Content includes all information that companies make available on their own and external channels. It includes everything from your About Us page, your product descriptions to your blog and press releases to your social media channels. Good content marketing is time consuming and costs resources and budget. High-quality content requires strategic planning and sufficient time for implementation. Providing relevant, high-quality content increases the trust of potential customers and positions your company as an expert in your industry.
Content marketing is one of the strategies that does not promise quick success. Instead, it aims for sustainable growth and long-term success. Research shows that B2B content marketing budgets will increase, with 46% of teams expecting to increase their budgets between 1% and 9%, with another 20% saying their increases will be higher than 9%. And where are those budgets going? Into video marketing.
B2C companies are way ahead of B2B companies when it comes to content marketing. While around 60 percent of all companies already do content marketing in B2C, the proportion in B2B is 47 percent. But content marketing is also important in the B2B area and can be used to increase sales and win new customers. Good B2B business relationships are based on trust.
Advantages of B2B content marketing
- Branding: build and expand company expert status in industry and thus increase the trust of potential.
- Customer loyalty: successful content marketing considers the entire customer journey. The more customers you see as a valuable resource and feel understood by you, the greater their loyalty will be.
- Visibility / Reach: Increase in traffic through paid and unpaid search results, referral traffic, clicks from email or social media, etc.
- Lead Generation: by encourage prospects to leave their contact information to keep the conversation going. For example, collect data from prospects when they want to download a tutorial, or look at a webinar etc. etter or requesting further information by email.
- Increase Sales: content marketing is designed to build trust, strategically created and placed content can also help increase your sales.
Content Marketing Strategies
- Blog Posts: company blog is often the first channel for content measures. Many different contents can be placed here. For example company news with a “look behind the scenes”, industry insights and new trends. But also event recaps after your own event or an event you have attended, specialist articles, etc.
- Post Interviews and guest posts on blog: content in your company blog does not have to be produced exclusively by your company. Give experts the power to publish (and share) a technical paper on your blog. An alternative are interviews with experts on topics that may be of interest to your target group.
- Case studies and application examples: Showcase successful clients with before and after comparisons. Let customers have their say and report on their experience with your product or service. Give customers examples of how your products are used in the form of images or videos.
- Studies and research results
Did you conduct a study on a specific topic? Or are there any results from your research department that could be of interest to your industry or your customers? Advertise them in the form of press releases. Offer the complete results for download and present a summary on a dedicated landing page. Alternatively, offer the knowledge you have gained to industry portals for publication.
- Polls and Poll Results
Do you have a sufficiently large customer base so that a survey leads to meaningful, reliable results? Survey your customers and then evaluate the results in order to publish them.
- Guest articles on industry portals
Offer your expertise to specialist portals in your industry. Suggest a relevant topic (which hasn’t been covered there yet), maybe even with an initial structure, and show your expertise as a guest author.
E-books are published on a wide variety of technical and specialist topics. Is there an extensive topic in your industry that is worth covering in detail in the form of an e-book? Offer this on your own website or use the reach of other platforms to strengthen your authority and position yourself as an expert.
Are there sub-areas in your field for which it is not worth having your own e-book? A white paper is an alternative. Put your knowledge together in a practical and appealing form and offer the PDF for download. Depending on the topic, you can add checklists or worksheets for your customers.
- Slides from lectures
Were you a speaker at a conference? Make the slides of your presentation available online, either on your own website or on special slide sharing platforms. If you hosted an event yourself and have an email list of attendees, don’t forget to send them the presentations afterwards.
- Webinars and their recording
Webinars are a great way to educate your customers on how to use your product, for example. Various content can be generated around the webinar. From the landing page with the registration for the webinar to the summary and a replay for participants who could not attend live. A live webinar also gives your customers the opportunity to ask questions. You can use this as a suggestion for further content production.
- Video Tutorials
Does your product need explanation? Video tutorials are very helpful in understanding how things work and answering questions. Video content allows you to leverage the reach of one of the largest search engines by optimizing your videos for YouTube.
Is audio content popular and useful in your industry? A podcast gives you the opportunity to present your knowledge and offer your customers real added value. You can also use guests to increase your reach if they refer to your podcast.
- Infographics and other images/photos
Not only with the help of videos you can explain complicated processes and connections. An infographic might also be a good idea, which you can integrate into a suitable blog post and make available for sharing. Other visual content can be image galleries, for example.
- Product Information
You should also take product descriptions into account when planning content. If you sell products from other manufacturers in your shop, you may adopt the product information that is made available to you. Stand out from the competition by providing significantly more information. What properties does the product have? For what purposes can it be used? What alternatives or complementary products are there? What are your experiences with it?
- Product Comparisons
If you offer different products in the same category, product comparisons will help you make a decision and understand the differences. Do your own test, compare properties in a table or in an interactive comparison according to certain characteristics.
Collect the most frequently asked questions from leads and customers and make these questions available on your website with detailed answers. This can also help to relieve your customer service.
Are you active in an industry that uses a lot of technical terms that your customers are not always familiar with? A glossary with all terms that need explanation can help to be found for them and also supports your expert status.
- Assembly instructions and technical data sheets
In addition to the pure product information, other content formats can be useful to describe your product and answer questions. Assembly instructions and technical data sheets are just two examples of this.
- Microsite or theme world
A microsite is a separate page that focuses on a specific (sub)topic. The so-called theme world, on the other hand, concentrates on a sub-area of your site. For various business areas, it can be useful to create special theme worlds that bundle all the information about this area. These can consist of specialist articles, downloads and visual content, for example, as well as presenting suitable products and services.
- Online Courses/Academy
If you want to train your customers extensively, consider a dedicated learning area. This can be publicly accessible or available as a members’ area. Various implementations are possible, from complex course systems to simple pages in which videos, images and texts are integrated.
- Online Magazine
Do you have the capacity to publish your own online magazine at regular intervals? Not only the content itself can contribute to improving your reputation and visibility. Such a publication can also open many doors as a hook for press work.
- Interactive Applications
Possibly the most complex idea is that of interactive applications. However, as long as they offer real added value and ideally have unique selling points, they can attract considerable attention. Examples of such applications could be a calculator, a configurator or an online tool that your customers can use to calculate costs or put together a product.
Measures for B2B content marketing distribution
Search engine optimization: It makes sense to take SEO criteria into account when creating content. This increases the likelihood that you will be found in the search results. Have you optimized keywords, metadata, headlines, text, and images?
Website: Make sure your content is found by visitors. Create links from other sites, including important content from the home page. If you have created a new product description or service page, you can link to it from relevant blog posts on the topic.
Email: B2B companies’ daily emails are often viewed more often than their website. Use this potential and teaser your content in campaign banners that you attach to your signatures. Link them with a suitable call-to-action. This is a charming way of promoting new content to your business contacts. You can also send out a newsletter to draw attention to new content.
Social media: For business customers, LinkedIn and Xing are of particular interest here, as well as other channels depending on the industry. Publish an excerpt of your new content and link to your website.
Paid advertising: Depending on the topic, all SEA measures are possible (text ads, displays, etc.). Depending on your target audience, also consider Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn advertising. Advertorials are another way to get paid reach.
PR work/outreach: Does your company have partnerships with companies that you can use for distribution? Traditional press work is just as valuable here as outreach measures that specifically address editors of relevant online magazines, for example. Although guest posts are a strategy that is overused in some industries and has therefore lost its efficiency, targeted specialist articles on high-reach portals are still a recommended measure.
OffPage: Don’t neglect OffPage channels. Own events are a good opportunity to advertise a new study, for example. You can also use this if you send a speaker from your company to an event.
At first glance, creating and distributing B2B content seems like a big challenge. Hopefully our examples and ideas have given you inspiration for your own content marketing measures. Create targeted content that makes you more visible to your target audience, builds trust in your company or brand, and builds a relationship with your customers. Use all channels available to you. Always focus on your business goals on the one hand and the needs of your (potential) customers on the other.