Content marketing has changed how we think and do marketing, and it is here to stay. Instead of traditional marketing methods with a large focus on print and radio ads, content marketing has slowly seeped in and, understandably so, is an enormous focus for marketers today.
B2B content marketing is using content to expand your business’s audience and market reach, strengthen and develop your brand affinity, and ultimately drive sales by appealing to other businesses.
76% of people expect brands to contribute to their well-being and quality of life, which would explain why B2B content marketing has seen so much success. Businesses and the people in those businesses want content that is relevant and relatable to them.
At the beginning of 2018, the Content Marketing Institute reported that 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing as a part of their marketing strategies. Unsurprisingly, 46% of businesses said they want to increase their spending on content creation in 2022.
With statistics like those, it should be a given that you want to create a spectacular B2B content marketing strategy. In this article, we will look at 6 steps to establish your B2B content marketing strategy, along with 7 tactics and examples to accomplish this.
What Is a B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
As we saw above, B2B content marketing is creating content relevant to other businesses to bring them to your brand. Therefore, a B2B content marketing strategy is defined as what you will do to accomplish that.
Check out below some of the first steps you should take to establish your B2B content marketing strategy.
6 Steps to Establish Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
#1 Set Your Business Goals
Before you even begin your strategy, you need to define your goals and the purpose of your strategy.
The top three primary goals of creating content are boosting sales, building customer relationships, and increasing brand awareness. But, of course, each company should have its own personal set of goals, so they must be defined.
Just as you would use a creative brief to capture necessary information for a project, so should you create a plan and narrow down your business goals for your B2B content marketing strategy.
#2 Identify and Define Your Audience
A B2B content marketing strategy should be tailored to the audience it is trying to reach. For example, if the business is a wholesale furniture manufacturer, the customer should be the distributor. Or, if the business is a food wholesaler, then the customer would be restaurant and supermarket owners.
Understand that all the content that is created in this B2B content marketing strategy should be directed and beneficial to the distributors. Any content you create in this B2B content marketing strategy should be directed towards this defined audience.
#3 Spy on Your Competitors
Always have your eye on your competitors and know what they are doing. 44% of B2B companies’ top marketing spend, for example, is digital marketing. This statistic is crucial as it gives you insight into what strategies other companies are successfully using.
If you look at your competitor’s website and notice they automatically have pop-up boxes for you to sign up for e-mails, perhaps you should consider sending newsletters as part of your own strategy.
Whatever the case, scout out your competitors to see what works in your current content marketing realm.
#4 Create the Best Content
If you are going to have a B2B content marketing strategy, you had better have some spectacular content. 81% of marketers say their business sees content as a core strategy.
Define what kind of content you are going to produce and do your best to make it the best content out there that is relatable to your audience.
#5 Publish and Promote
Great content needs to be shared. Once you have your amazing content prepared, decide how to get the word out.
Consider using B2B marketing software like Plezi to help you set and accomplish your strategy. Plezi provides marketing professionals with help and guidance on publishing, promoting, and automating each piece of content.
The Plezi software will guide you through each marketing action and show the next step so you can focus purely on producing great content.
Using software like this will allow you to focus on other areas and free up your time since you will not have to utilize different varying programs when you have an all-encompassing one like Plezi.
#6 Measure the Metrics
In any strategy you make, you should have a way to measure the metrics. In a survey conducted by Semrush, only 57% of companies had a documented content marketing strategy. That is a bit scary because that means that 43% of companies are not actually keeping track of their metrics, which translates to them not knowing how well they are doing.
As part of your B2B content marketing strategy, set metrics such as KPIs so you will know if your strategy is effective or if there are some things you should adapt.
What Are B2B Content Marketing Tactics?
If a B2B content marketing strategy is defined as what you will do, then B2B content marketing tactics are how you will do this. Below we will look into 7 tactics with examples you should consider in B2B content marketing.
7 Tactics (with Examples) You Should Consider in B2B Content Marketing
#1 Play Hard to Get with Gated Content
Bring customers to your website for your content but play a little hard to get.
Take a look at the example above. The copywriter, Jacob McMillen, will give the reader FREE tips and tricks for becoming a writer, but the reader has to sign up for their e-mail to receive the free course.
No e-mail given means no content received, so readers are convinced to fill in their e-mail and receive the free course.
#2 Create Partnerships for Backlinks
Backlinking is a hugely successful tactic for B2B Content Marketing. It does involve a bit of work, either by writing your own articles and including backlinks or creating steady partnerships where you include someone else’s backlinks in your posts, and they include yours.
As an example, let’s say you write a post on backlinking and tag in a post Salesforce made. Right there is a backlink. Now, you should find a way for Salesforce to add one of your links to their posts. The benefit here is that both parties will reach audiences they generally would not reach.
#3 Sell the Experience Over the Widget
People do not want to buy widgets; they want to buy the experience, the feeling, and the story. Therefore, when crafting your B2B content, consider the end user and what content would compel them to visit your brand’s website.
An excellent example is research surveys. So many businesses want to be able to provide data that is relevant and pertinent. If you were to conduct a research survey and provide the results on your website using a blog post telling a story and including the relevant data, you would certainly reach new heights for your B2B content marketing strategy.
#4 Create Multi-Layered Content
Make sure that the B2B content you are creating has multiple layers. For example, include photos and videos instead of just writing a blog post.
On average, blogs with relevant images receive 94% more views than articles without images, so you want to ensure you always have more than one layer in your content.
Consider using infographics to provide relevant information displayed beautifully that will continuously motivate readers to share the information.
The World Resources Institute, for example, made the eye-catching infographic above and shared it on their websites. As visitors are brought to the website by the attractive infographic, they are also keen to visit other portions of the website and learn more about the World Resources Institute.
#5 Repurpose Great Content
If you wrote a blog post for your B2B content four years ago and it got a significant amount of shares but slowly tapered off with time, repurpose it. Great content is not a one-time thing. In reality, it should be used over and over again.
Grab the post and update it with more up-to-date information. Consider adding listicles, as they get 218% more shares than the traditional “how to” tutorial-style posts, or consider creating an infographic with the content you shared in the post.
Whatever you decide to do, just ensure you are utilizing the great content again but in a new and improved format.
Keeping yourself updated with content distribution trends by taking the right content marketing courses or listening to the right channels is also a great way to make sure you are distributing your content in the best way possible post-publishing.
#6 Tackle and Invest in SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can sound a little scary, but in reality, it is not. All you need is a good course and some self-study, and there is a lot you could easily implement to improve your B2B content marketing.
Just as you would invest in a lawyer to draft a contract, so should you invest in good SEO. You have a small window of opportunity to reach new customers online. Studies show that 29% of Google users only visit one page from the search results, so work hard on your SEO to make sure you are the page they are visiting.
#7 Maximize Paid Promotion
Do not miss a huge window of opportunity by not investing in paid promotion. Paid promotion is an excellent way to reach those outside your current range and allow them to get to know your business and what your business is about.
Marketers believe Facebook is the most popular social media platform across all age groups. However, if you are at a loss for how to engage new customers through digital platforms, be sure to check out Business Insurance’s great post on using Facebook to turbocharge your business.
Other awesome options for paid promotions include, but are not limited to, display ads, Google Ads, and Linkedin Ads.
Final Thoughts on How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Each business is going to have a B2B content marketing strategy that is unique to its own needs and business goals.
Looking at competitors’ websites to see what makes them stand out is a good practice, as you will learn different tips and tricks along the way. Allowing yourself to focus your time and energy on creating great content is possible if you invest in a program like Plezi.
In one program, you will be able to track and score your leads, create and manage content that works, improve conversion, nurture leads, and automate your marketing. With all the free time you will find after using Plezi, you can crank out spectacular B2B content to achieve your B2B content marketing strategies.