B2B Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
If your company doesn’t have a B2B content marketing strategy then it’s well and truly stuck in the dark ages. There used to be a time when creating and deploying a content marketing strategy was enough to give your brand an edge, but those days are over. Now, the marketplace is so crowded that if you’ve not got a content marketing strategy, you’re quickly going to get left behind.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
Example of B2B content marketing
- For example, if you’re a marketing agency then you can create how-to guides on how to carry out a basic marketing campaign and then hit visitors with a call-to-action when they’re ready to buy.
- If you’re a software developer, you could cover the latest trends in the industry and share stats on how the right use of software can change the way that a company does business.
The key with content marketing is to be consistent. If you get your approach right, people will notice if you miss an upload date because they’ll be ready and waiting for your content, no matter whether it’s a blog post, a video or just a social media update. The goal is to create high quality content that’s relevant to your audience and which people will want to share with their friends.
Content Marketing Best Practice
Establishing Your Audience And Goals
Create Buyer Persona
You can’t carry out content marketing unless you have a solid idea of who you’re trying to reach with it. That’s why marketers create buyer personas and then use them to determine whether the content that they’re creating is relevant. You’ll need to spend some time identifying who you’re trying to reach and what action you want them to take.
Start setting goals
Once you know what action you want people to take, it becomes easier for you to start setting goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). The exact metrics that you choose will depend upon your goals, but common picks include clickthrough rate, engagement rate, number of leads and conversion rate.
As for the goals that you choose, it depends upon what your company is trying to achieve through its social media presence. Some of the most common goals for B2B companies include:
- Brand awareness (how many people have heard of you)
- Engagement (how many people are liking, commenting on and sharing your updates)
- Customer service (how many people you’ve helped with customer service issues)
- Lead generation (how many people are expressing interest on your landing pages)
- Share of conversation (how many people are talking about you versus your competitors)
- Sales (how many people have made a purchase)
2018 B2B Content Marketing Trends
Consolidation of content marketing with other disciplines
One of the biggest trends this year has been for the consolidation of content marketing with other disciplines to create more holistic marketing campaigns. That means mixing content marketing with everything from programmatic advertising to native advertising and public relations.
Importance of Customer Relationship Management
The challenge is to create a company culture which is digital first and which integrates new technologies across the whole of the business. That’s why customer relationship management (CRM) software is becoming increasingly popular at companies of all sizes, and not just for large enterprises.
Content marketing has become synonymous with marketing in general
2018 has been the year in which content marketing has become synonymous with marketing in general. In other words, it’s become impossible to carry out any form of marketing without creating content, and content creation is going to continue to become more important in the months and years to come.
B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2019
New ways of delivering content
One of the biggest challenges for B2B marketers in 2019 is likely to be the problem of distribution. Creating great content is all well and good, but there’s not much point if nobody sees it. That’s why brands will be looking into new ways to deliver content, from influencer marketing and paid advertisements to programmatic marketing, native advertising and more.
Demand for strategic approach
This requires a much more strategic approach than many marketers are used to, which is why there’ll be an increased demand for strategic thinkers and subject matter specialists. Companies are already starting to snap up this talent where they can and it’s worth thinking about following suit, especially if you have known needs for your 2019 marketing plan.
Increasing role of AI in understanding customers
Finally, customer relationship management (CRM) systems are getting more and more powerful thanks to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. This enables them to better understand your customers and to provide tailored insights and suggestions based on individual leads.
The primary goal of content marketing
The primary goal of content marketing has always been and will always continue to be to reach the right person in the right place with the right message at the right time. The tools that we use to accomplish that might change, but the general strategy will remain the same. Still, we can be reasonably sure that emerging technologies like blockchain and machine learning will have a place in the future of marketing. It’s just that they might fit under the bonnets of the tools that we use – and perhaps even the tools that we use today.
Until then, all we can do is be willing to try new tools while making sure that any tools that we do use are pushing us towards our business goals. That means establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitoring metrics to see how any given tool impacts your business. Remember to measure and track productivity and job satisfaction as well as the impact on your bottom line, but if you listen to your employees then the chances are that they’re already asking for whatever tools and resources they need to do their job.
Whatever happens over the next few years, there is one thing that we can know for sure.
The voice of the customer will continue to gain importance and the best marketers will make this a part of their strategies by incorporating user-generated content wherever possible.
Marketers just need to be able to identify their target audience and to find out which social networking sites they’re spending time on. Good luck.