Effective B2B content marketing can build brand awareness and loyalty, grow your customer base, and ultimately drive sales. But what makes for truly successful B2B content marketing?
We’ve got seven useful, proven tips for executing effective, engaging B2B content marketing, including:
- Define the strategy
- Prioritize your audience
- Up the entertainment value
- Focus on fresh
- Make it easy to read
- Repurpose and re-format
# 1 Define your strategy
To start, one of the most important components of a successful B2B content marketing strategy is to define and document that strategy.
Almost 70% of the most successful content marketers report creating a defined content marketing strategy and then documenting the fruits of that labor, according to the 2020 Content Marketing Report by Content Marketing Institute.
Defining a content marketing strategy is the key to understanding the wins, flops, and failures of your specific content pieces or tactical maneuvers. Then, there’s also the fact that taking a “throw spaghetti at the wall” approach to content runs the risk of confusing your audience, ramping up manual labor, and wasting time.
# 2 Prioritize your audience
The most successful B2B content marketing campaigns and messaging all prioritize their “their audience’s informational needs over organization’s sales/promotional message,” according to the 2020 Content Marketing Report by Content Marketing Institute.
For B2B content marketers, this means the desire to serve your audience has to win over the desire to sell or self-promote.
# 3 Up the entertainment
Nobody likes boring content. In fact, boring your targeted audience is one way you can be sure your B2B content is, in fact, crap-tent.
Yes, B2B customers are typically looking for information, not hilarious new memes. But, your meticulously planned out B2B content strategy doesn’t matter if your content makes people fall asleep.
One of the easiest ways to bump up the entertainment value of a piece is to incorporate a story. No, it doesn’t have to be a complex emotional narrative with sword fights and true love – although those are great!
Instead, think about creating content that tells simple stories that lead the reader on a specific journey. Perhaps the most simple – and powerful – B2B story of all? How a product or service can help solve a problem, make lives better, and ultimately improve a business’s functioning.
People want stories and solutions. Your content can provide both.
# 4 Socialize
But, rather than using social as a channel to solely sell, B2B content marketing is most effective when it uses social to:
- introduce your brand to larger audiences
- grow a reputation via education
- earn more credibility and trust
Plus, many customers use social channels and online social groups to share solutions, opinions, and leave feedback for businesses. If your B2B content marketing strategy skips out on social, you miss direct access and communication to your current audience, and a plethora of new ones.
# 5 Focus on fresh
Too much of B2B content marketing strategy focuses on pushing out as much content as possible.
On the other hand, if every single email or tweet has to be labored over and edited by multiple parties, you’ll never create enough content to build a brand’s reputation.
Instead of obsessing on quantity or quality, focus on striking a happy medium between the two.
Prioritize and focus more efforts on bigger fish, like, say, website copy or a downloadable e-book that captures new email addresses. Then, you can allow a little more wiggle room for exploration, experimentation, and fun in shorter or more transient forms of content.
Overall, the backbone of a successful B2B content marketing strategy is a steady stream of fresh, new content that’s worth reading or watching. Don’t allow the pursuit of perfection to ruin the perfectly good.
# 6 Make it easy to read
Great B2B content is easy to read.
Here’s how to make B2B content easier to read:
- Use paragraphs and headings to emphasize ideas
- Keep paragraphs shorter for faster read time
- Bold or italicize important phrases
- Incorporate graphics, pop-outs, or sidebars to highlight ideas or stats
- Include pictures or videos to illustrate points
- Use bullet points to make information easier to read.
- See what we did there?
# 7 Repurpose and re-format
Creating effective, useful B2B content is hard to do, especially consistently. Once you’ve gone through the trouble of plotting out a content strategy, creating the content, and then monitoring response it’s time to make that content work double time.
Re-purposing and reformatting great content is how you earn your return on investment for all that content strategy and creation.
With the right formatting, blog posts can turn into downloadable guides, e-newsletters, or the subject of a podcast, explainer video, or webinar.
Or, alternatively, short social posts that performed well and engaged your audience may offer a great launching pad for developing into longer pieces, like a blog series or white paper.
Regardless of the format, repurposing your best content will help make your B2B content marketing strategy sing.