of that type of content.
- Use data to optimize your campaign: Finally, use the insights you gained from your data analysis to optimize your content marketing campaign. For example, if you find that certain channels are driving more leads than others, you may want to focus more of your content marketing efforts on those channels.
By using a martech stack to measure metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your B2B content marketing campaign and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.
B2B content marketing involves creating and sharing informative, valuable and engaging content to attract and retain a target audience with the goal of informing buyers, establishing a company as an authority in its industry and, ultimately, driving sales. It’s essential to define your audience, determine your buyer personas and develop a content strategy to create a strong B2B content plan that includes long-form content, short-form content assets and using data to measure success. See what we can do.