Does content marketing work for B2B businesses? It’s a question that many business leaders in the B2B space have, especially when there are other forms of marketing that may be deemed more effective than content.
However, the truth is that content marketing can work well in just about any industry, and in today’s world, we’d argue it’s essential to B2B.
Content marketing is the practice of creating content to attract, retain, and engage an audience to grow your business. Content can come in many forms – including video content, webinars, podcasts, social media content, graphics, white papers, blog posts, and everything in between.
The benefits of content marketing for B2B
It establishes credibility
Content can help to establish your credibility by positioning you as a go-to expert in your niche – and this can go a long way toward building trust.
It helps generate qualified leads
Creating content that builds trust will turn your audience into leads, and eventually customers – it’s one of the most important ingredients in the buying process. This is why content isn’t just for marketing, but also sales enablement.
It helps build long-term customer relationships
Not every customer will consume your content and instantly become a customer. Some may become a fan of your podcast and listen for months or years before they’re ready to buy. In the meantime, you’re developing trust and credibility through your content.
It builds brand/solution awareness
You may have potential clients who are aware they need your particular solution, and content marketing can help to show that you are the right choice. In other cases, your potential clients may not even be aware of the problem and realize they need your solution – and content marketing can help to make them aware that there are solutions like yours out there.
It supports the buyer’s journey
The B2B buyer journey is usually more complex than B2C. Buyers typically need to get approval for funding from leadership – there are often multiple decision-makers and bureaucratic processes. They may need to see more social proof, case studies and evidence before making a decision.
Content marketing can help to bridge the gaps and help paint a picture of what you’re like to work with. Anything you can do to make the buyer’s journey more straightforward and their decision easier is a plus. You can create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey, and content to handle every question or pain point.
Common Concerns and Objections
Is content marketing really effective for B2B?
While B2B content marketing is different from B2C, it’s still important to build brand awareness, credibility, customer relationships, and trust. In some ways, it’s more important for B2B because as mentioned, the buyer’s journey is more complex.
Is it worth the investment?
According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing such as print ads or direct mail, and also generates approximately three times as many leads.
Content marketing can be time-consuming if you handle it internally and there’s also a monetary investment to consider if you’re outsourcing or hiring a marketing team.
Either way, the return on investment can be slow to start with (you won’t see overnight success). But once you start to build an audience and a solid brand presence that helps you grow your reach, it’s hard to put a price on that.
Key Strategies for B2B Content Marketing
Ready to get started? Follow these steps:
1. Identify your ICP and learn all about them
Before you go ahead and start rattling off content, you need to know who your content is for. This will give you much more direction when building a strategy – and it ensures you’re not wasting time speaking into the void.
Learn their pain points, what they need help with, what they’re missing, and what results they want to see.
Also, learn what kind of content they like to consume – do they read, listen, watch? And where do they hang out online?
2. Craft a content strategy that aligns with your goals and objectives
People aren’t necessarily going to tune into your podcast or read your blogs for the fun of it. Your audience wants information or advice that will help drive results. So, think about what your target audience is aiming to do and create content that addresses those needs while leading them to your solutions and/or services.
3. Explore different content formats and channels for B2B audiences
As mentioned, you should understand what type of content your audience prefers and where they like to hang out. You may create great video content, but if your audience prefers podcasts, you might be wasting your time on YouTube. Maybe your Twitter game is on fire, but if your audience uses LinkedIn more, that’s where you should focus.
4. Create content with repurposing in mind to maximize value
Before you sit down to create content, go one step further and build a content repurposing.
We live and breathe content repurposing at Content 10x. It’s a great way to extend the value and reach of every piece of content you create – boosting your ROI on content marketing overall!
Don’t just plan a webinar series. Turn it into YouTube Shorts, a podcast, videos for social media, a blog post – and suddenly, that webinar series becomes a bunch of high-value content that reaches further than before.
As leading experts in content repurposing, we put together the Ultimate Guide to Content Repurposing to help you get started and maximize your B2B content marketing. You can also check out our blog and The Content 10x Podcast for tons of information about boosting the ROI of your content.
Measuring Success in B2B Content Marketing
The next thing you need is to think of how you’re going to measure success. Measuring your work gives you a clearer way of determining whether a campaign or strategy is successful or not – so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Some key metrics to look at include:
- Website traffic and bounce rate
- Podcast downloads or video views
- Social media engagement
- Qualified leads
The metrics will depend on the type of content you create.
We spoke more about the types of metrics you should look at and how to optimize your content for better conversions in episode 273 of The Content 10x Podcast How to Optimize Your Content with Michael Brenner.
The most important thing to know about measurement is that it should be followed by action. If something’s not working, it’s time to try something new, measure that and improve from there. Learn how to review your strategy with 3 Ways to Review Your Content Strategy.
Does Content Marketing Work for B2B?
It’s clear that there are a number of benefits for B2B brands to get involved with content marketing.
For most B2B brands, the aim of marketing is to increase reach, influence, build customer trust and knowledge, and promote goods or services. All of this is achievable with content marketing.
However, it’s true that content marketing can take up a lot of resources – time, money, and talent. That’s why many brands outsource content marketing to a B2B Content Marketing Agency.
But most brands outsource specific aspects of content marketing such as writing, video editing, or social media. Another way to maximize the value of your content is to outsource to a content repurposing agency like Content 10x!
Our repurposing service covers all the writing, graphic design, video/audio editing, social media, and content publishing to increase the ROI on each piece of content you create.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch today to see how we can repurpose your content and boost your brand reach and impact.
To learn more about doing more with less when it comes to repurposing your content, check out all our free resources on our blog and The Content 10x Podcast.