Having valuable content helps your B2B marketing strategy by keeping your B2B prospects and customers informed. Useful content helps businesses make better decisions, and 80% of B2B decision-makers even prefer to get their information through a series of articles rather than an advertisement. As more and more businesses make the switch from relying solely on traditional advertising – to posting creative and engaging content online. These companies are finding success in reaching their target audience, generating leads, and increasing revenue through B2B content marketing.
After constantly being bombarded with traditional ‘sales pitches’, B2B companies are starting to look for more value from their suppliers and service provider. Content marketing helps to solve your target audience’s problems or concerns – proving your business’s products, services, knowledge, and experience to be the solution. Offering free value through content results in trust from the market, thus creating a strong B2B relationship.
This article covers the following:
What is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B Content Marketing is the creation and publishing of audio, video, or text-based content online. The common goals of content marketing are to increase awareness about your brand, provide knowledge, increase conversion rates and sales, promote a community of interested prospects, and achieve brand loyalty status with customers.
Content Marketing Virality
Creative, thought-provoking, educational, and empowering content within your industry can take a B2B business from zero traffic to viral status overnight. However, going viral doesn’t necessarily equate to B2B lead generation or increased sales statistics – it just means that an abundance of viewers saw and/or liked your content. The content value itself is what attracts and retains customer relationships.
Some marketing experts are continually aiming for virality, while others are looking to create a tight-knit community of brand loyalists. Depending on your overarching company goals, be sure to align them with your content marketing strategy. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness – creating a short-form, low-value yet entertaining video will help your company be better-known, but may not yield conversion rate spikes. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate warm leads, authoring a blog post on your website that educates and empowers your viewers to learn more about the industry, what your company provides to solve their problems, and guides them to opt-in to your mailing list is more apt to give you the desired results.
Types of B2B Content Marketing
There is a myriad of B2B content marketing types but selecting options based on where your industry leaders and your target audience spend their time online will help to reach the right people. These types can be separated into two categories: inbound content marketing and outbound content marketing.
Outbound content marketing is a traditional marketing approach where your message gets put in front of potential customers. The viewers, which may or may not be your target audience, didn’t seek out that specific content and did not initiate additional contact. Some examples include cold calls, unsolicited sales visits, trade shows, and more. Outbound content marketing may possibly reach your target audience, but it does not resonate with a vast majority of recipients because it does not align with their interests and needs.
Inbound content marketing is a more genuine approach where you focus on attracting and building long-term relationships with potential clients that already have a need for your products or services. Inbound content marketing is deemed authentic and perceived as personalized to your customer persona. Due to a perceived connection with your company, the content may prompt further communication by opting into your email campaign, messaging you directly, or calling for more information.
Infographic content marketing is visual in nature. It’s a method used by B2B companies to publish content in an easy-to-read, eye-pleasing, direct manner. It commonly contains very straightforward text and clear graphics to effectively gain attention from your target audience.
Infographic content is essential if the buyer persona is very busy, has a short attention span, needs high-value content that doesn’t require a lot of time to consume, and prefers powerful statement pieces instead of long, drawn-out stories. These visual representations could be anything from charts and graphs to a relevant background image with a strong industry-specific statement over it. Some great examples from B2B supply chain companies include product availability charts, product specification guides, or service-related cheat sheets.
Blog content marketing is a versatile and creative method of marketing. It lends itself to any goal – whether it be to introduce a new product, provide information about industry happenings, or create educational opportunities for potential B2B customers.
In addition to providing value to your existing customers, B2B blogs have an opportunity to attract new readers through organic searches. When creating blog posts, it’s essential to conduct SEO keyword research to ensure that your articles display higher in the list of results on search engines like Google and Bing. Blog content also allows for linking to external and internal content – including industry articles, your company’s social media accounts, and links to informational blog posts published on your website.
Podcast Content is largely audio-driven and extremely varied in genres. It has been labeled a digital advancement in broadcasting. Podcasts content exists on any topic you can think of, and this marketing method is growing rapidly – which prompted B2B businesses to begin sharing their own podcast content. Apple Podcasts have over 500,000 channels in more than 100 different languages to reach listeners worldwide.
Creating B2B podcast content positions your company as a leader in the industry and can lead potential clients to view you as the go-to firm. Each podcast episode could include a 20-minute interview, high-value educational content, personal industry thoughts, and opinions, or a focus on storytelling.
B2B video content marketing is a process that includes planning, recording, editing, and publishing videos for your B2B prospects or current clientele. This content marketing approach leaves ample room for originality. A single video channel could house a variety of subtopics to reach that target audience including video versions of podcasts, industry-specific explainer videos, day-in-the-life videos highlighting your supply chain company’s inner workings, coverage of a tradeshow or expo, product demonstration content, customer testimonial videos, and even interviews with existing industry leaders.
It has been proven that while video production can be a lengthy, and talent-crucial process, it drastically improves brand awareness as it tends to resonate with prospects more effectively. Those who view B2B videos retain 95% of the content versus text-only marketing material. Most supply chain and service provider companies work to create their own video content, but some outsource this task to freelance professionals. Please note that outsourcing B2B video creation could add a decent amount to your existing marketing budget.
Social media viewership is growing rapidly and B2B supply chain business owners are taking advantage of it. It is projected that over 4.4 billion global consumers will be active on social media by 2025. The key is researching which social media platforms your target B2B audience uses and creating content that is relevant to them.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tiktok, and Snapchat are just a few social media platforms to consider – each offering a slightly different content strategy. Facebook is encompasses written, visual, and video posts catering to the social preferences of a wide variety of middle-aged global citizens while LinkedIn boasts predominantly business-centered content. Tiktok concentrates on short-form videos while Instagram is primarily image-focused. As the market warrants it, these social media platforms add more features to cater to the growing preferences of their users and iterate code algorithms that work tirelessly to keep users on the apps – displaying or suggesting content depending on each user’s previous content engagement.
In addition to organic marketing strategies, many businesses have a B2B digital marketing strategy that uses paid ad content to improve brand awareness with other organizations, generate leads, and increase the supply chain company’s bottom line. It can include pay-per-click (PPC), sponsored content, and social media campaigns, for example.
When it comes to publishing paid ad content, it’s crucial to know your target audience to assure that your monetary investment reaches the right people. Attracting B2B clientele requires high-value and high-quality content that works to engage those potential leads and drives them to your website, social accounts, opt-in page, or another avenue to retain the B2B relationship and gather audience data. Be sure to measure the success of your paid ad marketing campaign through KPMs (and iterate as needed) to confirm that the advertising funds are being spent wisely.
Select social media platforms also offer inorganic (paid) advertisement opportunities within business social channels. Facebook, for instance, offers B2B businesses the opportunity to place ads on their platform.
In addition to Facebook, ads can be placed on other social media sites like Tiktok, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Outside of social media, consider Google Ads, Bing Ads, and YouTube video content.
Targeting and Retargeting Potential Customers
Paid ads marketing helps to achieve company goals with targeting and retargeting strategies to more efficiently reach your B2B customer persona. Retargeting through an ad campaign pixel continues to push your relevant content ads to potential customers who have viewed or shown interest in previous ads, visited your website, have abandoned their cart, or have failed to fully complete an opt-in form, for example.
Retargeting pixels can be used to promote brand awareness and entice prospects to learn more about what your B2B supply chain or service provider company can offer to solve their buyer concerns.
B2B Content Repurposing Strategy
Keeping up with B2B content marketing can be time-consuming but with the right strategy, one stellar piece of content can be used on almost every platform – working to generate leads, increase awareness of your brand, create loyal clients, and ultimately achieve those KPM marketing metrics.
For example, your B2B supply chain business creates a video of a podcast interview with a well-known business leader discussing some of the most pressing issues facing the industry – and how they can be solved. The video can be uploaded to YouTube and the audio can be extracted to add to your podcast channel. Download the transcript from that YouTube video and post it as a blog article on your website. Use powerful quotes from the audio and generate infographics to post on other sites. Clips of the video podcast can be snipped and uploaded to social media sites that promote short-form video. Upload the clip containing the most powerful call to action and use it as a method of inorganic lead generation.
With many types of B2B content marketing to choose from, it’s imperative that your efforts are warranted by first researching where your target audience spends their time online, setting a realistic budget if deciding to use B2B paid ad content marketing and spending the time to create high-value content which keeps your customers coming back for more. When they consume more of your quality content, they are more apt to transition from a lead to a loyal customer – which always helps your B2B supply chain or service provider company’s bottom line.