Why is content marketing such a big deal nowadays? It’s because brands use content, which is not only engaging, but useful and educational for their customers. It’s also an excellent way to keep customers engaged on their journey.
Content marketing is a strategy that relies on emotion and feelings which is why it’s important in business, especially B2B (business-to-business)
Statistics show that the most successful B2B marketing teams spend 40% of their marketing budget on content marketing. If you want to be one of those successful B2B marketing teams think of ways to straighten your content strategy towards your B2B audience.
In this article, we will cover a few techniques that will help you to improve your content marketing strategy and connect better with your audience.
Content Marketing B2B vs. B2C
Marketing strategies for B2B and for B2C are quite different. B2B marketing strategy is designed for businesses or companies. While the business-to-customer (B2C) is oriented to end-users.
We can sum up the main differences in the graphic below:
Let’s focus on a few important points presented in the above graphic regarding B2B marketing:
- B2B customers are focused on ROI.
- Customers want to be educated.
- Customers think about long-term solutions.
- When they purchase they focus on a long relationship with companies.
1. Inspire Your Clients by Telling Stories
Every business has a story. If you don’t have one, now is the time to begin. Remember: why did you start your business, what problems did you face, and how you succeed. You can tell your brand mission, vision, values, and business goals through a good story.
Every business has a story. You can craft yours including the following details:
- Why did you start your business
- What problems did you face
- How did you succeed
- Your brand mission, vision and values
- Business goals
Sharing your statistics and business goals through a story is often way more attractive than listing bullet points with your numbers. Start with a little preview of your struggles when you established your business. Tell something personal.
Successful founders educate their customers with relatable stories. They start from the problem, how they faced it, and how they created a solution for it. When sharing your stories add concrete and relevant details, so you can transport the listener (or the reader) into the situation.
Another good way of telling stories is to share your customer’s stories. GoogleAds have launched a series of stories about small businesses that grew thanks to Google ads.
As you can see, the video is emotional and inspiring. It tells the story of a woman who faced adversity, overcame it and helped others in a similar situation.
The American author and journalist Carmine Gallo shares in his book, “Storyteller’s secret” strategies and examples of how storytelling helps businesses grow. One of them is using analogy which is a way to compare two things that are alike.
A great technique to use, especially in B2B if your services are specific and difficult to explain, For instance, if you are a SaaS company, selling cloud-based services to other businesses, you could use an analogy in order to be better understood.
Or if you are in the field of healthcare services usually where medical terms or jargon are common. But do your clients understand all the terms? Probably not, so here you could use an understandable analogy to get your point across.
2. Organize Webinars
A great way to add value to your audience and to prove you are an expert in your area is to offer webinars. You could also invite your B2B clients to participate in your webinar. It is a great way to connect with your audience, answer their questions and provide useful tips. And depending on the topic and the audience, you could create polls or surveys and provide an interactive experience to the participants.
GoToWebinar has analyzed 250.000 webinars from 2017 and published the results in “The Big Book of Webinar stats”.
What are the most important practices you can use in order to strengthen your B2B content marketing strategy with webinars?
- Keep it short
Webinars should be an hour-long – short and straight forward. Prepare your main points and don’t enter into too many details. Keep in mind you need to have time for the Q&A session at the end.
- 57% of registrations come from email.
A bit more than half of your webinar listeners signup through an email. This means that you can focus your webinar promotion efforts on email strategies.
- 59 % of registrations occur in the week leading up to the event.
The week of the webinar is key to signups. Many people register the last few days before the event. So be patient. Also, preparing reminder emails is a good practice, it reminds people that your webinar is coming up soon.
Bonus tip: add browser extension for scheduling meetings.
Most of the webinar platforms have browser extensions, so you can easily add your webinar meeting to your calendar. Furthermore, when sending out invitations reminding people that your webinar is about to start, your audience can receive a direct invitation link. For example, Zoom has a useful guide on how to install its extension.
A list of popular webinar platform you can check in this article.
Podcasts are one of the most popular ways to produce and spread your content. The data shows that the average number of monthly podcast listeners will reach 112 million by 2021.
You should consider a podcast where you can share useful business tips or invite experts and interview them. This way you can not only build your audience’s trust but you will also educate your listeners.
The big advantage of podcasts is that listeners can listen to them while driving their car, traveling, doing jogging, etc.
Check out this super useful article listing the best 29 business and marketing podcasts you should listen to. Afterward, you can pick the podcasts which make the most sense for you and create your own. And a more recent list we curated, focused on WordPress podcasts:
4. Show Your Creativity With Videos
LinkedIn has done research on how video works in the B2B context. The data shows that 62% of B2Bs find that video content builds more brand awareness. But there is more.
From what is learned in key speeches from experts in content marketing, marketers believe in the power of video, because it creates room for creativity and storytelling.
You can focus on different types of videos for B2B such as tutorials, interviews from experts and funny videos.
This is the easiest way to show the new features of your service or product.
DocuSign’s tutorial video shows you how you can send a payment using the platform.
Here is an example by PicMonkey showing how to design graphics for your videos:
Videos are not only a way to make explaining the difficult things easier, but they are interactive, interesting and more likely to be opened.
Video interviews with popular experts or subject matter experts
By providing this type of video format you are demonstrating to others, especially businesses, that you are professional. You can invite experts and create an interview online if you are not able to organize it face to face.
You can gather questions or topics that are important to your audience and ask for an expert’s opinion.
HubSpot Academy published a video interviewing the CEO of a successful marketing agency who shared his thoughts on inbound marketing and content strategies.
Present your fun side
This will show your audience that although you are a business, you have your human side too. Similar to storytelling, this will touch the emotional side of your customers.
Zendesk created this fun video showing why customers should use their customer service platform:
Adobe also created a very clever video showing why it’s important to pay attention to analytics.
Videos designed for the B2B audience can be as fun as those for B2C.
5. Present Your Data in a Visual Way With Infographics
Think of the infographic as similar to storytelling. You have gathered data that will be useful to your clients. But how to present it in a memorable?
Research by the Content Marketing Institute shows that infographics have had the biggest increase in usage among B2B marketers in the last four years, now at 65%.
If you would like to get inspired and try out different tools to create your own infographics, check this 12 tip article by Buffer.
Bonus tip: If you need to share statistics you can create an infographic blog post instead of writing about it.
Check this example in DevriX blog about WordPress Multisite network functionality. The Infographic outlines, in a creative way, the basic differences between a regular WordPress install, a multisite WP install and a network of independent WP websites.
6. Create Interactive Content
Interactive content can be in the form of animation, gifs, interactive eBooks, quizzes, games, puzzles, etc. You may think that the interactive content is not suitable in the B2B context and it won’t be well received by your audience. However, research proves the opposite:
- Interactive content generates 2x more conversions than passive content.
- 81% of marketers agree that interactive content is much more effective at grabbing people’s attention than static content.
Interactive content works. Of course, it’s not necessary to create puzzles or games to get your message across. However it is a way to engage people and show that your brand and the people behind it are not only professional, but fun and have a great sense of humor.
As you can see, you can be creative when creating content in a B2B context. Create webinars and entertain your audience with fresh and funny ideas.
Stay tuned for the next article when we will focus on whitepapers, ebooks, business blog and more.