The ultimate guide to B2B content marketing strategy in 2022
Content marketing has become a critical part of digital marketing strategies not only to grab buyer attention through search and social media, but to educate, inform and inspire leads to drive them through the sales funnel. In fact, inbound marketing generates about 54% more leads than traditional outbound methods.
It's important to keep up with the changes in content marketing so you can keep your approach relevant and fresh. You also need to respond to how your leads and audience are engaging with certain types of content and channels to make sure your investments are paying off.
With more people working remotely and businesses reducing corporate travel, businesses need to think how to better engage with their buyer audience. There are several key trends in B2B marketing in 2022. The most significant trend is that content marketing is massively evolving into a strategic tool for sales and customer success teams.
As customers demand more from companies, they expect them to provide value through support of which content is one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods. So it means that content marketing will become even more critical.
This article will look at the top considerations for developing your B2B content marketing strategies in 2022.
What is B2B content marketing?
Using content; this can be articles, blogs, videos, newsletters, infographics, reports, whitepapers etc, to engage with your stakeholders and buyer audiences, reach a wider network, and build brand and product awareness that will help to strengthen and develop the understanding of the value your business provides.
What is a B2B content marketing strategy?
A B2B content marketing strategy provides the framework for how you can use your marketing channels (earned, owned, paid across media, social media, websites, events, newsletter database) to produce, place and distribute content that drives traffic, improves sales conversion, secures leads, builds brand awareness. Not all content and all channels will have the same metrics, and a B2B content marketing strategy should hinge around your commercial aims and objectives.
How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
1. Focus on Value
When creating your B2B content marketing strategy, you first need to deliver value to your audience.
It doesn't mean just throwing up some content and hoping it converts. You have to ensure that every content you create delivers real value to your audience. If not, then you're wasting your time.
Think about your value proposition and the pain points your target buyers are experiencing, consider the challenges in the industry and what your business is doing to alleviate these.
If you are struggling to come up with ideas, speak to your sales team or customer service account team, or attend a few conferences or speak to an industry association. Also simply by asking people in your network will shed light on the value you can add. They may be able to recommend good resources for you to chase up for further insight.
2. Create Relevant Content
It's important that your content provides value and is relevant. Make sure you're clear with who the audience/ reader is for a particular piece you are producing and what action you expect them to take. It's also important to recognise the sector they are in and don't over generalise.
Providing tangible action points or digestible nuggets of wisdom will keep them engaged. If you're writing about topics that aren't relevant to your audience, you'll lose credibility quickly.
Once you've identified the types of posts or content that generate the most interest, you can start producing those kinds of articles.
3. Use Data To Optimise Your Posts
One of the reasons B2B content marketing is so effective is that you can see the performance of your digital channels and understand what is resonating with your audience.
You can learn more about your audience by collecting data from your website, social media accounts, emails, etc. With this information, you can identify patterns and determine what content performs well from the types of topics to the channels most effective for engaging with your network.
When you understand your audience better, you can tailor your content to meet their needs and build a content strategy that continues to perform and drive success - without the need of wasting time of articles that won't do anything.
4. Put effort into SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for any successful B2B content marketing strategy. It helps ensure that your content gets seen by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
To rank high on search results pages, you'll need to ensure that your page has relevant keywords, that your back-end SEO is fully functioning, and that you include relevant links. Use the full cycle of earned, owned and paid media to really enable your SEO to perform to its optimum capability.
5. Promote Your Work On Social Media
Social media platforms are a powerful tool for building relationships with your audience and driving traffic to your website.
And since many people spend a significant amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, it makes sense to include links to your site in your bio and host content from blogs to whitepapers, to downloadable ebooks, as well as embedding videos even if they are on YouTube. The more you can generate traffic to your site the more authority Google will give you.
Make sure you have a Company profile and encourage your sales and accounts team to engage with content on the social channel, it will allow potential B2B customers to follow you on these sites and see all of your work.
6. Offer Value Through Email
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience. And now people have to provide consent due to GDPR (though still a bit of a blurred lines for b2b audiences), anyone who subscribes does so for a reason - therefore this is a dedicated and engaged audience already.
Email is a direct way of sharing content, and if you can tackle the issues that matter to them or provide insights they don't get elsewhere then you will be an important, supportive resource. And since you don't need to pay to send email messages, it's a cost-effective way to stay connected with your audience.
7. Create A Community Around Your Brand
Consider creating a community around your business if you want to get even more mileage out of your content marketing efforts.
You can do this through groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or forums on Reddit, but the best place to start is probably your website. You can create a community where members share ideas and discuss topics related to your company. It allows you to interact with your audience, answer questions, and provide valuable resources.
For B2B audiences, think about how you can develop an Academy, or Best Practice hub for people to interact. Think of the ways you can instigate discussion with topical issues or spark an industry debate.
8. Build Relationships With Influencers
Influencer marketing is another excellent way to build relationships with your audience. In the world of B2B, find those consultants or event speakers that command great authority or get a lot of engagement and traction on their social channels.
Influencers are a greater way of sharing expertise and educating your buyers and the market instead of selling products. They post content on blogs, social media channels, and YouTube videos. Because they already have a large following, influencers often quickly reach many people. Because of this, they're an excellent resource for promoting your brand.
9. Provide Resources For Your Audience
One of the most critical parts of any B2B content marketing strategy is providing valuable resources for your audience. Resources act as fantastic magnets to get people returning to your website time and time again, building that dedicated audience.
Whether those resources are free ebooks, tutorials, guides, or anything else, make sure they're available for anyone who wants them. Consider how you can use different levels of access from freely accessible, downloadable, gated-content (people need to give their details like email to access it), or log-in requirements (especially for members or customers) - this starts to increase the value and demand.
Lead magnets, a high-value piece of content that provides real insight, are a great way of securing new leads and can be used across all your digital marketing initiatives.
10. Use Video To Engage With Your Audience
Video is becoming increasingly popular as a form of content marketing and coming up more in search results pages. Video in short-form (short videos) provides an accessible way for people to learn through bitesize highly audio-visual content, where your core messages and brand are much more impactful.
So if you want to engage with your audience, consider using videos to promote your products and services. You'll need to be selective over the style and length to make sure you're actually providing worthwhile videos. Start off with a value explainer video, product tour video, and customer testimonial and case study to gauge the level of interest.
Why Do You Need a B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
Marketing today is more than placing adverts in a magazine or attending a trade exhibition. B2B marketing now takes the brunt of the sales process off the sales team and should be generating leads for the sales team to follow up and convert, instead of the sales team spending huge amount of time cold calling.
57% of salespeople believe buyers are less dependent on salespeople during the buying process. (HubSpot, 2016)
Most B2B buyers are already 57% through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative. (Accenture, 2018)
49% of B2B buyers said they now rely more on content to research and make purchase decisions (Content Preferences Survey)
A B2B content marketing strategy will allow you to answer your buyers' pain points and address industry challenges by communicating your value framework in content across your marketing channels throughout the sales cycle. This will improve awareness, credibility, trust and authenticity for your business.
Need to discuss how to go about building your B2B Content Marketing Strategy, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org