Content marketing for B2B audiences is a different ball game from its B2C equivalent. B2C audiences are emotionally charged and have simple buyer journeys. In contrast, B2B audiences are value-driven, have long buying cycles, and have multiple decision-making stages. These audiences also tend to be much smaller than their B2C cousins.
Creating B2B content is challenging because of this narrow focus. Simply put, it’s tougher to generate fresh ideas when the topics themselves don’t change all that much. This situation explains why Forrester Research branded most B2B website user and content experiences as “failures.”
A sound B2B inbound marketing strategy relies on strong content. Thankfully, content isn’t some complicated puzzle for you to solve. Here are four strategies you must apply to achieve the nirvana that is fresh and relevant content (and pleased customers.)
Tell a Story
Everyone loves a good story, as science has repeatedly proved.
Content marketers hear this all the time but rarely put it into practice. How often have you read or created B2B content that is dull as ditchwater? Note that technical content doesn’t automatically qualify as dull. As long as the degree of technicality is relevant to the audience, jargon is great.
However, jargon for the sake of it isn’t of any use. Technical information must be backed by a narrative that appeals to your reader. It begins with the headline and flows all the way to the conclusion. Constructing a narrative gives an article the feeling of “flow” that every satisfied reader experiences.
Your B2B story isn’t going to replace Anna Karenina anytime soon, but it doesn’t have to. Before writing, define the narrative in a detailed outline. What is the premise? Are there any twists? Which side of the issue are you presenting? Asking yourself these questions before rushing in to write will help you create an engaging story.
Here’s an ugly truth that most B2B content marketers know: Creating great content all the time is impossible. By definition, exceptional content is rare. If everyone created it all the time, it would be average. Combine this with the maxim of “quality over quantity,” and it might seem as if you should release content rarely.
However, this does you no good in terms of engagement. So what’s the solution? For starters, identify the topics that you can create amazing content around. If there’s only one piece of content you can create, then so be it. Quality above all else!
You can’t stop your content marketing efforts once done though. You need to repurpose your content and continue spreading the word. One repurposing method is to change the format. If you’ve written an article, turn it into an infographic or video. If it’s a video, turn it into an audio file and transcribe it to create written content.
Love someone else’s take on a tangential topic to yours? Create an infographic and let them know. Can you carve subtopics out of the high-quality topic? These subtopics will give you excellent “quick hit” type posts that can keep prospects engaged.
In short, your repurposing strategy is just as important as keyword research and everything else that comes with content marketing.
Update and Circle Back
Given the difficulty behind creating great content, most content teams publish an excellent piece and then move on. This piece of content remains online, forgotten, and in the worst case, obsolete. Given the effort it took to create it, abandoning it after creation seems harsh, doesn’t it?
Always circle back to your content to ensure it is fresh and relevant. Did you quote statistics in the article that need an update? Did you refer to one of your earlier research studies that is irrelevant? Have industry views around the subject changed?
Refreshing your content does more than let your prospects know you have your finger on the industry’s pulse: It also pleases Google.
So if you’re investing effort into building your web presence, make sure to circle back to your content every quarter or annually, and make sure everything is in order.
What is better than one great content creator? Two great content creators! B2B niches tend to have few influencers, and in most cases, collaboration is a no-brainer. For instance, if your product plugs a gap in a larger enterprise’s product offering, it makes sense to collaborate and offer a joint solution.
Why not approach content similarly? Partnerships typically exist at the enterprise level between firms and research bodies. However, smaller firms can partner with. For instance, an eCommerce website builder and a payments processor are excellent content partners.
Narrative is the key to a great partnership. If you’re telling your prospects a great story through your partnership, you’ll leverage your and your partner’s audience to receive greater exposure.
Great Content is Simple
Once you implement these four content marketing tips to your overall strategy, you’ll find that creating great content is simple. You’ll prioritize quality over quantity, and maintain a steady web presence thanks to fresh content. Satisfied prospects and steady revenues are the logical next step.
Author: Vivek Shankar
Vivek Shankar is a B2B FinTech and Technology content writer. When he isn’t helping his clients achieve their content marketing goals, you can find him geeking out over a new piece of tech. Stop by at www.vivekshankar.net and say hi!… View full profile ›