Content marketing for B2B companies can often require extremely precise technical details to provide value. This is on top of already keeping up with trends in content marketing, understanding your audience, and overall tailoring what you create to your specific audience.
While having a well-planned content marketing strategy can solve many of the headaches a B2B company can face during its content production, there is also a myriad of other little tips and approaches it can follow to optimize its content.
Here are some tips that you can apply to your B2B content marketing that can drastically increase its effectiveness.
B2B Content Marketing Tips to Help Your Business Connect Better:
- 1. Use Other Metrics Aside From Conversions To Evaluate Success
- 2. Implement Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategies
- 3. Explore More Varied Content Formats With Your Campaigns
- 4. Implement SEO Strategies Specific to B2B Audiences
- 5. Invest In Thought Leadership & Expertise Branding
- 6. Use Automation Tools and Software For Lead Nurturing
- 7. Create Content Specifically for Nurturing Leads Long-Term
- 8. Consider Collaborating with Influencers In The B2B Space
- 9. Diversify the Channels You Use To Distribute Your Published Content
- 10. Take Steps to Ensure Brand Consistency Via Content Audits
- 11. Consider Translating and Localizing Content
- 12. Conduct Competitor Research
- Frequently Asked Questions
12 Tips to Advance Your B2B Content Marketing
These tips can be applied to most B2B content marketing strategies and can be adopted or modified depending on your goals. While they may differ in their execution, they’re all targeted toward ultimately increasing engagement: the vital thing to capture from any potential client.
1. Use Other Metrics Aside From Conversions To Evaluate Success
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing Insights, 70% of marketers consider conversions as the best way to evaluate how well their content marketing has paid off. However, it’s important to stress that this isn’t the only measurable way to check whether your B2B content marketing is working.
With new technologies and services, it’s possible to fine-tune your observations about your B2B content marketing campaigns aside from relying on conversions alone. Data visualization and data analysis tools have become particularly prominent in the B2B space, as they offer more in-depth (and sometimes personalized) insights like multi-touch attribution, segmentation, and forecasting.
2. Implement Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategies
Personalization is a key component in using more advanced strategies in B2B marketing. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is one of the best examples of this, as it’s an approach that hyper-focuses your marketing efforts on the highest-value clients, rather than spreading a wider net to catch a higher number of prospective clients.
B2B marketing is particularly well-suited for an ABM approach since you can increase your ROI by targeting clients that are most likely to engage with your company and your services. With specific targeting strategies, you’ll be able to allocate resources more efficiently, create better content, and build the foundation for long-term partnerships with your clients.
3. Explore More Varied Content Formats With Your Campaigns
The same Content Marketing Institute survey found that while 89% of marketers still rely on short articles/posts for their content assets, other types of content like videos (75%), virtual events/webinars (62%), and ebooks/whitepapers (59%) are still heavily favored in B2B marketing.
Variety is one of the best ways to avoid content fatigue among your audience, aside from keeping your content marketing fresh and engaging. Don’t limit your content to words or images alone—there are plenty of tools that can allow you to create different types of content that are suited to your specific marketing needs.
4. Implement SEO Strategies Specific to B2B Audiences
Sprout Social defines four different areas of B2B SEO strategies: technical, content, on-page, and off-page. An equal investment in all four areas ensures a strong SEO approach for your published content, allowing it to reach your audience more effectively without getting lost in the mire of the search engine results pages.
The reason why companies need to invest more in B2B-specific SEO strategies is that the process just takes longer for B2B companies and their customers. There’s far more at stake when your content is targeting shareholders, and these audiences may not always have the time or investment to read a lengthy pitch about your company’s value. Investing in SEO strategies can help narrow the gap between your audience and your company, allowing them to move more quickly to action after going through your content.
5. Invest In Thought Leadership & Expertise Branding
Your expertise and experience are your strongest assets for building trust with your audience. This makes thought leadership and expertise branding crucial for B2B content marketing—because it gives your audience the confidence that you can solve their problem. For shareholders, this expertise is possibly the most compelling reason they can find to engage with your company.
The Content Marketing Institute report affirms this: guest posts have increased to 50% in 2023 from 43% in 2022, and 48% of marketers say that in-person events have given them the most return on their investments in content marketing. Building trust, positioning your brand as an industry leader, and overall increasing confidence in what you can offer will help you reach valuable clients.
6. Use Automation Tools and Software For Lead Nurturing
Automation has become one of the most useful tools for any B2B marketing team, as it allows them to better manage and nurture leads. While it may seem like a high investment in time, training, and costs, the returns from investing in marketing automation and tools can be significant for any B2B company.
Many of these tools (such as HubSpot) have powerful features that can provide you with efficient ways to streamline your operations, from workflow creation to email campaign management. With enough time and some research, any company can find a platform or software that best suits their needs, allowing them to automate many of the daily tasks needed with B2B marketing. This allows them to more efficiently allocate resources toward other areas of B2B content creation, like asset production and networking.
7. Create Content Specifically for Nurturing Leads Long-Term
The Content Marketing Institute found that only 54% of B2B marketers describe their content marketing as “successful at nurturing audiences”, showcasing that there’s still a gap between getting a customer’s attention and establishing a long-term relationship with them. With proper use of B2B content marketing, this gap becomes easier to cross.
There are many ways you can nurture B2B leads with content, but perhaps the most effective one is email marketing. Most marketers favor it for its low-cost and high-value returns, and it’s far easier to use as an approach since your audience will have most likely given you their email address after engaging with your content. The goal here is not so much to close sales at the moment but to maintain their engagement (and awareness) with your brand. This ensures that you’ll be their preferred choice when they are ready to make a purchase or a decision.
8. Consider Collaborating with Influencers In The B2B Space
Influencer marketing has increasingly been tapped as a potential source of brand awareness for many B2B companies. By appointing or partnering with a well-known influencer, B2B brands can personalize their content marketing, acquire an already engaged audience, and have more opportunities to create valuable content and insights.
If you choose to collaborate with an influencer, make sure to define your goals clearly from the start of the engagement. This allows you to create goals that can be realistically achieved and measured by both your own marketing and your influencer’s contributions, whether that be increased brand awareness or more conversions. By establishing a clear partnership with your chosen influencer, you also communicate to anyone watching that you’re a company that places emphasis on valuable communication with your clients.
9. Diversify the Channels You Use To Distribute Your Published Content
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top three media platforms that companies use to distribute content are their websites (90%), blogs (78%) and email newsletters (69%). While these have been reliable channels to distribute content, it’s important to remember that businesses—like consumers—maintain a presence across a variety of different platforms.
Given B2B marketing’s more “formal” landscape, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use a viral TikTok or YouTube video to consistently engage with your chosen audience. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these areas to support your primary content distribution channels. Given the rise of video and visual content, spreading out your marketing across different platforms can ensure that it sees more exposure, which will often be the first step toward leading potential clients down your marketing funnel.
10. Take Steps to Ensure Brand Consistency Via Content Audits
Brand consistency and quality are often the first things that a potential client will notice about your company, and it’s important to ensure that you adhere to the highest standards possible. Not only will this improve the quality of your content, but it’ll also give you plenty of opportunities and ideas to create more engaging content in the future.
One effective way of doing this is by making sure you conduct regular content audits and update your brand guidelines whenever necessary. B2B companies may sometimes shift their marketing approach to content when responding to a specific trend or targeting a specific audience. While this can work short-term, it can lead to a cascade of mixed quality and messaging that your audience will find confusing. Make allowances for shifting approaches in your content marketing, but also make sure to stick to consistent messaging and content style across the board.
11. Consider Translating and Localizing Content
The Content Marketing Institute found that only 34% of companies translate their content, though 73% of those companies also localize their translations. For B2B companies—especially those targeting global brands—not translating or localizing content can be a missed opportunity.
Translating and localizing content accomplishes several things for B2B brands, but the most important to consider is increased engagement. Your content is far more likely to resonate with an audience that can understand it in their native language and can be further applied to specific contexts or situations that they may be facing. While the challenges to localizing content may be considerable, any B2B company looking to expand globally should always consider it as a viable approach.
12. Conduct Competitor Research
Competition is one of the biggest obstacles that B2B content marketing teams can run into. The best way B2B companies can respond to this is by conducting competitor research themselves, giving them insights into how competitors respond to market demands and adding to their own knowledge base.
An easy way of conducting effective competitor research is to simply look at their content assets and gauge how their audience interacts with them on their distribution channels. Between websites, blog posts, and social media, you can glean a surprising amount of information from your competitors. Analyze what works for them—find common points in your own content marketing and use that to improve your content down the line.
Following the tips above (alongside a comprehensive B2B content strategy) will help your content stand out among your competitors, be more promoted on search engines, and improve your brand’s overall authority and trust among your audience.
But while there are plenty of approaches you can take to advance your B2B marketing, it’s also important to remember to always tailor your approaches to your chosen audience. By keeping your B2B content marketing relevant to customer needs, you’ll be able to ensure that it provides the value that makes it worth engaging.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between B2B and B2C content marketing?
B2B (or business-to-business) content marketing is all about content aimed specifically at businesses, written by businesses. The primary goal is to provide valuable, insightful, and actionable information to their audiences, which can then lead back to engagement with their products or services. In contrast, B2C (business-to-consumer) content is far more flexible and doesn’t always have to provide value. Unlike B2B content, they can be focused on emotional resonance rather than lead generation value.
How can you tell if your B2B content marketing is successful?
Most marketers generally agree that conversion rates are the best metric to judge if your B2B content marketing has been a success. Looking at conversion rates is crucial because they’re a good indicator that your content is valuable enough for your audience to take the action you want them to. Conversions are often the first step to short and long-term engagement, and they’re valuable for any B2B company that wants to optimize its business.
Can you do B2B marketing without data?
Technically, you can—but you’ll find it far more difficult to convince your audience about the authenticity of what you’re trying to say. Marketing convention typically agrees that data is far more persuasive to an audience than opinions, and this is especially true for B2B marketing. When your content must convince high-level employees and staff, data-driven content marketing can often be the difference between a successful conversion or a higher bounce rate.
Should B2B content marketing stay in-house or be outsourced?
Outsourcing has become a favored option for many B2B companies looking to boost their content creation efforts, but it’s an option that should be used carefully. Always make sure that your chosen outsourcing partner understands the value proposition that your company is trying to promote to your audience, and work closely with them to ensure brand cohesiveness and consistency in your messaging. Otherwise, it’s best to keep your content marketing in-house.
What’s the “best” type of content B2B companies can use for marketing?
Choosing the “best” type of content for your B2B content marketing can be a little tricky, as this will rely on your specific industry, audience demographic, and even the goal of your marketing campaigns. In general, visual content has increasingly become the favored approach of marketers. According to HubSpot, around 50% of marketers adopt video for content formats. However, companies should do their research to identify which types of content can resonate with their audience the best.